The nerve system is responsible for every activity that our body performs. It integrates the activity of every cell, tissue, and organ system in the body. Nerves act as bundles of wires that carry signals in order to transmit information. These signals, known as nerve impulses, regulate and integrate the activities of the body.
The firing of nerve impulses strengthens and develops the pathways along which they travel. This process allows us to learn, move, feel, and think. The nerve system plays a critical role in supplying information to the brain. Millions of bits of information are gathered from every part of the body and travel through the spinal cord to the brain. Without this input of nerve supply, the brain cannot function properly.
Movement is an important fuel for the brain. It directly affects the molecular machinery of the brain, increasing neurons’ creation, survival, and resistance to damage and stress. Proprioception, the body’s ability to be aware of its position in space, is an essential function of the nervous system. It allows us to perform basic actions such as walking and swinging a bat.
The majority of information traveling through the nerve system is below the surface. Trillions of bits of information flow through our nerves, but we are only consciously aware of around fifty at any given time. Proper function of the nerve system and proprioception is crucial for good health.
The nerve system is responsible for handling stress, which can come from chemical, physical, or mental sources. When the body encounters stress, it releases stress hormones. This response is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are the initiators of the body’s stress response.
Being stressed and being in a state of healing and repair are two separate states. When the body is in a state of stress, it prepares for activity by tearing tissue down, preparing to burn energy, and preparing to move. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for this response. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest and repair. It is activated during times of safety for healing, tissue repair, and reproduction.
Research has shown the influence of the nerve system on the immune and endocrine systems. Improved nerve system function benefits the immune system, and every immune organ in the body is influenced by communication from the nerve system. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illness.
In conclusion, the nerve system plays a vital role in the functioning of the body. It regulates and integrates every activity, strengthens pathways, supplies information to the brain, and handles stress. Proper function of the nerve system and proprioception is essential for good health.
Written by Dr. Jesse Davis