I never knew about the Vagus nerve until I began Esoteric Healing. In working with the Vagus nerve on each of my clients, I've wanted to dig deeper into the health benefits of stimulating this nerve.
I feel the power this nerve carries when I am balancing the Vagus nerve with other aspects of the body. It's usually one of the first things I balance on a client, especially since I work with people who live in NYC. I notice an immediate shift in the hyper-activity of the body, the breath deepens, the client often slips into a comfortable sleep or very deep relaxation. Here, the client is able to receive a much needed break from the over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system and possibly tune in to the inner wisdom of stillness. I have also learned that the Vagus nerve is the carrier of the Soul to the rest of the body. It brings with it the wisdom of the Soul to each area it touches.
I like to combine the scientific knowledge of the body with the spiritual aspects of healing and health. I am fascinated by both and believe they each serve a purpose in our overall well-being.
From a scientific standpoint, the Vagus nerves etymology means "wanderer." This nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves and extends itself from the brainstem and works it's way down the throat, esophagus, lungs, heart and then ends in the abdomen. It sends out fibers from your brainstem to your organs to let your brain know how they are functioning. It's also connected to your digestive system and helps to translate to your brain how you're feeling. Hence, "gut-feeling." There are new studies being conducted on the Vagus nerve showing that stimulating part of this nerve can help to reduce anxiety, depression and even epilepsy. This can be done if other treatments have failed. This procedure is part of a new practice called bioelectronic medicine, it could even help to treat diseases like cancer. New and exciting stuff!
Stress is the number one killer, folks and there's no denying it. Keeping the sympathetic nervous system in the drivers seat will continually flood your body with stress hormones and wreak havoc. In stimulating this nerve we can help to reduce inflammation, build up our immunity, release more endorphin's, lower heart rate & blood pressure and increase memory. Now that you have a little more insight to this special nerve, here are some ways you can activate it in your day-to-day:
* Singing or humming, some people say that singing with lower tones helps even more.
* Tai Chi & Qi Gong
* Deep, guttural laughter
* Deep breathing, as in the three part yogic breath- diaphragm, lungs, (front & back) and up to the clavicle. Holding a few seconds on the in & out breath.
* Placing your face in cold water.
I hope that this post was informative and helpful in creating more awareness around how our body functions and works. My hope is also that it brings to light how incredible our bodies are and that our emotional, spiritual, mental and physical selves are interconnected. Each one informs the other and knowledge of these parts creates empowerment.