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Guide to the Sympathetic Nervous System

The Sympathetic Nervous System Actions (in red) Compared to the Parasympathetic Nervous System (in blue).The nervous system has several divisions. Its main two are the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS further divides into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). When faced with a stress-inducing situation, a division of the ANS, the sympathetic nervous system, activates. This system's response, called the fight-or-flight response, includes physiological reactions, such as an increased heart rate, decreased digestion and increased blood pressure. Once the stressor has passed, the sympathetic nervous system's counterpart, the parasympathetic nervous system, can take action, causing the body to rest. Here at Bright Hub, you can find articles on the sympathetic nervous system and what it does and how this division of the nervous system impacts your health.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (originally from Gray's Anatomy), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gray839.png

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