Friday, January 4, 2019

Autoregulation

by Darryl Gomes, Certified Athletic Therapist, Osteopathic Thesis Writer

Happy 2019 to everyone! I hope that the new year brings about changes that promote a healthier and active lifestyle for you!

In my series of osteopathic blogs, I would like to introduce you to the osteopathic tenet of "Autoregulation". To remind you of the osteopathic tenets, they are:
  • Structure Governs Function
  • The Rule of the Artery is Absolute
  • Autoregulation
  • The Body as a Functional Unit

What is Autoregulation?

Autoregulation is a concept that refers to how the body balances all of the internal chemical and physical processes in order to work at an optimal level. 

What are Examples of Autoregulation?

Let's say you have a stressful day at work, where you have important reports that need to be completed by the end of the day. Mentally, you are feeling the stress of the situation. Your body responds to the stress by releasing the hormone adrenaline which will get your body to raise your heart rate, blood pressure and release glucose (stored energy in your body) so your body has energy. Once the stressful situation has ended, your body will go back to a more relaxed state. 

Another example would be how your body fights off colds during the winter months. When you get infected, your body's immune system will trigger the release of white blood cells and antibodies necessary to fight off the foreign invaders in order for you to return back to a healthy state.

How Does the Body Achieve Autoregulation?

Your body is constantly trying to maintain balance in order for you to function optimally, so it needs to be treated properly:
  • Eating a balanced meal that includes more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods gives your body the fuel that it needs to run efficiently.
  • Making sure to drink lots of water (not just coffee or tea). Anywhere between 2-3L/day is ideal, as your body constantly needs to flush waste by-products.
  • Exercise to strengthen your cardiovascular and muscular systems, so that your body is strong enough to handle physical and emotional stress. You need at least 20 minutes a day of some form of moderate exercise.
Meditation and rest in order to help your mind achieve a sense of stillness and well being.

How Can Osteopathy Help with Autoregulation?

If you are already doing the above mentioned tips, then you are well on your way to achieving a healthier "you". 

However, if your body has been stressed for a long period of time and you have noticed that you experience body aches, headaches, lack of focus, and digestive issues, your body may need osteopathic treatment. Osteopathy can help to:
  • Reduce tensions on any areas of the digestive system, so that the body can properly process food into energy.
  • Help with postural alignment, as spinal misalignments can put pressure & undue stress on the visceral contents through poor weight distribution. Additionally, the nerves that travel from the misaligned spinal segments can prevent signals from travelling to various organs & body parts, creating inefficiency.
  • Cranio-sacral work can help the brain to express itself better if cranial nerves are free of restrictions allowing for better cognitive functions.
If you have any questions about this tenet, or osteopathy in general, feel free to email me at:

darryl@naturopathicfoundations.ca

Thank you for reading my blog. The next blog will be covering the last osteopathic tenet "The Body as a Functional Unit".

Stay active!