Just like the President is always surrounded by the Secret Service, a group of trained agents on high alert, the human body also has a hyperalert security system in place. This complex system of biological defense mechanisms is always on guard, ready to act as needed to protect itself from harm.
You may have heard stories of adrenaline giving someone superhuman strength. This is one example of the body’s unique security system. You may not know, however, that many things your body does pretty regularly are actually similar defense mechanisms.
Here Are 9 Amazing Body Defense Mechanisms…
Crying can happen for a few defensive reasons. Tears are the first line of defense if something foreign comes into contact with the eye, like dust or debris. Tears can help flush this debris out. Tears can also be a kind of emotional defense. By triggering the same reaction as when an external irritant comes into contact with the eye, the body is really acting to distract you and thus protect you from the emotional pain you are feeling. Crying may not take away the pain of heartbreak, but it might soften the blow a little bit.
Hiccuping is the body’s response when the pneumogastric nerve gets irritated. This nerve is connected to the stomach and diaphragm and it can become irritated when we eat too quickly or eat too much. Nerves or excitement can also trigger hiccups.
We usually think of yawning as a sign of being tired. This may be true, but yawning is fundamentally a way to cool down the brain when it is overheated or overloaded.
A sneeze is your body’s way of getting rid of any irritants that get into your nasal passages. Sneezing happens in response to allergens, microbes, and irritants like dust and debris.
Stretching serves many protective purposes. It helps restore the flow of blood throughout the body, gently works our muscles and prepares them for working, and it helps improve our moods.
6.) Wrinkly Skin
When you’ve been in the water too long, your skin begins to wrinkle. This strange phenomenon has long been a fascinating delight to children in the bathtub, but it’s actually the body’s security team hoping to keep you safe. Excess moisture is a signal to your body that the environment might be slippery. The wrinkling of your skin is really a way to give you a better grip.
7.) Goose Bumps
People call them different things, but the pimpling of the skin that happens when you’re cold is yet another defense mechanism. Goosebumps reduce the amount of heat lost through the skin’s pores. This strange phenomenon is working to keep you warm.
8.) Memory Loss
Not all memory loss can be attributed to the body’s defense system, but some memory loss is an attempt at protection. The brain sometimes literally deletes particularly painful experiences from our memories. Other times, the brain at least softens the hard edges of a terrible memory to make it easier to bear.
9.) Hypnagogic Jerks
A.K.A. “Hypnic Jerks” are those sudden jolts that sometimes occur as you are falling asleep because the security system in your body is afraid you might be dying! Your relaxed muscles plus your slowing rate of breathing and slowing pulse trick your brain into a state of red alert.
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