Stellate ganglion doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and unless we’ve experienced some kind of trauma, we may never hear or utter this word otherwise. It’s a bundle of nerves, nestled against the last vertebrae in the neck near the throat, and is part of the sympathetic nervous system which governs our involuntary reactions to stress. Physical and/or emotional trauma can affect this nerve bundle, and when something f*cks with our nerves, pain happens. We’ll explain.
After we experience trauma, we can relive the experience over and over via PTSD. This essentially causes the sympathetic nervous system to become overactive, which can have a cascade of effects, like trouble sleeping, maintaining relationships, regulating emotions, excessive sweating, muscle tension, and nerve pain in the face, arms, head, and chest, all thanks to that delightful little bundle known as the stellate ganglion.
A Stellate Ganglion Block is an injection of a local anesthetic or Botulinum Toxin (Botox) at this area in the base of the throat, top of the vertebrae. While a rather simple procedure, it’s not for everyone, so consider your needs prior to getting it and definitely have a thorough consultation with a professional. To consider if it’s right for you, here are a few of the possible benefits.
Reduces chronic stress due to PTSD
Stress is a normal human reaction, but when it becomes chronic and debilitating, especially after a traumatic event, it needs to be examined. A Stellate Ganglion Block can relax this mental stress by deactivating this nerve bundle and balancing the autonomic nervous system, which helps with panic attacks, social anxiety, and maintaining relationships.
Help with concentration and memory
This injection can help increase cerebral blood flow, bringing in more oxygen, nutrients, and alertness to the brain so it can function optimally and continue to create new neuropathways.
We can’t rest when our bodies remain in fight or flight mode, so deactivating a hyperactive part of the sympathetic nervous system helps to regulate our stress response and let our bodies fall into deep, restorative rest.
Can improve sexual intimacy
Our sexual function and reproductive system is totally governed by our sympathetic nervous system. That’s why after bouts of intense, chronic stress, we may skip a period or have it late, or have an especially low libido. Soothing our nervous system allows for better blood flow to our sexy regions for easier stimulation and relaxed play, as well as the regulation of monthly cycles in women.
Can control muscle spasms
Trauma, whether it’s physical or emotional, can manifest physically and linger. In some cases, following a traumatic event, one might develop muscle spasms or tics due to the overactive nature of this nerve bundle. Subduing it can temporarily stop the spasms.
For some, this treatment is a forever cure— it can last permanently. Most often, though, it’s a temporary interruption to this bundle of sympathetic nerves, and routine injections may be necessary. Luckily, this usually leads to a progressive lessening of symptoms so the injections aren’t necessary for a lifetime.
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