Checking for Autonomic Nervous System Regulation

Autonomic nervous system regulation is the ability of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) to change in accordance with the demands that are placed upon it.  In the last section we discussed the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems explaining some of the differences between them.  In a healthy individual with open regulation, these two systems are adapting correctly as required by the demands placed upon them.  For instance, when one is lying down the parasympathetic nervous system should be more active or up-regulated as compared to when he stands up.  To put it in other terms, when going from lying to standing the parasympathetic nervous system should go down.  The sympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, will up-regulate when going from a lying position to a standing position, and should go down when going from standing to lying.

Autonomic nervous system regulation can be blocked (which means not moving) in either the sympathetic or parasympathetic system, or both systems which is called a double block.  The effect that this has on the individual with the (ANS) block is that he will not respond to the program on which he has been placed.  Simply put, he stops responding to his therapeutic program and becomes stuck.  Progress ceases until the block is recognized, found, and corrected.

Another problem with blocked regulation is that the testing of any reflexes will be skewed or inaccurate because of the block.  In other words, some of the reflexes will read incorrectly.  For instance, a stomach reflex may read as a lock (inactive) when it is actually active (weak).   So, to ignore the importance of open regulation can result in a faulty analysis.

Let me give an example of this phenomenon.  Let us say that on testing an individual the practitioner does not first ensure that the patient has open regulation.  Upon completing the reflex analysis he finds that the tonsils, lungs, spleen, and small intestine reflexes are weak.  He proceeds with his procedures and places the individual on a program but finds that it does not work when the patient begins implementing it.  After two weeks he discovers that the individual is blocked in the umbilical reflex.  He then proceeds to fix this blocked reflex, after which he performs another reflex analysis.  Now he has a thyroid and a spleen reflex which are weak.  Assuming that there is no other blocked regulation (and no neurogenic switching) present, he can continue with the procedures to place the individual on a correct program and this time he will get the positive outcome which is expected when the procedures are correctly applied.

Autonomic nervous system regulation is imperative to the success of Nutrition Response Testing.  The gold standard for determining ANS blocked regulation and neurogenic switching (which will be discussed in the next section) is the Heart Rate Variability program which is taught in the Nutrition Response Testing Intermediate course.  This instrument is capable of measuring the function of the autonomic nervous system under stress to see if these two systems are operating correctly.  This is a non-invasive procedure, in which the patient has a sensing unit placed around his chest which is responsive to the electrical impulses of the heart.  It is not an EKG but rather measures the parasympathetic and sympathetic impulses received by the heart by noting the change in heart activity when lying as well as standing.  It then plots these two systems on a graph showing how they respond in these two positions.  If blocking is present, the plot will be either horizontal, which indicates a sympathetic ANS block, or vertical, indicating a parasympathetic nerve block.  If no movement is detected then what is called a double ANS block is present.

The use of the heart rate variability instrumentation is only taught in Nutrition Response Testing.  Without it the uncertainly remains that blocking and or neurogenic switching may still be present.  By utilizing the heart rate variability procedure one can know with certainty that these two abnormalities are or are not present.  If neither is present, the practitioner can proceed to the next step with confidence.  If blocking or switching is present then he can and must find the problem and fix it prior to proceeding.  Of course, one can do this work without the use of the Heart Rate Variability monitor, but it becomes very time consuming because of the number of blocking (48) and switching positions (108) to be individually checked.

When thinking about blocking and switching I explain it to patients like this.  The body is an analyzer.  The analyzer must first be functioning correctly before it can be used to do its analysis.  Each one of the 156 (48+108) ‘circuits’ has to be operating correctly for it to function properly.  Once this is accomplished, we know that the analyzer (much like the voltmeter discussed in calibration) will give us the correct analysis.

The first test for manually checking ANS regulation involves placing a hyperextended hand over the umbilicus of the patient. By extending or stretching the fingers backward and keeping the fingers and thumb together, the energy of the circulatory skin and muscle fibers in the palm create an energy field which is recognized by the body as a non-threatening energy when the system is operating correctly.  The umbilicus also has an energy field around it because of the circular fibers present around it as well.  When these two energy fields come into contact with each other, the testing muscle, when challenged, should go weak.  If it remains locked, then a block exists in the circuit being tested.

The circuit which is blocked must be corrected by checking it against the five major stressors as taught in the Basic Nutrition Response Testing seminar.  Occasionally, these will not correct the malfunction.  If not, there are other procedures which are taught in the intermediate and advanced courses which will be able to correct this problem.  The important thing to remember is that blocked regulation must be corrected before moving on to the next procedure.