What Are Nerves?


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slice looking inside a nerve

Your autonomic nervous system is broken down into two parts: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is a system of nerves that prepares your organs for energetic activity while the parasympathetic nervous system regulates the vegetative and nonemergency responses of the organs (Kalat, 2004). The nerves in the body are responsible for sending messages between the brain and the different muscle and tissues in the body for these two systems (Allen, et al., 2007).

What Are Nerves Made Up Of?

Nerves are made up of bundles of communication strands which are elongated axons or nerve fibers of neurons. Each group or bundle is known as a fascicle and many of them carry two different types of fibers: sensory or motor. Sensory fibers carry messages from the receptors in your body to your spinal cord and brain while the motor fibers send signals from your brain and spinal cord to the appropriate muscle or gland. Some nerves are made up of only one type of fiber while others are both (Allen, et al., 2007).

If nerve fibers are damaged by being crushed or to a degree can regenerate if the cell body is not damaged. The damaged section of the nerve loses nourishment and degenerates which leaves the myelin sheath hollow. This allows the remaining healthy fiber to refill the empty myelin sheath (Allen, et al., 2007).

Keeping Healthy to Play Safe

If you sustain permanent damage to your nerve endings you can loose feelings in those parts of your body. This can increase the risk of engaging in kink and fetish play. Some forms of BDSM play have a small window of safety and your risk of serious injury goes up if you are too slow to respond to danger because your nerve endings have lost sensation. Take care of your body and ensure that you always play safe.

Written September 4, 2011 | Updated April 28, 2015
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Article References

Allen, M., Bagg, A., Hamilton, J., John, K., Fricker, J., de Burgh, J., et al. (2007). The Human Body Book. New York: DK Publishing.

Kalat, J. W. (2004). Biological Psychology 8th Edition. Toronto: Nelson Thomson Learning.

Image References

Someone else's art deserves recognition! The images presented in this article were borrowed from the following places:

Header Image: http://www.west-info.eu/files/proteina-nervi.jpg | Retrieved April 28, 2015

Image 1: Allen, M., Bagg, A., Hamilton, J., John, K., Fricker, J., de Burgh, J., et al. (2007). The Human Body Book. New York: DK Publishing.

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