Holistic Doctors Explain the ‘Parasympathetic’ Approach to Wellness

Holistic Support for Relaxation, Digestion, Immunity & Anti Aging

In the quest for healthy aging, improved wellness, and increased vitality, many patients seek a ‘holistic’ doctor like Dr. Hakim who takes an integrative, ‘big picture’ approach. Holistic or ‘integrative medicine’ doctors look at the body as a whole, with a focus on preventing illness before it occurs – while offering natural interventions as well as traditional medical treatments when disease strikes.

One area of health often overlooked by traditional doctors that holistic doctors emphasize is the importance of the ‘parasympathetic’ approach. By focusing on rest, digestion, and healing, holistic doctors optimize the body’s natural rejuvenation processes for better health at every age.

In this article, Royal Oak holistic doctor Nishath Hakim, MD explains the parasympathetic nervous system in layperson’s terms – and discusses how it relates to anti aging. She will also delve into specific holistic treatments, such as food intolerance testing, G-Map stool testing, targeted vitamins and supplements, and an integrative approach to wellness, that can support parasympathetic health and promote anti aging benefits at every age.

What Is the Body’s Parasympathetic System?

The body’s nervous system is responsible for regulating involuntary bodily functions, and it consists of two main branches: the sympathetic system and parasympathetic system.

The sympathetic nervous system is associated with the “fight-or-flight” response – which helps mobilize the body’s resources to deal with potential dangers. When activated, the sympathetic system triggers a series of physiological changes to prepare the body for action. It releases stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, which increase heart rate, elevate blood pressure, and boost the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. The respiratory rate also increases, enhancing oxygen intake. In addition, the sympathetic system diverts blood away from non-essential organs, such as the digestive system, and towards the muscles and brain, priming the body for physical exertion or quick thinking.

Conversely, the parasympathetic system acts as the counterbalance to the sympathetic system, promoting relaxation, digestion, and restoration. Supporting the parasympathetic system can help restore balance, reduce stress, and support overall health and vitality.

The parasympathetic system governs various processes, including digestion, detoxification, immune function, and overall repair and regeneration. When activated, it slows the heart rate, enhances digestion, stimulates bowel movements, and promotes restorative sleep. By maintaining a balanced and well-functioning parasympathetic system, individuals can support their body’s natural anti-aging mechanisms and enhance overall wellness.

The parasympathetic nervous system, often referred to as the body’s “rest and digest” mode, plays a crucial role in immune health and regulation. It is intricately connected with the immune system through a network of communication pathways and chemical messengers. Balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems is crucial for overall well-being.

Parasympathetic System, Immune Health & Holistic Anti Aging

The parasympathetic system has been found to regulate and balance immune responses. This is important for maintaining a strong immune system, preventing excessive immune reactions, and reducing the risk of chronic inflammation, disease, and autoimmune disorders.

Inflammation is at the root of most chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. Studies have shown that parasympathetic activation promotes the release of anti-inflammatory substances and reduces the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. This can help regulate immune responses and prevent excessive inflammation, which is associated with a range of health conditions.

The parasympathetic system also influences the function of immune cells such as lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural ‘killer cells.’ It can enhance their activity, increase their abilities to fight disease, and promote the production of protective antibodies.

Parasympathetic System, Stress & Holistic Anti Aging

The parasympathetic system also interacts with the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands, which all play a significant role in stress responses. Chronic stress results in constant activation of the sympathetic “fight or flight” system, and this can suppress immune function, making individuals more susceptible to infections and other immune-related disorders.

By supporting the parasympathetic system, individuals can counteract the negative effects of chronic stress and promote immune resilience. Parasympathetic activation, through stress reducing activities such as such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques, have been shown to support immune health. These practices help reduce stress, lower cortisol levels, and promote overall well-being, which positively influences immune function.

Holistic Treatments for Parasympathetic Health

Holistic doctor Nishath Hakim, MD offers several natural treatments that can support parasympathetic health – to improve immunity, reduce inflammation, fight disease, and reduce the signs of aging.

Food Intolerance Testing can be extremely helpful for supporting the parasympathetic system. Certain foods can trigger inflammation, stress the digestive system, and disrupt overall homeostasis. Holistic doctor Nishath Hakim may recommend comprehensive food intolerance testing to identify specific triggers and guide patients towards personalized dietary adjustments that support the parasympathetic nervous system. 

G-Map Stool Testing is also an excellent tool in promoting parasympathetic health. A healthy gut is essential for proper parasympathetic function, as it is intricately linked to immune function and overall well-being. G-Map stool testing analyzes the gut microbiome, identifying imbalances, pathogens, and beneficial bacteria. This enables holistic doctors like Nishath Hakim, MD to restore a healthy environment in the digestive system, supporting parasympathetic activation.

Certain targeted vitamins and supplements can also provide valuable support to the parasympathetic system. For example, magnesium helps relax muscles, promotes quality sleep, and supports digestive health. And ‘adaptogenic’ supplements – derived from herbs, roots, and other plant substances (like mushrooms) – can help the body manage stress and restore balance after a stressful situation. Ginsing, ashwagandha and rhodiola are just a few of the ingredients that can help the body naturally regulate stress responses, allowing the parasympathetic system to flourish.

Holistic Doctor | Royal Oak

Holistic doctor Nishath Hakim, MD understands that parasympathetic health cannot be isolated from overall wellness. By prioritizing rest, digestion, and healing, individuals can support their parasympathetic nervous system and activate the body’s innate rejuvenation processes.

Holistic doctor Nishath Hakim, MD in Royal Oak takes a comprehensive approach to gut health, lifestyle, stress management techniques (such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises), regular exercise, nutrition, and restorative sleep to help patients restore sympathetic health to promote wellness, anti aging and vitality.

Schedule your appointment with holistic doctor Nishath Hakim in Royal Oak and take the first step to nurturing your body’s natural healing mechanisms to achieve wellness, energy, and an improved quality of life at every age.

Holistic Doctor | Royal Oak: 248.997.4242