The Vagus Nerve. Have you heard of it?
It’s pronounced like the famous gambling city, viva Las Vegas, but this connection is far better for placing your odds.
This Nerve is actually the largest and most important parasympathetic nerve structure in the body. To back things up just a little bit, parasympathetic is your rest, digest, detoxify, feed and breed portion of what’s known as your ANS or Autonomic Nervous System. The stressed-out, can’t seem to heal state, is known as the sympathetic state.
But this nerve touches every major organ and glands, except for the gland responsible for your stress response…your adrenal glands. It regulates inflammation in the body and it is quite literally your gut-brain connection.
The direct-connect between the brain and body.
The Vagus Nerve runs like a snake on each side of your spine. In fact, it’s also known as a Kundalini Snake. This “snake-like” nerve carries energy and instructions for your body to follow. Instructions that help you stay alive.
These instructions are buried deep in your subconscious, and happen without your active realization. It’s like setting your thermostat on auto in your home. It kicks on and off automatically without any additional work from you. When it’s stimulated it releases enzymes to reduce inflammation and trigger the body’s natural healing response. It also increases positive emotions.
So why do you need to know any more about this nerve if it operates without notification from you?
Because stress affects the Vagus Nerve. It interrupts this oh-so-important communication. In fact, it disrupts the natural cycle, the body’s healing response which results in a low “Vagal Tone”. A low “Vagal Tone” has scientifically been shown to appear in any/all of the following conditions:
- Increased inflammation
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Cancer, & more
This being your gut-brain connection also explains why the stress you feel leads to leaky gut, nutrient malabsorption, and an increased risk of autoimmune disorders.
Here’s the thing…also because of this gut-brain connection, you have to take the emotional component into account when healing the gut. It’s a mind and body healing.
So, why haven’t you heard more about this? Why isn’t there a complete focus on this for healing so many health disorders? Truth is, the research is currently piling in showing the importance of this nerve and what stimulating it can do. In fact, Vagus Nerve stimulation is now FDA approved for treating severe depression and epilepsy. There are also articles on Pub-Med showing improvement of PTSD, fibromyalgia, reduction in migraine headaches and more.
So, what can you do about making sure that you are working on your “Vagal Tone”?
First, you have to understand this is not a one-and-done type of work. It’s more like cultivating a garden. It takes time and daily attention. Just like there are many seeds you can plant, there are several options for improving your “Vagal Tone” and you have to choose what works best for you. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Deep breathing
- Cranial Sacral Therapy
- Qi Gong
- Time in Nature
- Cold Therapy
- miHealth Stimulation (a part of my client arsenal)
You see…so many of these have to do with finding a sense of inner peace. But the important thing is making one or more of these a way of life.
Growing your “Vagal Tone” garden.
So, what’s one thing you can do today to start growing this garden? A gratitude journal. It’s a small start, but it will go a long way to starting the process of nurturing this all-important nerve. Find a great-looking little journal you want to write in and list 5 things you are grateful for every day. It changes your whole outlook and your frame of mind. If you change your mind, you can quite literally change your world.
I invite you to click here for more ideas on stimulating your Vagus Nerve, including manual stimulation or a life-changing protocol you can do at home.
Until next time. Health & Hugs xoxo
This is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional mental advice or medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional mental health advice or treatment, or medical advice or treatment. If you have a medical or mental health concern you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical or mental health treatment. Never disregard professional treatment because of something you read on this blog. If you feel you have an emergency situation, seek professional help immediately.