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Fight or Flight

Posted Aug 19 2010 8:48am

I lamented two days ago about water and how it is vital to our bodies.  Today I am going to go back to what I was suppose to talk about on Tuesday.  We are going to discuss the fight or flight mechanism in the body.  Today’s post might be a bit technical and scientific, but heck, that is what all my posts are like to just jump on for the ride!

The flight or fight mechanism is a vitally important function of the body.  This is the part of the nervous system.  In fact this part is called the sympathetic nervous system.  The sympathetic nervous system is the part responsible for getting you “all pumped up for the big game” or the puking feeling before your wedding.  This is the system that pumps your epinephrine (better known as Adrenalin).

This is a vital function to the body because it allows your body to use more energy in times of greater need.  Say you are running from a bear, you will want to be able to get and use more energy versus taking a nap.  The sympathetic nervous system and counterpart, parasympathetic, allow for the body to conserve and utilize energy in the most efficient way possible.  Also it provides the body a better option for utilizing its energy in a time of need.  An example of how you want these two systems to run is you don’t want to pee your pants running away from a bear!  The sympathetic nervous system will shut down digestion and elimination and allow your body to pump your blood to the periphery.  In other words your blood will go from your organs to your muscles so you can run away!

The bad part about our society is the constant stress 90% of us are under or place on ourselves.  This stress causes our body to go into flight or fight mode.  We “tense” up.  We try to fight back.  We are on edge, short with people, and lash back uncontrollably.  Why?  Because of stress!  The body is exhausted and can no longer meet the demands placed on it.  Also, digestion is shut down!  You’re body is trying to fight, so it is not in the mode of trying to break down food and assimilated, none the less trying to go poop!

This is a short introduction into the sympathetic nervous system.  One tip is to take time each day to refocus yourself, I use prayer, to help get rid of your stress is an excellent option.  I greatly encourage this to minimize sympathetic dominance.  Tomorrow we will continue on this topic!

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