The New Year brings health resolutions for most of us, but did you know that your Vagus Nerve is your highway to health?
The Vagus nerve originates in the brain and runs the length of the torso. It is the longest nerve of the cranial nerves. Its function is to connect to the organs and relay messages to and from the brain.
The Vagus nerve is vital; the heart, lungs, and gut. It also branches out to touch, and interacts with, the liver, spleen, gallbladder, ureter, female fertility organs, neck, ears, tongue, and kidneys.
It powers up our involuntary nerve center—the parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest mode, which is where we want to be)—and controls unconscious body functions, as well as everything from keeping our heart rate constant and food digestion to breathing and sweating. It also helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose balance, promotes general kidney function, helps release bile and testosterone, stimulates the secretion of saliva, assists in controlling taste and releasing tears, and plays a major role in fertility issues. (Essential Anatomy, 3DMedical)
When it’s overstimulated or when there is physical or emotional trauma or stress, this can cause an imbalance in our system. I compare these points to a circuit breaker. When stress starts hitting us, the switches flip, and things get shut down making it difficult for our bodies to regulate normal functions. We overlook our circuit breakers all the time and think we can run on low light and energy until, we can’t, and something goes very wrong.
This is our body’s way of yelling at us…. ‘HELP and PLEASE pay attention!!’. (Side note: in my 30’s my husband found me on the bathroom floor having a seizure from stress). These warning signs are no joke, they come in many forms. This is what led me to quit my job and become a massage therapist. So, it all worked out.
Call To Action: listen to your body.
The body needs and wants to be in Homeostasis, (balance/equilibrium) it is the science behind most Eastern Medicine theories; meditation, acupuncture, and most bodywork.
Here are 7 ways to stimulate your Vagus Nerve (not in any particular order):
1) Sing/Chant/hum a tune
6) Essential oils
7) Cold showers/ plunges
What happens in Vagus …