vagus nerve

The Vagus Nerve – its role and treatment

  • The Vagus Nerve (VN) starts at the brain and is the longest cranial nerve in our body. 
  • It conveys sensory information about the state of the body’s organs to the Central Nervous System
  • The VN can be overactive or underactive
  • It is well documented that VN stimulation can assist in a multitude of illnesses, such as treatment-resistant depression and certain forms of epilepsy

The VN’s physical role in the body includes:

  • Keeping the larynx open for breathing, feeding the lungs and diaphragm
  • Slowing and regulating the heartbeat
  • Stimulating the flow of saliva, peristalsis and secretion, and releasing bile
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Sending messages to the brain to produce and release Oxytocin
  • Reducing seizures and the treatment of certain types of epilepsy
  • Increasing calm and reducing stress levels
  • Reducing blood pressure

Energetically, the VN:

  • Balances the nervous system, bringing coherence between the sympathetic, (fight/flight), and the parasympathetic, (relaxation) branches of the nervous system, giving more emphasis on the relaxation side
  • Brings coherence to the heart and brain, supporting higher states of awareness
  • Is responsible for our compassion, telepathy and empathy, and our intuition or “gut knowing”
  • Governs our interface with others and the world (how we connect to each other).

Natural ways to help the Vagus Nerve

Anything you can do to enhance relaxation and compassion is going to help, as well as:

  • Deep belly breathing 
  • Meditation
  • Exercise 
  • Reflexology 
  • Playing an instrument (the deep breathing and long exhales stimulate the VN)
  • Listening to music and relaxing (VN is part of the parasympathetic/relaxing side of nervous system).
  • Practicing yoga stimulates the VN without even focusing on it directly