LIGHT BOUND, Ch. 12, Pt. 2

Karmic Seeds,Spiritual DNA, & Ancestral DNA

Researching the why of my pain 

Again, I went into research mode and learned that the Vagus Nerve is actually a pair of nerves that connects the brain to the gut. The Vagus nerve is our communications super highway.

I would argue that our gut brain and the one in our heads work together while some scientists postulate that the gut brain is our primary brain and the one in our heads secondary, but that view is still being researched and debated. It’s interesting nevertheless.

Anyhow, the Vagus Nerve conveys electrical signals to major organs and to our immune systems as part of our autonomic nervous system, which encompasses both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system handles our fight or flight function and the parasympathetic nervous system handles our rest, digest, and breed state.

What is so fascinating is that our nerves actually have the ability to shut down inflammation before it starts; to trigger white blood cell production, which is the body’s immune response; and to trigger cellular repair arising from illnesses and injuries.

Since nerves are in fixed tissue, myofascial tissue, it was believed that they did not have direct communication with the body’s immune system since the immune system is comprised of free floating cells. However, studies conducted over the last decade show that myofascial tissue, which is a thin, yet strong fibrous, connective tissue, is present throughout the body – as in everything in the body “floats” in it. The cells of myofascial tissue actually communicate with surrounding cells through the cell walls, including organs, vessels, skin, bones, muscles, etc. 

Electrical synapses and chemical synapses send signals to and from every part of the human body to the brain through the neural network. This network includes the gut/brain communication super highway, or Vagus nerve.

We actually take in a lot of information from our bodies, information that affects how we feel, how we think, and how we respond to situations. 

Humans scan the environment every 200 – 300 milliseconds, taking in a lot of information about what is going on around us. However, the human brain only makes us aware cognitively of a micro-percentage of that information. Interestingly, our bodies responds to things that our conscious thoughts don’t often pick up on. In fact, studies show that we know something is going to happen about six seconds before it actually does, such as a car accident. Our cognitive processing of events is much slower than that of our bodies, as for example blocking a striking hand during a fight (allowing our bodies to take charge and bypassing the cognitive processing).

The information that we receive is realized by our bodies, specifically our guts. We often call this form of communication between our gut and minds intuition. Unfortunately, we as often dismiss our intuition. 

The human brain is quite complicated, comprised of four distinctly different evolutionary parts or layers: the reptilian brain, the old mammalian brain, the new mammalian brain, and the prefrontal cortex, which is the youngest evolutionary development at about 40,000 years old. 

Peripheral nerves link the brain and the spinal cord. Our nerves speak a binary language – on or off (firing or not firing). When we receive information that we are under attack, our bodies react to these outside stressors. However, in modern times we are no longer under threat of being eaten by bears. So, even though the types of stressors to which our bodies respond have changed: work, traffic, people, money, etc., our physiological responses haven’t. Our bodies flood with adrenaline when we are triggered by certain external information and internal thought/emotion responses, such as worry over whether or not we have enough money to pay the bills. 

Unfortunately, we also flood with adrenaline when there is nothing present to trigger us, just a memory is enough to get the pulse pounding and the body to launch into fight or flight. When we remain in a state of stress, our bodies suffer the effects and chronic stress becomes debilitating. I know I lived through it for decades. Learning to relax and to stop falling into memories or catastrophizing with what if scenarios made a huge difference in my life and my body.

The reason my back was such a mess was I was in a constant state of stress, hypervigilance, and anxiety. My body held onto and stored that stress physically. I clenched muscles. My body formed myofascial scar tissue to protect areas even though no injury had happened to the area. Plus, my body triggered inflammation as part of the defense. 

As my muscles tightened, I was pulled out of “alignment.” When one part went out of alignment, other parts tried to compensate, and they ended up out of alignment, too, which put stress on my muscles, which my nerves then screamed at me to fix.

I had to fix the stress to actually effect a real change in my body. With healing I finally was able to get my body out of inflammation, relax muscles, and release the physical pain.

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