How old is your central nervous system?
Sounds like a bizarre question right?
But bear with me –
Your CNS includes your brain and your spinal cord. And together, these powerhouses control EVERYTHING about you. Your spinal cord gets information from your skin, muscles, and joints about what’s happening in the environment and how your body is moving and sends that info up to the brain. The brain takes that info, plus everything it gets from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, organs and everything else – and decides what your body should be doing.
The noggin sends signals down to the spine and every where else through nerve impulses. The more efficient your CNS, the faster the communications take place and the quicker your body follows the instructions of the brain. But a slow CNS means it takes time for your nerves and signals to communicate, for the muscles to respond and for your body to follow directions quickly.
That means your ability to move, think, breath, talk, remember – all comes from your CNS.
So what happens if you touch something hot? A fast CNS will send lightning fast signals to get you away from danger. But a slow CNS will take a few extra moments to communicate – giving you third degree burns.
It’s a pretty darn important system in your body. And we all too often take it for granted.
Just like we can overwork our muscles with too much training and too little rest – we can overwork out CNS. And the more overworked your CNS becomes, the faster it ages and the slower it processes.
So what overworks your CNS?
Too much stimulation (like constant stress, constant alertness), too many physical demands and not enough R&R.
So how old is your CNS? Does it move like an old geezer or is it young and flexible like a youth in their prime?
Here is a quick (and questionably reliable) test to see how your CNS functions over time.
The tapping test.
Grab a pencil.
Make as many dots on a piece of paper as you can in 10 seconds.
Count the dots.
And repeat every day – compare each day to the next.
So why does this weird little test work?
Our fingers are filled with nerves. And since they are at the extremity of the body – it’s a simple way to measure how quickly your nerves fire, communicate and respond. How fast you can take in information, process it, and then get your body to respond.
If your tapping numbers start increasing – that’s where the magic is. Because that’s one way to see that you’re caring for your body.
If your tapping numbers stay stable, you’re probably doing alright (assuming your numbers are decent to begin with).
But if your tapping numbers start dropping from day to day – that’s a sign that something in your system is starting to breakdown. And it’s a good time to slow down the training, increase the nutrients and spend far more time recovering.
So how do you repair your aging CNS?
Try one of these tips:
First and foremost. Ease back in your training, spend a lot more time foam rolling, resting, massaging or just easing those joints and muscles back into healthy suppleness.
It’s a necessary regulator of your CNS. Because our CNS regulates our sleep cycles, we need high does of Vitamin D to regulate our circadian rhythms and train our nerves when it’s time for them to rest and recover (like when you’re sleeping). Make sure you’re getting at least 15 minutes per day.
3. Medicinal Plants:
These can act as natural relaxants or boosters of the nervous system. They help restore your nerve functions back to optimal levels just by the ingredients found in them.
- Lemon balm
Now this one seems strange – but it actually works. The tapping test is an effective test because your fingertips have tons of nerve sensors at the extremity of the body – so your nerve signals have to travel a far away to get those fingers to move. Writing requires all the components of your conscious motor and sensory pathways – all controlled by your spinal cord. And your brain has to produce great precision and coordination to create legible letters on paper.
So to train your nervous system to fire more effectively, you can practice using those pathways with great attention and concentration. Spend 15 minutes per day writing – pencil to paper to train your brain and spinal cord to work together effectively.
But if you aren’t into writing, maybe you can just master this tapping art form to practice:
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