Vital signs [Respiratory Rate, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, Body Temperature] are indicators of normal or abnormal physiology. Vital signs change acutely but only temporarily in response to exercise, physical activity, strong emotions, infections, viruses, outdoor temperature challenges [cold weather, hot weather], and to chemicals [alcohol, and other recreational drugs], medications, allergens, etc…].
Vital signs return to normal after the stimulus has past. You run away from a bear, your fight and flight responses kick in, you escape safely, you slowly calm down and your vital signs return to normal. Sympathetic activation of fight and flight is a temporary thing. If it becomes a chronic thing, then this is an indicator of internal physical injury, which may heal or which may be permanent. Anyone can be injured physically during life, starting with birth, possibly the most dangerous of all adaptations to air and water. One can be injured after a period of childhood neglect and malnutrition, after being beaten, after a bout of food poisoning, after getting sick with a virus, after ingesting chemicals or breathing allergens, etc.. Some of these injuries will be visible for a time, like a broken leg, and heal. Traces of any injury will remain, if invisible, and may remain as fault lines that may or may not cause problems as you age.
Your vital signs are one of the ways we can monitor and understand what the autonomic nervous system and it neurons already know. ” Neurons are cells within the nervous system that transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.” Brain Fact.Org The Neuron
Regular monitoring of your vital signs at rest, when awake, will give you a better idea of how your inner body is working. It is important to measure all 4, rather than to measure only one vital sign, say blood pressure. The pattern can be telling. We understand that the normal response to a stimulus affects all of the vital signs, in that all of them increase. When calm, we also know what normal vital signs look like.
If the pattern is different than what we expect to see than it means that something is wrong, such as an infection or if permanent, then it indicates an injury that we may or may not see but that the Autonomic nervous system is aware of. And so should we.
Vital signs at rest when awake are especially important, we think, when it comes to understanding mind and possible future loss of mind.
to be continued…….