The Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System

How you can make use of COVID-19 risks as a chance for your health

Humans are integrated into their environment and must permanently react and adapt to it. Not only to physical strain such as movement, heat or weight, but also to the strain of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. The defence against these stresses, which could weaken the health and performance of the body, is carried out by the body completely independently – i.e. autonomously.

This central control system – the autonomous nervous system – controls all processes in the body and makes it healthy and efficient. Why autonomous? So that we do not have to worry about breathing or think about how to control the heartbeat. In addition, many other processes in the body are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, such as digestion, hormone production or the adaptation of the eyes to brightness.

But how good, how powerful is this autonomic nervous system (ANS)?

It is clear that the faster and more dynamically the ANS is able to adapt to environmental conditions, the better the body can adapt to them. So – the better the regulation of the autonomic nervous system, the more efficient the human body is.

Over time, stress and lack of regeneration (lack of sleep recovery) reduce the regulatory capacity and the ANS becomes less adaptable and sluggish. We say; the regulatory ability is reduced, restricted or blocked. This leads to a lack of or limited reaction to build up resistance to the virus in the case of additional stress, as in the case of exposure to the Covid-19 virus. The immune system is not adequately activated and the person becomes ill.


It is precisely for this purpose that the team of experts at the Institute for ChronoPsychology and ChronoMedicine at Sigmund Freud Private University Vienna has developed the CORONA PREVENT programme, which shows how you can now strengthen your body, mind and family against viruses that appear in a changing environment.

This program guides you through the questions:

  1. How can I recognize my own risk situation?
  2. Which measures are useful for me?
  3. What must I do to stay healthy in the future?

With this program we want to support you and your families to get through the crisis healthy and to use this crisis as a chance for your own health!

The ANS as the basis for a stable immune system in times of Covid-19

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) serves the functional control of all body processes and, along with the central nervous system as the command centre, is the active executing system and keeps the body efficient and healthy. The ANS is built up by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems – in comparison to the car by the function of the accelerator and brake. In the organism, the sympathetic nervous system is the accelerator to accelerate the body rhythms, the parasympathetic nervous system is the brake to slow down and recover the body functions.

This means that the better the two subsystems sympathetic and parasympathetic react, the better the performance. This is exactly what we can experience by analysing the regulatory capacity of the ANS. In the following diagram we can see the difference between good and bad regulation of the autonomic nervous system.

The HeartBalance Analysis

The analysis of the autonomic nervous system provides clear information about the performance and recovery capacity of a person. The measurement of the ECG, the calculation of heart rate variability (HRV) and the HeartBalance Analysis can clearly determine the assessment of the quality of the ANS based on existing scientifically evaluated reference data. With this assessment, targeted measures can be taken to improve and optimise the autonomic nervous system as the central control system.

One essential point occurs especially during the stress of the corona crisis, which can lead to far-reaching, i.e. long-term changes in the body – the reduction of the ability to recover. As a result of psychological stress due to the new living conditions, these are, for example, the care of children through home learning, the problem of short-time work and its existential effects. For employees, as well as for entrepreneurs, this can mutate into a far-reaching risk potential in the case of reduced recovery through night sleep.

We can compare this with a bank account – as the graphic of the HeartBalance analysis above also shows. If we were to constantly withdraw amounts from our bank account, even very small ones, our account balance would decrease over time. It is the same with health and performance. We constantly withdraw from our health account through activity, performance and mental stress, the question is – when and how much will be credited back to the account?

Regeneration and reorganization of the body through a restful night’s sleep, but also through refreshing breaks during the day, represent the “deposits” on the health account. Missing payments reduce the balance, sufficient recovery in turn increases the account balance.

However, since the ability to recover is caused by the autonomic nervous system, which controls the night’s sleep “autonomously”, a lack of regulatory ability of the SNE is the clear reason for a low balance on the account of health.

Strengthen the immune system through the ANS

By measuring and analysing the regulatory capacity, one obtains clear knowledge about the functionality of the autonomic nervous system and can, derived from this, consider and implement measures for improvement and optimisation.

If we take the corona problem as an occasion, we can now improve our autonomic nervous system in a simple way and thus causally strengthen the performance of our immune system. This makes us far more resistant to all the stresses and strains that are placed on us during this difficult time.

Use the HeartBalance Analysis to assess your autonomic nervous system and use the link below.

MMag. Dr. Peter Hauschild

Representative Board Member
Institut für ChronoPsychology und Chrono Medicine

HeartBalance Innovations GmbH,
Managing Partner

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