Exploring the Fundamentals of the Human Nervous System
In elementary school, most people learn about the nervous system. They learn about how it controls everything you do including breathing, movement, thinking, and feeling and how it is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. However, unless you take an advanced biology or chemistry class in high school, or an anatomy course in college, this is usually where the level of understanding caps off.
Four Key Elements of Nervous System Functionality
The human nervous system is made up of a myriad of different cell types, each with their own reactions and purposes. You could realistically spend years learning about each of the individual processes that explain why these cells have evolved to be the way they are and how each molecule in the body interacts with them to elicit certain reactions. However, to garner an accurate birds eye view of how this system works, you really just need to know these four things.
- Almost all of our cells can generate electricity (1)
- Electrical signals are the basis of all information transfer in the nervous system (2)
- Transmission of those signals can break down (3)
- When transmission breaks down, things do not work the way they are supposed to
A fantastic example of this can be seen when doctors use ECG machines to look at the activity of the heart. In a healthy body, the brain is always sending signals to keep the heart beating. The brain sends the signal through a channel made up of cells specialized for rapid communication of information through electricity called neurons. These neurons bring that signal from the brain, to the heart muscle, which then contracts accordingly.
When that signal does not reach the heart or the brain sends an incorrect series of signals, this is where the heart muscles can stop working like they’re meant to. This causes contractions that can result in arrhythmias (or, abnormal heartbeats), which can sometimes cause escalating health problems down the line.
The Role of Electrical Signaling
In addition to keeping our bodies running properly, electrical signaling also allows us to quickly react to changes in the environment (4). For example, if you put your hand on a hot stove, your nervous system will quickly send that information up to the brain through electrical impulses and subsequently, your brain will send signals back down the arm, telling your body to pull your hand back.
Electrical signals generated by even just one singular cell, have the capability to create a response in their neighboring cells both electrically and chemically. In recent years, doctors have attempted to utilize this system to manage a wide variety of diseases. Specifically, electricity has been used in the management of pain, movement disorders, and even certain neurological diseases such as epilepsy (5).
Pain Relief Through NeuroTherapy: Addressing Communication Breakdowns
One of these such applications can be seen in the NeuroTherapy process conducted by ARPwave. Utilizing a machine that creates the same type of current the body naturally uses, along with a variety of therapy protocols, ARPwave uses this system to help ensure that the body is working the way it is supposed to.
One of the most common applications of NeuroTherapy is in regards to pain relief. When there’s a breakdown in communication, frequently after an injury, the body will find another way to continue functioning by giving the duties of the injured area to a “substitute”. Unfortunately, long term, this can cause pain in the “substitute” area and cascade into additional problems if the body never returns ownership of those duties after the injury is healed.
NeuroTherapy uses electrical signals to re-route that communication back to what it was prior to the injury. This prevents strain to the area of the body not meant to bear the force and returns the body back to its factory settings. This then allows the “substitute” area to heal and recuperate, lessening and often times, even eliminating the pain entirely.
If you or someone you know experiences pain on a regular basis, please reach out to one of our therapists today to see how ARPwave NeuroTherapy could work for you.
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