Turning on the vagus nerve heals physical disease and mental strife.
Vagus nerve stimulation has been shown to improve conditions such as: anxiety disorder, heart disease, tinnitus, obesity, alcohol addiction, migraines, Alzheimer’s, leaky gut, bad blood circulation, mood disorder and cancer.
“The vagus nerve, along with stimulating your body’s relaxation response, inhibits inflammation, slows down your heart, and helps you make memories. It’s the longest and most complex of the cranial nerves, sending sensory fibers from your brainstem to all your visceral organs.” Turning on the vagus nerve powers up the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system to quickly and effectively interrupt the stress response. This quells anxiety, decreases blood pressure, and relaxes brainwaves.
The gut is our second brain.
80-90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, not in the brain as was once assumed. This is why the vagus nerve is so important to our health. It bidirectionally connects the brain to the gut and the oxytocin-dopamine reward system. Vagus nerve pathways facilitate a two-way communication superhighway sending messages between the lowest part of your gut (which produces the “happy” neurotransmitter serotonin) to the highest regions of the brain. Not only does the vagus nerve stimulate the gut to produce serotonin, it also stimulates neurons in the brain to produce oxytocin.
Environmental factors turn off the vagus nerve, or cause “low vagal tone,” causing both physical and mental illness.
Stress, trauma, and inflammation from poor nutrition (high carbohydrate, low fat diets) turn off the more relaxing parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, and turns on the more tense and anxious branch called the sympathetic.
Turning on the vagus nerve is the future of medicine.
Research shows that a high vagal tone makes your body better at regulating immunity, emotion, thoughts and behavioral reactions. Low vagal tone has been associated with chronic inflammation which has been proven to be a root cause of both physical disease and mental conditions, including depression. Researchers report “very clear trends” that stimulation of the vagus nerve for just 3 minutes a day decreased disease. “When we discontinued stimulation [of the vagus nerve], disease came back; and when we restarted stimulation, it normalized again” (Tak, P.P., 2011).
We have the power to reverse physical and mental conditions by turning on the vagus nerve.While twin studies show to a certain extent that vagal tone is genetically predetermined, what is more striking is that low vagal tone is more prevalent in those with certain lifestyles, people who do little exercise, for example. Here is how to raise your vagal tone:
- Grounding with 60 Seconds
- Singing, chanting, humming
- Slowing down breath
- Zinc, Magnesium
- Cold exposure (showers, face wash)
- Gargling with water
- Yoga & Tai Chi
- Plant-based diet