How To Activate the “Rest and Digest” System
By Giuliana Torre
The key for optimum health is operating from the parasympathetic nervous system as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The sympathetic nervous system is what activates the flight or fight response. It is triggered by stress, fear, caffeine, and just about anything else that causes the heart rate to increase and keeps us living on an adrenaline rush. For many of us, this is a state that is sustained all day long by information overload, stressful relationships, demanding work schedules, children and anything else that might be draining our energy.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), on the other hand, is called the “rest and digest” system. It conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and glandular activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Essentially, diseases and chronic conditions initiate when the body is operating predominantly from the SNS; healing and regeneration can only occur when the body is operating from the PSNS. Have you ever noticed that when you take off for a vacation, it takes you anywhere from 1 to 3 days to relax? That is your body shifting from the SNS to the PSNS. True rest and relaxation can only occur once this happens, and the body is then able to begin the process of self-healing, which it is absolutely designed to do.
Scientists have known this for quite some time… so, why is it that most of us are always rushing and stressing even though we know it’s not good for our health? Do we need a 10-year clinical study to link chronic stress to every disease known to man? If you are not willing to wait for that, here are some easy steps you can take to keep your body in a state of relaxation.
1. Slow down the breath; it can be as simple as this:
Inhale for 10 counts, hold for 10 counts, exhale for 10 counts. This three point breath will relax the body and mind instantly, and when done consistently, can bring you back to center. Practice for 3 to 11 minutes.
2. Chanting Naam (chanting meditation); just a few minutes a day will change your vibration and therefore your health.
Chanting specific mantra stimulates the meridian points on the roof of the mouth and is like performing accu-pressure on yourself. It is very important to be able to heal yourself; no one else can do it for you.
-3 minutes of Naam purifies the blood;
-11 minutes of Naam purifies the pituitary gland;
-22 minutes of Naam allows protective, projective, and intuitive intelligence:
-Projective: you will see the good in the bad
-Protective: you will see the bad in good
-Intuitive: combines both to find the best course of action
3. Give the body a rest from food; fasting has been known to almost instantly bring the body into a relaxed (“rest and digest”) state.
Fasting has been shown to suppress SNS activity, lower blood pressure, and activate opiates. Furthermore, it corrects unbalanced psycho-physiological systems and restores health by stabilizing the nervous system. The alpha waves are slowed and synchronized and theta waves are increased, leading to a more relaxed and introspective state of awareness, a reduction in neurosis, and less focus on the superficial that normally characterize the waking state. The results are similar to those achieved by chanting meditation or Naam Simran.
4. Harmonyum Healing; the fastest way to cross over to the PSNS.
Based in the science of Kabbalah, the Harmonyum Healing System was created by Joseph Michael Levry (Gurunam) to help facilitate healing on the planet. A Harmonyum session instantly relaxes the nervous systems and brings tremendous amounts of light into the heart. In doing so, it helps us moves through our Body of Pain by allowing us to slow down long enough to realize what our unhealthy patterns are, whether they are in the physical, emotional or spiritual plane.
Giuliana Torre is the founder of The Juicy Naam, an organic juice bar and healing center with locations in Sag Harbor and East Hampton, New York. After a successful career on Wall Street, Giuliana traded in the stressful life and founded the juice bar, now a premier place on Long Island’s East End to experience the most healing juices, superfoods, yoga and bodywork. The Juicy Naam Cleanse incorporates the principles of Universal Kabbalah and is customized to each client.