10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy Autonomic Nervous System

Everyone is looking for ways to stay healthy. Maybe it’s to stay ahead of a potential cold that shows up right before the big vacation – maybe it’s to increase energy and overall well being – or maybe it’s to release the feelings of stress and anxiety that always seem to be chasing them. 

For any of these use cases, it starts with the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Specifically, we will look at how the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) side controls essential automatic body processes such as heart rate, metabolism and breathing rate. The better you balance your ANS, specifically improving how your parasympathetic nervous system runs, the better you feel. The resulting relaxation can increase your ability to recover faster.

<<See how Heart Rate Variability assessments can measure your Autonomic Nervous System>> 

Most people don’t realize where they can start to regulate and monitor their ANS health. So, how do you hack this internal system to work its best? We can think of ten ways you can regulate stress and improve relaxation by activating your parasympathetic nervous system.

10 Ways to Improve Your Parasympathetic Nervous System

1. Manage Your Stress

The primary solution to activating your PSNS is stress management, as stress can directly affect the autonomic process that governs the body. Stress management can vary from person to person, so the primary strategy is to discover what works for you, specifically. How do you prefer to relax? Schedule that into your day. Whether that means running, dancing, reading, or napping – do what works best for you.

2. Try Meditation

Meditation can take on many forms. As a form of light exercise, meditation or yoga can decrease reactivity to stress outside our control and help you decompress. It can help us manage our triggers but also has strong physical properties. Meditation’s effects on your body can include reducing breathing rates, slowing the heart, and decreasing blood pressure.

3. Take Time to Breathe

Similar to meditation, breathing exercises are a key way to activate PSNS responses. Intentional breath control tells the body that things are okay while strengthening your lungs, improving your immune system, and decreasing your heart rate. We recommend inhaling for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 5 seconds and then exhaling for 5 seconds. Do this 10 times.

4. Add Light Exercise to Routines

Intensive exercise can often stimulate the heart rate and might even send you into a stressed state, but light cardio exercises can have a calming effect on the heart as your PSNS kicks in. The trick is to find a balance between heavier and lighter activity to get the heart rate at a balance that allows the PSNS to regulate properly.

5. Regulate Your Nutrition

Good nutrition can help the body maintain a level of fitness while reducing stress. The body can regulate pressure better with fewer stimulants such as caffeine and sugar. A PSNS-supporting diet can be a significant way to contribute to the body’s automatic processes.

6. Add a Daily Probiotic

Probiotics, the nutritional supplements we associate with gut health and yogurt drinks, can cultivate healthy intestinal bacteria and stimulate the nervous system. The guts are one of the most common access points to let the outside world inside the body. What goes in, and the culture of bacteria that lives within each person, can affect other parts of the body.

7. Protect Your Sleep

Sleep is obviously vital to health and recovery. Anyone becomes quickly aware when their sleep schedule is off, or they are suffering from a lack of sleep. During this rest and recovery state, blood flow increases to your muscles which provides the oxygen and nutrients necessary to repair your body and produce an incredible effect on the parasympathetic nervous system.

8. Seek Out Therapy

Anxiety triggers may be something that requires a non-physical form of therapy. A professional therapist can help uncover those triggers that are putting undue stress on the body. By combining coping strategies and mental health treatment with strong physical therapy, one’s quality of life (and PSNS) can sharply rise.

9. Track Heart Rate Variability

Whether you are measuring your HRV with a wearable device or a clinical system, heart rate variability is a great way to establish a baseline for your “fight or flight” and “rest or relax” status. NeuPTtech’s unique clinical diagnosis tool monitors a patient’s HRV score before and after training or physical therapy so that clinicians can adjust programs of care in real-time that complement the patient’s current PSNS state. 

10. Add NEUBIE Training to Your PT

NEUBIE therapy is a form of electrostimulation that can help recharge your batteries. This therapy directly stimulates muscles and joints in recovery and taps into the specific areas of your nervous system that need help. This technology is utilized by the best physical therapy practices to increase the effectiveness of the parasympathetic nervous system.

To learn more about how physical therapy technology can activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, NeuPTtech has the resources and tools to help.

Request an exploratory session today!

Physical Therapy Technology Options
Jason Waz
Jason Waz has always been a pioneer in the use of technology in Physical Therapy. It's what led him to found his company, NeuPT Technologies with his mission to bring the field of PT into the next generation through science, research and innovation. The NEUBIE device is the flagship product that was the inspiration for the company. As a “blue ocean” product, it has untapped potential in the PT marketplace. The positive effects the electrical stimulation device has had on every patient it has touched has paved a path for innovation awards in the near future and incredible patient outcomes in the meantime.  From a personal business growth standpoint, when Jason added this technology to his business, it increased revenue to record levels every single month with an improvement of over 56% compared to the prior 5 year average. Additionally, cash pay increased more than 200% over the same time period. This same growth has been proven to be achievable by any practice that adopts this technology. Interested in getting similar results? Let's chat!

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