The Key to the Nervous System

 
 
 

This is Richard La Plante with Real Strength Now. You know, years ago we thought the central nervous system ran on an auto-pilot, the heartbeat, the way it beats, blood pressure up and down, no control. We go about our lives, no control, the way the heart beats, the blood pressure rises and falls and the other pulses move.

Well, through study, and experimentation, and training, scientists and athletes have now learned that we can tap into the nervous system, the part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system that controls blood pressure and heart. And in that way it controls performance. And controls whether we stay in the fight or flight nervous tense system all day, or whether we're able to relax. And the key to the nervous system is the breath.

Particularly the part of the breath called the exhalation. When we are exhaling slowly through the nose, making it long, pausing and at the base, but then inhaling again.

That slow exhalation is a hack into the autonomic nervous system and it tells the body to relax, to slow down, to rest, to digest. So as we train, as we exercise our bodies and we take them up into the fight or flight system, it's very, very good to master and to know that through that single motion of nose oriented exhalation, that we could control and take ourselves back into rest and digest.

Thereby making good with what we've done in the gym, or on the playing field, or on the track, or even on the street walking when we are exercising and stimulating the body. You don't want to be stimulated all day long. You stimulate it, and then it must be rested. That's the trick of extended exhalation.

 

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