The nervous system can be compared to a city communication network that is linked to a central computer. The computer relays signals from within the system, as well as from other cities.
In the same way, our body's nervous system provides a vital communication link between our internal and external worlds. The sense organs of the nervous system receive external information and relay it to the brain. There it is sorted, prioritized, and passed to organs, tissues and cells so they can adapt to changes in both environments.
The nervous system is composed of two parts: the central and the peripheral system. The central system is the brain and spinal cord, both made up of nerve fibers. The peripheral system is the network of nerves throughout the body.
The nervous system penetrates every tissue of the body, just as the circulatory system does. It is composed of 28 billion neurons, or nerve cells. These cells are our communication specialists and messages are transmitted by electrical signals.
All of our senses?vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch?are a vital part of the nervous system network. They rely upon mechanical, chemical and electrical processes in order to sense the body's condition and environment. That information is then transmitted to the brain via nerve impulses.
Our body's nervous system provides the vital communication lines between the external world and our internal world.
The nervous system communicates two basic types of messages: one is to activate, the other is to relax. Some of its actions are automatic (i.e., the heartbeat, breathing, and digestion) and some are voluntary (i.e., eating, drinking and walking).
In addition to influencing the physical functions of our body, the nervous system also influences how we act or react to stress. The fight or flight response is a good example. This is a hormonally stimulated state to prepare the body for an upcoming challenge.
Chemical reactions influence the heart, nervous system, muscles and other areas of the body. We need to supply this system with good food so that our nerves can accurately communicate and handle the various stresses to which they are constantly exposed.
The nervous system works electro-chemically. Tiny impulses, or currents, pass along the fibers without the fiber moving, changing color, or altering appearance in any manner.
The current is generated through millisecond exchanges of charged potassium and sodium particles across nerve cell membranes.
Stress is a factor in every life, and the degree to which it affects us negatively is largely determined by how we react to the stressors around us.
Even though everyday hassles may seem minor, researcher Dr. Richard Lazarus found that in combination they can have a bigger impact on our health than traumatic events such as death, major illness, or financial difficulties.
Our nervous system doesn?t differentiate between a physical threat and an emotional threat. Thus, screaming kids, a critical boss, unpaid bills, traffic jams, missed deadlines, and a host of other mental/emotional crises can be perceived by our nervous system as a form of danger. These situations can also evoke our fight/flight response. This defense mechanism can damage our health when it is constantly evoked unnecessarily and the energy released by it is not dispelled by fighting or fleeing.
Prolonged emotional stress can lead to a breakdown of health. Evidence shows that we may not be doing so well in handling stress. It has been estimated that one-half of those going to see a doctor have symptoms that can be traced to psychological stress.
Of course, emotional stress is not the only factor involved in illness and disease, nor is it necessarily the primary cause. It is, however, one of the risk factors associated with poor health.
Psychologist Donald A. Tubesing related stress to the tension on a violin string. We need ?enough tension to make music hut not so much that it snaps.?
Stress can be managed and its effects reduced. Exercise, meditation and relaxation techniques, attitude changes, and improved nutrition are some effective ways to handle stress.
Stress can increase the need for certain nutrients since it alters our metabolic process. For example, an increased metabolic rate means an increased rate in the burning of carbohydrates. When larger-than-normal amounts of carbohydrates are metabolized, the requirements for thiamine and other members of the B-complex family may increase.
Stress is closely related to nutrition. The fight/flight response, for example, steps up the metabolic process, increasing the need for certain vitamins?particularly the water-soluble vitamins which must be replenished on a daily basis. This is why the B-complex and C vitamins are the core of all anti-stress vitamin supplements.
The B-complex vitamins have the closest association with the health of the nervous system. Refined grain products, coffee, and tea are some vitamin B-complex robbers.
Researchers have found B-complex vitamins to be vital in maintaining proper function of the nervous system. They aid in energy production, lend a sense of well-being, work with hormone production/balancing, and help you feel in control. All B-complex vitamins are interdependent. Because they are water-soluble, they are easily washed away with urine and perspiration and must be replaced daily.
Nutri-Calm? is a beneficial blend of vitamins and herbs that provides nutrition the body needs to better cope with a busy, modern world. It contains the B-complex and C vitamins plus calcium in a nutritional base of herbs, bee pollen, and other nutrients.
Calcium is included because it is used
by the body to maintain the nerves in their normal, calm state. Vitamin C
and herbs in the formulation work to balance and enhance a weakened
Stock No. 1617-3 (100)
Stress Relief (formerly
Combination Eight?) gives you white willow bark and seven other herbal
nervines that bring together many of the most popular choices among
herbalists to nutritionally support the nervous system.
Stock No. 850-3 (100)
Rather than employing an alcoholic
beverage and its possible harmful effects, Nerve Control (Formerly RE-X? or Relaxation Formula) is an all-natural way to balance your nervous system with good
nutrition instead. Its eight herbs provide nutrients to nutritionally
assist in relaxation.
Stock No. 1242-4 (100)
Stress-J? is a blend of
several time-honored herbs used historically to nourish the body. It is an
American formula containing chamomile flowers, passion flowers, hops
flowers, fennel seeds, marshmallow root, and feverfew herb.
Stock No. 1087-0 (100)
Chinese Mood Elevator (formerly
AD-C?) is a combination of 18 herbs traditionally used by Chinese
herbalists to provide needed nutrients to regulate the body's Chi,
or vitality force. When the nervous system's major pathways are
nutritionally reinforced, the whole body responds. This and other
nutritional benefits may help to promote a feeling of well-being.
Stock No. 1878-8 (100)
Blue Vervain is an herb known for
providing many benefits simultaneously. It influences not only the nerves,
circulation, lungs, and digestive system, but generally acts as a
nutritional adjunct in restoring the body's vigor.
Stock No. 3160-8 (2 fl. oz.)
Chamomile is one of the oldest
herb-garden favorites. It has a pleasant smell, and its nutritional
benefits are similar to catnip. It is one of the favorite herbs in Europe
and one of the most popular herbal teas in the world. Through extensive
studies in Russia, chamomile was found to have a decidedly positive
nutritional effect on the nervous system.
Stock No. 190-7 (100)
Lecithin is a remarkable
substance produced by every healthy liver. While helping to emulsify fats,
it also contains the B-vitamin choline, from which the body manufactures
one of several nerve transmitters. Nature's Sunshine's lecithin comes from
soybeans and is easily assimilated.
Stock No. 1660-5 (270)
Passion Flower may be one of the
finest natural supports available. In essence, passion flower could be one
of the best nutritional supplements for the well-being of the nervous
system. Its name has religious meaning and does not refer to increasing
Stock No. 500-3 (100)
Valerian Root is an herb to eat,
but not to smell. Although the plant itself has little or no odor, the
roots carry a characteristic unpleasant smell. It has long been used as a
nutritional aid for the central nervous system and is high in calcium.
Encouraging scientific work has been done in Germany with this herb. It is
best used for short-term needs.
Stock No. 720-0 (100)
Vitamin B-complex shortages have
been associated with such conditions as irritability, depression,
inability to concentrate, and fatigue. On the other hand, adequate amounts
have been found to encourage calmness and feelings of well-being.
Stock No. 1778-9 (100)