Nervous System

nervous system components

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

It is made up of:

  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • nerves

Subdivision of the Nervous System

The nervous system, initially, can be divided into the Central Nervous system (CNS), which is made of the Brain and Spinal Cord and the Perhiperic Nervous System (PNS), which consists of nerves that connect the CNS to the rest of the body.

In more detail, the PNS can be divided into Sensory Neurons and Motor Neurons, the Motor Neurons can be divided into Somatic Neurons and Autonomic Neurons, and finally, this last is divided into the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems.

nervous system components

The function of the Nervous System

The nervous system can also be defined by its functionality.

For this subdivision, we have three categories:

  • Sensory Affarent function
  • Integrative function
  • Motor Efferent Function

The afferent function is characterised by a signal that travels to the brain from the PNS. The integrative part analyses the sensory information, stores some aspects, and makes
decisions regarding appropriate behaviours. The Motor does respond to the stimulus by initiating an action.

The Nervous System is made of Neurons.

Neurons carry messages to and from different parts of the body.

To be functional, neurons need three components:

  • Oxygen
  • Stimulation
  • Food

Neurons can start within the brain and travel down to the spine or can begin with the peripheric portion of the body and travel to the spine and brain next.

Either way, the information can travel in one direction only. For afferent neurons, the direction is from the peripheric body portion to the brain, and the efferent is from the CNS or Brain to the peripheric part.

Synapses connect neurons. The Synapse is the space where information is exchanged between two neurons.

For a signal to be transmitted along a neuron, a chemical reaction has to happen within the neuron cell. This chemical reaction is better known as Action Potential.

Once an Action Potential is started, an electric signal, within the order of mV would be transmitted from the Neuron cell to the opposite end, called Axon Terminal.

At The Axon Terminal, the neurotransmitter would be passed and sent to the next neuron, receiving those substances through the receptors on its cell membrane.

This is just a simplification of how communication between two neurons happens.

In reality, there are variations to this communication methodology, and not always does the communication succeed.

The NS is responsible for the following:

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

The Sympathetic and Para-Sympathetic NS.

The  Autonomic NS 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.


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).

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.

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 understanding 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, or when the sensitivity of a patch of skin is not so accurate.

MLD and Nervous System

Another technique, such as MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage), plays 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.

Physical or mental pathologies 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 assisting 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 a vital role in the well-being of the body, mind and nervous system.

Feel stressed and need to release some tension? Book now your next massage at Melbourne Massage and Treatment.





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