Nervous System Regulation - A How To Guide

Nervous System Regulation - A How To Guide

If you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of emotional trauma, take this PTSD test online or speak to a Care Advocate now directly by calling (908) 293-7559.


Recently there has been increased interest in the link between trauma exposure and brain and body health, with a focus on the nervous system and brain over-activity.  A new willingness to open up about mental health struggles has collectively lowered mental health stigma and shifted the conversation around the cause of debilitating symptoms and how to best treat them.

The nervous system plays a crucial role in your everyday life; it's responsible for biological functions like heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, sleep cycles, and more. 

Understanding how the nervous system impacts your mental health is essential in recognizing the signs your nervous system is healing and the efficacy of new treatment options.

In this article, we'll explore the important role the nervous system plays, how the nervous system works, how to heal a dysregulated nervous system, and two new treatment options for regulating your nervous system. 



What is the nervous system?

The nervous system is a crucial component of the human body. It controls a number of both voluntary and involuntary critical functions in the body, receives and processes information, and sends signals to activate responses - like reaching for a glass of water when you're thirsty. The nervous system is responsible for sensory processing, motor control, cognitive function, emotional regulation, internal system control, and maintaining system balance ("homeostasis").

The nervous system receives information from the body, processes that information, and sends signals to control movement, maintain a stable internal environment, and support our ability to think, remember, and concentrate. It also controls various bodily functions, including circulation, digestion, heart rate, and many others. It does this through a combination of signals that are sent between neurons and other specialized cells.

What are the different nervous systems?

Our nervous system is broken up into two parts, the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for activating the body's "fight or flight" response in the face of a perceived threat or danger. This response involves the release of hormones like adrenaline, increased heart rate, and a boost in energy, all of which help prepare the body to respond to a perceived threat.



The parasympathetic nervous system is the other branch of the autonomic nervous system and is responsible for the body's "rest and digest" response. The parasympathetic nervous system helps keep the body calm and relaxed and is especially active during rest and recovery periods. This is the opposite of the fight or flight response and involves functions like digestion, healing, and growth. 

A healthy body has a nervous system that is in balance - where both the sympathetic system is activated in response to real threats in the environment, followed by an efficient recovery through the "rest and recover" function of the parasympathetic system.

What could cause a dysregulated nervous system?

The nervous system can become dysregulated through various means, such as trauma, chronic stress, infection, neurological disorders, and environmental and genetic factors. 

These can lead to various physical and mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. Dysregulation in the nervous system can also affect bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and respiration. Recognizing signs your nervous system is healing is essential in understanding the impact of dysregulation and finding effective solutions for improving your well-being.

Sometimes, it's hard for us to see that our nervous system may be out of balance, but it's important that we make the connection that dysregulation has an impact on our emotional health and life quality. Many symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system can be misidentified or ignored depending on our lifestyle, environment, beliefs, and more.

It's important to discuss any new traumatic events or environmental changes with your medical provider when mentioning new symptoms you've noticed. This can help your provider get a clearer picture of the potential link between your situation and your symptoms.

How to regulate your nervous system?

There are various lifestyle factors that can help heal the nervous system. 

With many of these habits or behaviors, time and dedication play a pivotal role in healing. Finding the best path may take some trial and error, and that's okay. It's important to understand which nervous system regulation techniques will work best for you. 



Here are 4 ways to regulate the nervous system:

  • Mindfulness Practices: deep breathing, meditation, exercise, and yoga
  • Diet and Nutrition: eating a "rainbow" of colorful foods, eating regular, moderately sized meals
  • Social Support: ensuring regular contact with those you care about, expanding into new friendships throughout life
  • Medical Support: having regular sessions with a mental health provider can help you learn new tools and skills along with receiving treatment recommendations like the Dual Sympathetic Reset, ketamine infusion therapy, or medication management. 

What treatments help calm the overactive nervous system?

Stella uses multiple approaches when helping regulate the nervous system through individual treatments or a multimodality treatment approach. Our dysregulated nervous system treatment options include:

The dual sympathetic reset, an advanced stellate ganglion block, interacts with the sympathetic nervous system to help restore normal biological function and can efficiently address many of the most severe symptoms associated with emotional trauma. 

Ketamine infusion is a quick, innovative, and promising treatment for those looking for care right now. Ketamine IV infusion, the most common type of ketamine treatment, has been shown to be effective in treating mental-health-related conditions within hours.

After Treatment by Stella, patients may be recommended to engage in talk therapy, therapy curriculums, or reintegration sessions with licensed providers to further their healing.

What happens once you re-regulate your nervous system?

Once you have successfully re-regulated your nervous system, you may experience a range of positive effects. Some possible benefits of a well-regulated nervous system may include improved mental and emotional well-being, reduced anxiety, improved mood, better physical health, improved sleep quality, and increased ability to focus and concentrate.

Re-regulating the nervous system through Treatment by Stella can positively impact your physical and mental health, leading to greater well-being and quality of life. 

Similar to physical health, maintaining healthy habits and prioritizing your mental health care is necessary. Ongoing support and care can help you maintain relief, just like attending physical therapy to heal from a torn muscle or broken bone.


If you want to learn more about Treatment by Stella or schedule an assessment with our trauma-informed Advanced Practice Providers, call our Care Advocate Team now: (908) 293-7559.

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