So What is our Autonomic Nervous System and Why is it Important? Our Autonomic Nervous System controls all of our everyday functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, digestion as well as other processes. It relies on a series of intricate pathways where signals are sent to and from our body to our spinal cord and then to our brain. Sometimes these signals can get blocked for a variety of reasons, such as tight muscles which the nerves run through, compression in our spine due to disk problems, degeneration of our vertebrae, etc. Long standing imbalances within the nervous system can lead to symptoms within the body. As Osteopathic Manual Practitioners we use a wide variety of techniques to improve the physiological functions in the body and to aim to restore homeostasis which has been altered by ‘somatic dysfunction’ of the tissues. Osteopathic Manual Therapy has been shown to have an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System and in turn its physiological processes according to Rechberger et al in his 2019 research paper, that assessed 23 published studies on it. It did state that even more research was required but with the data available was able to draw a positive conclusion.