Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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Humans respond to fear in many different ways, summarized under three categories, fight, flight and paralysis.

Normally, fear serves as a protective mechanism for the human body. This is healthy and beneficial. For example, you approach a fire and are fearful of it, because you know that the flames can hurt you.

When you experience fear, become frightened or are afraid, you may instinctively want to fight or you may take flight, or flee from whatever affects you in that way. At times, the fear you feel may be so great that you cannot fight, or run from whatever has frightened you. There are other times when the fear is so intense that you cannot do anything. You experience paralysis in terms of any kind of activity.

For example, a man in a park is holding a gun. A young man is frightened. He is afraid to tackle the man, or fight with him and too scared to run. The fear, being so intense, causes the young man to be unable to move. Paralysis because of fear, renders him unable to take any action.

The Active Health Centre website suggests,

“Most of us are familiar with the “fight or flight” adrenalin rush, sympathetic nervous system; fear paralysis reflex involves the opposite “eat and stay” parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is intimately involved with the vagus nerve.”

In other words, the human body responds to fear with a sudden release of adrenalin which awakens, or alerts the human body to potential danger. It causes a sudden release or burst of energy, at the same time. That triggers the fight or flight response. An excess of adrenalin results in paralysis.

Note that the fear paralysis reflex begins functioning just after conception. When ‘threatened’, there is movement, or withdrawal of the head, neck or body, because of involvement with the parasympathetic nervous system.

The Active Health Centre website also suggests that excessive fear, or retained fear paralysis reflex may result in problems in life including SID syndrome, panic disorders, breath holding, compulsive traits and temper tantrums, just to name a few.

From a Biblical perspective, a 1 John 4:18 suggests, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. (King James Version)

The human body, soul, mind and spirit are essentially one and thus what affects one’s emotions, affects one’s body. Love, healing one’s emotions, can be instrumental in bringing additional healing to every part of one’s being.

It is not normal to be fearful of everyone and everything, but a certain amount of fear is invariably beneficial, protecting everyone in one way or another.

Acknowledging one’s fears, or facing one’s fears directly, can help to resolve excessive fear, fear that has been retained, or other problems associated with fear retention. Freedom from fear allows one to live a more active, healthy lifestyle, feel more secure and assume a more positive attitude to life.

It is never easy to face fear.

Having the courage to do so will allow you, as well as others, to have additional freedom in your life, as well as help you to deal with the reality of day-to-day living. Your tolerance to stress will improve, as your anxiety diminishes. Your level of fatigue will decrease and you will have a new zest for living.

More about this author: W. Diane Van Zwol

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