EFT and the Nervous System

In my training as an EFT practitioner, we learn and talk a lot about the nervous system. If you have worked one on one or attended a group session with me, you will often hear me refer to calming the nervous system. But what exactly does that mean?

I thought it would be a good idea to share some information about the nervous system and how to recognise signs that your nervous system might be dysregulated or out of balance due to life stressors.

I hope you find the information useful and are able to see the importance in making the time to calm the nervous system.

The Autonomic Nervous System: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic

Our Nervous System 

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It controls much of what you think and feel and what your body does. It allows you to do things like walk, speak, swallow, breathe and learn. It also controls how the body reacts in an emergency.

The nervous system consists of two main parts:

  • The central nervous system
  • The peripheral nervous system

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is part of the peripheral nervous system.

The Autonomic Nervous System

A part of the nervous system, called the autonomic nervous system, controls a lot of the body processes we don’t think about, like breathing, sweating or shivering.There are 2 parts to the autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system, which controls how you respond in an emergency (it makes your heartbeat faster and causes you to release adrenaline), and the parasympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for rest.

They work together to manage how the body responds to our changing environment and needs. For example, if you are in danger, your sympathetic nervous system will switch on and prepare your body for fight or flight (stress response). However, when you are in deep relaxation your parasympathetic nervous system has switched on enabling your body for rest and digest (relaxation response).

A healthy, regulated nervous system can efficiently switch between the stress response (sympathetic nervous system) and relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) as needed.

Dysregulated nervous system

Signs of a dysregulated nervous system?

So, what does it mean to have a dysregulated nervous system?

A dysregulated nervous system is one that is in chronic stress (fight/flight/freeze) and the sympathatic nervous system is switched on almost permanently. 

Life stressors such as chronic stress, trauma, and illness can lead to nervous system dysregulation.

The signs of a dysregulated nervous system include;

  • Elevated or irregular heart rate
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Nausea or feeling ‘off’
  • Short of breath
  • Feeling frozen or ‘stuck’
  • Sweating
  • Feeling on edge
  • Feeling overstimulated
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritable bowel
  • Food cravings/overeating/appetite changes
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Irritable mood or snapping at people
  • Depression

Chronic Stress

Stress is a normal part of life but once it becomes chronic, it can cause many problems, including a dysregulated nervous system.

The above Stress Bucket analogy clip explains the basics of stress in a simple way, using a water and bucket analogy to illustrate how everyone has a different level of tolerance to stress before the nervous system begins to become dysregulated. The clip also mentions the importance of having different ‘taps’ to let the water out and regulate the nervous system.
EFT and meditation and two excellent evidence-based tools we can use on a daily basis to regulate our nervous system.

The Relaxation Response – EFT & Meditation

EFT and Meditation affect the body in exactly the opposite way that stress does—by triggering the body’s relaxation response. It restores the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself and preventing new damage from the physical effects of stress.

When your body is able to turn down the sympathetic nervous system and switch into the parasympathetic nervous system, it is then able to begin to repair and heal. This is why the many benefits of EFT & meditation include reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.

So, how do you release stress to regulate your nervous system? There are many effective ways to do this, and hopefully by understanding how the nervous system works, you now understand the importance of having different ‘taps’ to manage life stressors and chronic stress.

Daniella Goranic

About Daniella Goranic

Daniella Goranic is a qualified advanced Emotional Freedom Technique and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner. She also teaches meditation and offers group meditation and EFT workshops.

Logos of Accredited Advanced Practitioner by EFT International and Member at Institute for Complementary Therapists

Daniella Goranic
EFT & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
111 Dartford Rd
Thornleigh NSW 2120