This means the vagus nerve has been associated with mental health conditions, such as anxiety. Low vagal tone is related to poor emotional and attentional regulation, inflammation and depression and can also be used to measure your sensitivity to stress.
The vagus nerve system acts to counterbalance the fight or flight system and can trigger a relaxation response in our body. It is one of the cranial nerves that connect the brain to the body.
The vagal nerve fibers, which run from the brain to the abdomen, have been anointed by some influencers as the key to reducing anxiety, regulating the nervous system and helping the body to relax.
What the wellness community recommends for stimulating the vagus nerve—eye movements, meditation, massage, cold-water immersion, and singing and humming—, if it works, is likely to be beneficial through a very simple concept: relaxation.
The vagus nerve is also noted as being the tenth cranial nerve (designated as CN X). The vagus nerve is actually a set of two nerves, a vagus nerve right side of the neck and a vagus nerve left side of the neck.
Vagal nerve dysfunction can cause both slow and fast heart rates depending on the type of dysfunction. For example, overactivity can lead to bradycardia (or slow heart rate) while disease causing insufficient activity of the vagus nerve can lead to tachycardia (fast heart rate).
In a vagus nerve massage, moderate pressure is applied to the area between the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles in the neck/shoulder area and at the muscles below the base of the skull, with twisting or stroking motions .
Nutrition for the Vagus Nerve
Nutrients that support the vagus nerve include: Choline (to make acetylcholine, our main neurotransmitter) Vitamin B12. Magnesium.
Eat foods rich in tryptophan.
Dietary tryptophan is metabolized in the gut and may help the astrocytes—cells in the brain and spinal cord—control inflammation, which may improve communication from the gut to the brain via the vagal messenger pathway. These foods include spinach, seeds, nuts, bananas, and poultry. 5.
The vagal response is a series of unpleasant symptoms that occur when the vagus nerve is stimulated. Often, this response is triggered by certain things like stress, pain, and fear. Symptoms of the vagal response include dizziness, nausea, ringing ears, and sweating.
There are two main causes of vagus nerve dysfunction: previous infection or inflammation and physical or psychological stress.
A neurosurgeon will perform VNS, either in a hospital or an outpatient clinic. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can take up to 90 minutes.
Breathe Deeply: This works in two ways: first, if you focus on the rhythm of your breathing, you take your attention away from what's stressing you. Second, if you breathe deeply from your belly and exhale longer than you inhale, that physical act triggers the relaxation response from your vagus nerve.
Research shows that Chriocpic adjustments can improve HRV by bossing the health function of the vagus nerve. By enhancing the vagus nerve, you will improve the way your entire nervous system functions. Resulting in lowering your risk for chronic disease and increasing your life span.
If the nerve is compressed, stretched, or damaged by cervical spine instability, a myriad of problems, including runaway emotions can occur.
Considering the course of the vagal nerve in the cervical region, it is thought that conditions such as stiffness, tightness and decreased elasticity in this region may compress the vagal nerve andmay affect vagal function.
Singing, Humming, Chanting and Gargling
The vagus nerve is connected to your vocal cords and the muscles at the back of your throat. Singing, humming, chanting and gargling can activate these muscles and stimulate your vagus nerve. And this has been shown to increase heart-rate variability and vagal tone (12).
In Chinese medicine, different parts of our body correlate with different specific reflexology or pressure points. The vagus nerve point for your hand is right inside of the pinky, for example. This is great because it's so accessible during the course of your day.
You may have some tingling sensations or slight pain in your neck and temporary hoarseness when the nerve stimulation is on. The stimulator doesn't detect seizure activity or depression symptoms. When it's turned on, the stimulator turns on and off at the intervals selected by your doctor.
Improving Nervous System Naturally
Get plenty of rest and sleep after a long, hectic day. Get blood sugar and high blood pressure under control. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, as dehydration is not good for the nervous system. Limit your intake of caffeinated as well as alcoholic drinks.
“You can do things like yoga and deep breathing exercises. Those indirectly stimulate the vagus nerve by stimulating other organs the vagus nerve innervates,” says Howell. “Another interesting one is loud gargling with water or singing, both of which stimulate the vocal cords, which then stimulate the vagus nerve.