Your body is a well-oiled machine, designed to take on a variety of complex functions within just seconds of time to keep us moving and alive. One of the most complex systems that govern a variety of bodily functions is the nervous system.
This system is complex, and is responsible for functions such as your memory and capacity to learn, keeping your body in a state of homeostasis (or normal balance), keeping your heart beating and your lungs breathing, and keeping your five senses functioning just to name a few. In this article, we will give you insight into what your nervous system does for you as well as how you can take care of it to avoid damage or deterioration to this absolutely essential system.
What is the Nervous System?
To put it simply, your nervous system is the communication system of your body. The brain acts as the central computer and controls all the functions of your body. Your nervous system is then the network that sends messages from the brain to the different parts of your body to react accordingly.
The nervous system is split into two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and spinal cord, which together control most of your bodily functions including your awareness, movements, sensations, thoughts, speech, and memory.
The central nervous system isn’t self-sufficient, however. It needs the peripheral nervous system to help it function properly. The peripheral nervous system contains all the nerves that lie outside the central nervous system. It connects the CNS to the body’s organs, limbs and skin. Other areas of the body send information to the brain through the PNS so that the CNS can react.
Protecting Your Nervous System
Because it is so vital to your everyday functioning, your nervous system already has a lot of protections in place. For example, your brain is protected by a thick skull and your spinal cord is encased in your spine with fluid inside for further protection.
But there are things you can and should do to further protect your nervous system from conditions that could affect it and, consequently, your entire life. Some lifestyle choices you can make to protect your nervous system include:
Exercise does a world of good for your entire body, but especially your brain. Increasing blood flow to your brain through working out will help keep your central computer in top shape to control the rest of your body.
Avoiding smoking and drinking to excess improve the overall function of all parts of your nervous system.
Sleep is your body regenerating itself. Aim for getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to make sure your body is getting enough time to stay physically and mentally sharp.
Eat a Balanced Diet
It’s best to stick to a low-fat diet that contains sources of vitamins B6, B12, and folate. All of these nutrients help protect every part of your nervous system. Make sure to include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains daily.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Dehydration can cause a lag in your nervous system and fog your memory. Drink plenty of water and other hydrating fluids every day, especially before, during, and after exercise. Limit your consumption of caffeinated drinks like coffee and soft drinks which not only increase dehydration but can affect your sleep as well.
See Your Chiropractor
Having your spine adjusted by a chiropractor on a regular basis helps prevent instances of nerve damage or deterioration by keeping your spine in top working order. Without the proper alignment, the messages that are carried through your spine can be interrupted and delivered slower.
Taking care of your nervous system means you are taking steps to ensure your wellbeing in a variety of ways. Through adjustments, hydration, rest, and a balanced diet, you are giving your body exactly what it needs to be stronger while warding off a variety of problems that nerve damage and deterioration can cause.
At South Orange Chiropractic Center, we understand how important it is to partner with you to keep you healthy and young for years to come. Contact one of our professionals now to discuss how we can work together to make sure your nervous system is working the best it can to keep you well.