Are you in living in "fight and flight" or "rest and digest"?? Many people are in a constant state of fight and flight. How do you know? Here are some common signs: tight muscles, anxiety, chronic fatigue or pain, insomnia, stress, tight jaw or TMJ, head aches, poor digestion, diarrhea or constipation, sweating, dialated pupils, increased heart rate, irritability, decreased saliva, cold hands and feet and adrenal fatigue. Fight and flight keeps cortisol and adrenaline pumping into your blood stream ready for action against perceived or real threats.This conditions discharges a lot of stored energy from the body, eventually causing fatigue and tight muscles. Fight and flight is associated with more acidic conditions in the body. Fight and flight leads to more chronic states of dis-ease.
Rest and digest is the healing state where digestion begins and continues smoothly, muscles relax, heart rate decreases, pupils regulate to normal, urination increases to normal, saliva increases, body temperature normalizes, emotions equalize and remain calm, the mind relaxes and becomes peaceful, all healing begins to take place where organs get re-nourished. The nervous system can direct its attention to focusing on nurturing the body, mind and spirit.
How do you move from fight and flight to rest and digest? Here are some "Don'ts" : Don't hurry, don't eat on the go, try not to "over do" it. Avoid strong caffeine, too much coffee can rev up your nervous system. Avoid extremes of alcohol and other substances whether it be sugar, junk food, drink or drugs. Too many medications can put your body into stress. E-tox! - take a break from electronic media, the "news" and your phone!
Here are some "to do" suggestions: breath deeply, belly breathing can engage the rest and digest immediately, meditation, yoga, prayer, walk outside, get some exercise and some sun, look at a beautiful landscape or art, listen to your favorite music, get a hug, sing, nap, eat a healthy nourishing meal, get some rest or a good nights sleep, get a massage or acupuncture. Try to communicate your needs safely with others. Create safe and healthy boundaries. Learn emotional intelligence.
See your natural health care provider. Acupuncture can quickly put you into the rest and digest. Massage and good chiropractic or other healing modalities like Reiki, cranial sacral work as well.
Life requires balance if it is to be successful in the highest sense. Sometimes we need to push, but we also need time to recover. If you feel off, I recommend acupuncture. It will set your nervous system into rest and digest creating a healing state for body mind and spirit.