The autonomic nervous system is the one that reacts when the body sees a potential threat. This system is composed of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. While it is the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for stimulating the fight or flight response in the body, the parasympathetic nervous system is the one that controls the rest and relaxation response of the body.
All people will experience muscle weakness and trembling after perceived danger has passed. This is because of the parasympathetic nervous system kicking into action. Once the perceived danger has passed and no threat is seen, the parasympathetic nervous system begins working. On the other hand, when danger is perceived, the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for fighting the danger or running away from it by stimulating the secretion of adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones help to enhance the heart rate, slow down the digestive process and shunt blood to major muscles of the body.
When the danger has passed, the relaxation response begins. During this response, the sympathetic nervous system returns to normal with the help of the parasympathetic nervous system. The heart rate begins to slow down, blood pressure returns to normal, digestive process begins and the levels of hormones return to normal.
It is then that the blood flow comes back to normal and no longer is excess blood sent to the muscles. Hence, it is common for people to experience muscle weakness at this stage. Once the perceived danger passes, it is normal for people to feel that their legs can no longer hold them. They need to sit down. This is because the parasympathetic nervous system is working and no longer does the body feels the need to run away from the danger or make a stand against the danger. Hence, this is how parasympathetic nervous system and muscle weakness are linked and associated.
However, the parasympathetic nervous system does not react in case of chronic stress and anxiety. This leads to constant high levels of stress hormones and the body is constantly in the state of flight or fight response. This is extremely detrimental and can create a lot of health problems. To ensure that the parasympathetic nervous system is working optimally, it is advisable that people resort to relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, to alleviate the stress and ensure that everything in the body is working normally. This may cause some muscle weakness in the beginning when the parasympathetic nervous system begins working, but it will soon pass away.
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