Our Remarkable Capacity For Self Healing

Nervous System

There is an incredible mechanism within our body that’s key to switching on our ability for self healing- whatever it is you wish to begin healing, be it poor health, fatigue, mental or emotional turmoil. When we understand this mechanism it makes it easier to see how we have the power to affect internal change.

The role of the nervous system

The sympathetic nervous system governs the stress response and the parasympathetic nervous system governs the calming and healing response of the body. The sympathetic nervous system evolved to prepare us to take necessary action when needed – the  mammalian part of the brain is always on the lookout for new or potentially dangerous experiences. 

Sympathetic Nervous System

A threat, emergency or even just a little stress triggers the body for action through the signals from the sympathetic nervous system. This system modulates heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and release of adrenaline through glandular stimulation.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

This acts in opposition to the sympathetic system by calming down the response to stress, giving the body a chance to heal and repair itself. It lowers heart rate, respiration and blood pressure restoring peace and regulating energy. Often called the “rest and digest” or “heal and repair” function.

These two responses cannot work at the same time. This is what is important to understand as when one is switched on the other is switched off. When we deliberately switch on the parasympathetic response the fight or flight response stops. Of course the body still needs to process what has been stirred up but we are now taking back control over our body’s reactions and enabling the systems and organs to begin normal functioning again.

How do we do this?

Anything that is deeply relaxing. We can target it specifically through various types of breath-work which I have written about elsewhere. At the foot of this post is the breathing audio I did last year that takes you through this process.

On the “Why Am I So Tired?” course learn several ways in which you could switch on the healing response of the body and begin to undo the havoc stress may have wrought upon your body. Link below.



Published by Catherine Strang

I have been passionate about health and well-being since my teenage years when a health problem prompted me to use diet to regain my strength. By the end of the 80's I was working as a chef in a Rudolf Steiner based vegetarian cafe in Edinburgh and this led me (through working with some very alternatives types!) to pursue a career as a massage therapist and healer, which I began in 1990. Since then I have trained in many different forms of therapy, including Hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), EmoTrance (a form of deeply mindful emotional processing). I retired completely from bodywork in 2017 and at present only occasionally work as a 1:1 therapist. My focus now is teaching and I have been doing this since 1991 when I taught Aromatherapy and massage courses for the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme, by the time I finished these courses in 2000 I had also taught aromatherapy/massage sessions across Edinburgh in Community Centers, Health Projects and a variety of other non profit organisations. By this time however I was beginning to develop Stress Management and later Meditation and personal development courses/sessions and was including corporate settings as well as private teaching events. The list of places I have taught in is extensive and over the past three decades I've no doubt forgotten quite a few! I am dedicated to personal development, health and meditation and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to each session. I am well aware of the struggles, often hidden from work colleagues, that many go through during the course of their life and endeavor always to be kind, non-intrusive and in a work setting discreet.

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