Definition: Central Nervous System

Central Nervous System (CNS) refers to the nerve cells (neurons) and tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

The CNS receives sensory input from the body, analyses this information then initiates a motor response. This process is carried out via the nerve fibres of the spinal cord, which is the main connection between the brain and the Peripheral Nervous System, PNS, which links the CNS to the rest of the body.

The brain gains some protection from the bony structure of the skull and from the blood-brain barrier which helps to protect it from toxins. The spinal cord, which is about the thickness of an adult's little finger, is also protected as it runs through the middle of the bony vertebrae in the spinal column.

The 12 pairs of cranial nerves and the 31 pairs of spinal nerves that  leave the spinal cord through the vertebrae, form the PNS, which has much less protection as it spreads out through the rest of the body.

The integrity of the CNS and PNS is important to the functioning of the whole body - and the very way we use and hold our bodies can impact on the ability of the nerves to function properly. An improvement in the co-ordination, balance and functioning of our bodies can be gained through learning the Alexander Technique and in so doing, we can help to protect our Nervous System from avoidable damage - plus become calmer and more poised in the process!.

 

 

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