April 30, 2021
April 19, 2021

The Vagus Nerve..how can it help

What is the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve is the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions, including control of mood,immune response, digestion, breathing and move importantly..your heart rate.

It starts off one of the connections between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract and forwards information about the state of the inner organs to the brain.

Where is it?

 It runs from the just below your brain down the face and thorax all the way to the abdomen.

Image courtesy of teachmeanatomy.info

The nervous system can be split into two areas: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic side increases alertness, energy, blood pressure, heart rate, and the way we breathe.

The parasympathetic side, which the vagus nerve sits, decreases alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate, and helps with calmness, relaxation, and digestion.

Other vagus nerve benefits include:

  • Communication  between the brain and the gut: The vagus nerve sends information from the     gut to the brain.
  • Relaxation with deep breathing: The vagus nerve talks with the diaphragm.     With deep breaths, a person feels more relaxed.
  • Decreasing inflammation: The vagus nerve sends an anti-inflammatory message     to other parts of the body.
  • Lowering the heart rate and blood pressure: If the vagus nerve is overworked, it can     lead to the heart being unable to pump enough blood around the body. In     some cases, too much vagus nerve activity can cause loss of consciousness     and organ damage.
  • Fear management: The vagus nerve sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to dealing with stress, anxiety, and fear –  hence the saying, “gut feeling.” This helps a person to recover from stressful and scary situations.

How to stimulate the Vagus Nerve

When it comes to effective vagal manoeuvres, any type of deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing—during which you fill up the lower part of your lungs just by your belly button like a balloon...and then breathe out slowly—is going to engage your vagus nerve, activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and improve your heart rate.

Couple of super interesting facts

Heart rate variability is the amount that the heart rate goes up and down in between a breath (when it naturally rises) and a breath out (when it naturally decreases). That is, heart rate rises when you breathe in and goes down when you breathe out, and the change between those two rates essentially measures vagal tone.

Athletes are known to have higher vagal tone, for example, where as people who experience extended periods of bed rest — and astronauts in no-gravity situations — are known to have lower vagal tone.

Vagus nerve stimulation has also been proposed as a way to treat addiction, some heavy drinkers, for instance, have low vagal tone.

Why not try and use MELO by placing it on your chest and feel the vibration flow through your body, remember to concentrate on the breathing patterns and don’t forget to relax.

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TheaWellbeing and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on theawellbeing.com is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programs.

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