Our Nervous System
The human nervous system is divided into the skeletal and autonomic nervous systems. The skeletal system is voluntary and controls our muscles and movements. The autonomic system is unconsciously controlled and is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It is these that we interact with when we do massage.The sympathetic nervous system controls ‘fight or flight’ responses; it is concerned with the generation of energy. The parasympathetic system controls ‘rest and digest’ responses; it is concerned with energy conservation.
Different styles of massage differentially stimulate these two nervous systems, which is why some massages are invigorating and others relaxing. Parasympathetic stimulation has been shown to neutralise stress hormones in the body and promote patterns of brain activity that represent a calm and ready mind. Sympathetic stimulation increases bloodflow and prepares both mind and body for action.
People have different levels of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, and life sometimes requires more of one or the other. At Baby Turtle Bodyworks we want to help find a balance that works for you.