• Isabella Scandolari


Slow it down, so that you have the reserve energy to speed it up and still stay Healthy and Balanced.

“Why should I slow down? My life is great, action, creativity, fast

pace, always on the go. I love it!”

After some contemplation, I am endeavouring to answer the

question that has been asked several times by clients who are

experiencing health related issues due to stress. I feel it is a valid

question and deserves an informed answer.

So let us take a look at the Autonomic Nervous System, (ANS for

short or even “A”) which has its nuclei within the Central Nervous

System. The autonomic nerve connections, from their central

control within the central nervous system to their destination

organs or organ systems, all include two nerve cells.

1. The body of the central nerve cell, is in the central nervous


2. The body of the second nerve cell is located in its respective

ganglion outside of that system.

Now I have probably lost you!

Wait, now how does this relate to you and your super human

system that loves to go go go….

The Autonomic Nervous System, and we all have one even you, is

divided into two parts.

They are called the Sympathetic Nervous System and the

Parasympathetic Nervous System. The Sympathetic Ganglia are

located near the spine and the Parasympathetic ganglia are

located near the end organs.

SNS roots exit the spinal cord in its thoracic and lumbar regions.

PSN is also called the craniosacral division because its nerve roots

exit the central nervous system from the brain stem, and from the

sacral end of the spinal cord.

Exquisite cool and serene lake during a Trek in the Dolomiti, Italia, 2016

Let us familiarize ourselves with the SNS since it is the part that

helps you perform superhuman tasks when some part of your

brain decides that you must do it. The SNS has little or no concern

with the long-term effects of its demands, it only wants to get you

through the moment. Often times the Sympathetic is called into

action on a daily basis without being allowed to express that

energy that it has procured for the perceived excessive demand.

And we are an excessive culture, are we not?

This situation, when repeated over and over, results in an

elevated baseline of activity for the SNS.

The result of this Sympathetic hyperactivity is Chronic Stress.

This level of stress then produces all kinds of stress related

health problems, such as ulcers of the stomach and/or bowel, high

blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol,

coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

So you see, the SNS lacks foresight. It spends your reserves to get

you through the day or specific situation. It seems not to worry

about replacement of the energy that it has spent or which it is

chronically spending, as happens in the case of chronic increased

stress. Look at it this way. If you spend all the money in your bank

account, but do not take the necessary measures to deposit any

money into your account you will not have money available to

spend. So what do we do. We go into debt. We use our credit card.

We borrow from the bank. Now if we continually pay off the debts

as we go along we keep our stress level balanced but if we let the

debt carry on until it is out of control we create a stressful

situation. At this point, it may be beneficial to see your

Autonomic Nervous system as your personal bank account.

Now, on the other side of the coin we have the parasympathetic

nervous system, which has the job of restoring the energy

reserves to safe levels after the SNS has spent them so freely.

Essentially, the PNS is trying to keep up with these free-spending

habits of the “S”. The spending habits of the “S” may vary with

your personality. If you are chronically angry, fearful, guilty, etc.,

the chances are that your “S” will be chronically in a hyperalert

and hyperactive state. If you are relaxed, secure, happy and

accepting, your “S” baseline activity level will be lower, and

therefore easier for the PNS to balance.

Peaceful moment at Lago di Garda, Italia, 2016

These techniques include many forms of mind-body integration

work such as, Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Biodynamic Craniosacral

Therapy, Biofeedback, Trauma Resolution, Meditation, and any

direct connection with the natural world, such as a walk in nature.

Now you can stop here, or you can go on and discover the specifics

of ANS influence on the Organs and organ systems.

The whole body is strongly influenced by both the “S” and the “P”

divisions of the ANS.

When stimulated, the sympathetic nerves:

1. increase heart rate

2. increase blood flow to the heart muscle

3. increase blood flow to the skeletal muscle

4. increase skeletal muscle strength and performance

5. reduce blood flow to the skin

6. reduce blood flow to all other organs

7. reduce conscious thought processes in higher brain centers

8. shut down digestive processes

9. shut down peristalsis (intestinal activity)

10. shut down kidney function

11. open the bronchi

12. raise blood sugar and so on.

You get the idea. All processes that are not necessary for the

immediate activity are inhibited.

Even healing that is in process is shut down!

The Parasympathetic nerves, when active:

1. Slow the heart rate

2. Lower blood pressure

3. Open the blood vessels to the skin and to the internal organs


4. Stimulate the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal system,

enhancing peristalsis, digestion and elimination.

5. Allow for conscious thought processes in higher brain

centers “Neurons that wire together fire together”

Most glands secrete when the “P” starts performing. The

Adrenals Glands, however are slowed by the “P” nerves.

Adrenals help the “S” system. All parasympathetic activities

favor anabolic activity. That is, they favor the absorption of

nutrients and calories and their conversion to stored energy

and/ or the formation of protein building blocks.

So, you can see that the “P” is charged with the restoration of the

body after the “S” has spent all it’s reserve, ie. energy and bodily

stores as needed in crisis situations.

The result is, you’ve got it !


"So slow it down,

so that you have the reserve energy to speed it up and still stay Healthy and Balanced."



© 2018 Craniosacral Therapy Vancouver

Photography By

Marco Badalian www.kuaphotography.com | Stasia Garraway www.stasia-gphotography.com