Five simple steps to a happy body

Signs of this positive parasympathetic system include good digestion, deep abdominal breathing, restful sleep and abundant energy.

by Anna Filipski — 

A happy body is one that is energetic and rested, rather than stressed and tense. These are definitely optimal states of being, and following are some tips on creating a happy body condition.

It all begins with the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system can be split into two parts, sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is what the body utilizes when it is in a stressful situation. This can be caused by either an outside stressor such as work, or an internal stressor such as foods eaten.

Feelings of anxiety and tension are prevalent — shallow breathing, interrupted sleep, low energy and poor digestion. Impatience and loneliness, tense muscles and cravings for refined and sugary foods can become unbearable. Do any of these sound familiar?

In this day and age, the sympathetic nervous system rules the day, most of the time. The other part of the nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, is the body in a relaxed state. This is when the body digests and regenerates. In our present society, it takes work to reach this state of being.

Signs of this positive parasympathetic system include good digestion, deep abdominal breathing, restful sleep and abundant energy. Feelings of happiness, satisfaction and connectedness abound. Cravings for organic green foods are prevalent because they keep the body in this state.

The question arises, “To which of these lists do I most relate?” It is not impossible or difficult to reach a parasympathetic state, and it is amazing to feel the way the human body was naturally made to feel.

Here are five simple steps to move towards this healing state.

1. Touch — A massage is the best way to get into parasympathetic mode — and it feels good.

2. Breathe deeply — Let the belly fill with air. Make it intentional. One can do this throughout the day. After practicing for a while, it will become natural.

3. Eat alkalizing foods — Organic fruits and vegetables are good for the body. Eat more green foods, and fewer processed and sugary foods.

4. Drink green tea — Green tea is anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the effects of being in a sympathetic state.

5. Move — Getting out for a walk or a bike ride is a wonderful way to create space in the body. Healing always involves movement.

When you care for your body, you feel good. It is that simple.

 

Anna Filipski is a licensed massage therapist at the Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine in Mesa, Ariz. 480-539-6646, info@trueharmonywellness.com or www.trueharmonywellness.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 4, August/September 2008.

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