Glands

The body has glands all over. Glands are producing sweat and digestive juices. They create smells, with which we communicate. Milk for the infant is produced in glands in women´s breast.

And most importantly, for the topic of this book, they create hormones, which control most functions like sleep and wake, digestion and stress.

As we have established, the decision to paralyse or shut down the body comes from the plant like consciousness. The message is send telepathically to the autonomous nervous system. From here the message is transmitted directly through it´s branches to all organs in the body cavity like those for respiration, circulation, digestion and reproduction.

The dorsal vagus plays a key role in this. The old branch of this 10. cranial nerve is not insulated and thus much slower than the more modern ones like for instance the ventral vagus nerve. The insulated nerves operate with a signal speed of 120 metres per second compared to 2 metres per second for the not insulated.

Obviously the dorsal vagus nerve can not have a branch to each and every cell in the body. That is where the endocrine glands like the pituitary and pineal glands come into the picture. Upon receiving the message from the dorsal vagus nerve they change the production of hormones, that are secreted into the bloodstream.

Maybe you remember that one decilitre of blood passes through the heart every second? With an average of 5 litres blood in an adult it takes less than one minute for all blood to pass through the body once.

Obviously the direct delivery of messages through insulated nerves like those for motion or our senses by far outperforms that of the unmyelinated dorsal vagus nerve, and more so than the delivery of hormones through the bloodstream, and yet, it is sufficient and highly efficient.

Let us say the tiger strikes. From the moment, the subconscious decides to shut down and until blood pressure falls below the levels, that support consciousness, it takes milliseconds. That is sufficient to avoid the conscious perception of the lethal bite. That some parts of the digestive system still is active and awake for another 20 seconds, so what?

The glands dealt with, as seen at the picture:

  1. 32: Glands of the endocrine system
    Pituitary gland
  2. Pineal gland
  3. Thyroid gland
  4. Thymus gland
  5. Adrenal gland
  6. Pancreas
  7. Ovary
  8. Testis

In the following only some of the major glands1 will be described. Special attention will be given to the two major players: The pituitary gland and the pineal gland.

The other ones, like the salivary glands for instance, are more or less well defined in their functions and are controlled through these major glands.

This does not mean, that they are less important. Only, they are less likely to show up in the course of this work. If needed, you will have to search for specialized help, as this book is unable to deal with all details and things, that in general is of little concern.

1https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Illu_endocrine_system.png