Nervous System

nervous system components

Overview of the Nervous System

The Nervous System (NS) is what controls the voluntary and automatic functions of the body.

It is made up of:

  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • nerves

When we say that it controls the body’s automatic response, we refer to reactions to emergency response.

The nervous system is made up of:

  • the central nervous system, (CNS) which consists of the brain and spinal cord
  • the peripheral nervous system, (PNS) which consists of nerves that connect the CNS to the rest of the body

nervous system components

Each component of the Nervous System can be broken down into separate parts.

For example, the brain includes:

  • cerebrum
  • cerebellum
  • thalamus
  • hypothalamus
  • brainstem

The spinal cord carries motor and sensory signals between the brain and nerves.

  • Nerve trunk
  • Nerve roots (bilaterally)

The spinal cord also contains separate circuits for many reflexes.

Along those separate circuits, we have the peripheral nerves, who carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body.

  • Motor pathways carry messages from the brain to the muscles so we can move.
  • Sensory pathways detect things such as light, sound, and touch and carry information about these to the brain.

Mainly, the NS is made up of cells called neurons.

Neurons are responsible for carrying messages to and from different parts of the body.

Indeed, neurons are connected, and to other cells, by synapses, which carry electrical signals, and neurotransmitters, that work as the body’s chemical messengers.

Nervous System functions.

The NS is responsible for:

  • memory, learning and intelligence
  • movement
  • controls the organs’ functions:
    – heart beating
    – breathing
    – digestion
    – sweating
  • the senses:
    – sight
    – hear
    – taste
    – touch
    – smell

On the other hand, we have a part of the NS that is called, Automatic NS, and it’s made of the Sympathetic and Para-Sympathetic NS.

The  ANS controls the body parts we don’t have to think about it, like breathing, sweating or shivering, indeed the main organs.

The SNS controls how we respond to emergencies.


Like it makes our heart beat faster and causes the release of adrenaline.

Where, the parasympathetic nervous system, prepares the body for rest (for example, when we go to sleep).

Both the PSNS and the SNS work together to manage the body’s responses to our changing environment and needs.

Massage and Nervous System

As massage or manual therapy is a direct stimulus of the body, it plays a role in the response of the NS.

If we look at massage techniques, like Myotherapy, which currently Melbourne Massage and Treatment offers at The Health Collective, on 5/200 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, does intervene to release nerve entrapment along the nerve path.

What can happen, is due to genetic factors, muscle tensions, and bulge disk nerves can get trapped along the way.

Using the different testing approaches, such as Myotome and Dermatome, Giovanni can guide you through the understanding of where the nerve got entrapped or pinched.

But this type of work is mainly for conditions where physically the nerve is involved in pour functionality.

An example can be when someone has poor strength, on one hand, compared to the other one, or when the sensitivity of a patch of skin, is not so accurate.

Another technique, such as MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage), plays indeed a role in the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

An MLD treatment is profoundly relaxing, as it calms the nervous system, reduces pain and restores balance.

This happens because of the mechanic repetitive movement used during the technique. There for, no pain has to be replicated during the treatment, or the SNS gets activated, as per pain response, and the body goes into “alarm” mode.

Different pathologies, physical or mental, can play a crucial role in the functionality of the nervous system, and techniques like MLD or Massage therapy generally, can help in reducing symptoms and helping in overcoming pain and body dysfunctions.

Along the mental conditions, we find Anxiety or Depression too.

In conclusion, any Massage Therapy or Manual Therapy, including Thai Massage, Remedial Massage, MLD and or Myotherapy are great tools to release the tension in the body and improve the status of the nervous system.

On the other hand, breathing, as per already disgust in the breathing wave blogs (Blog 1, Blog 2) plays to a key role in the well-being of the body, mind and nervous system.





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