A KEY PLAYER IN THE BODY-MIND CONNECTION, THE VAGUS NERVE IS BEHIND YOUR GUT INSTINCT&THE KNOT IN YOUR THROAT, AND THE SPARKLE IN YOUR SMILE. YOU CAN THINK OF THE VAGUS NERVE AS A TWO-WAY RADIO COMMUNICATION SYSTEM HELPING YOU STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR SENSATIONS AND EMOTIONS.
WHAT IS THE VAGUS NERVE?
The vagus nerve is like a highway that connects the gut and the brain with smaller roads connecting the other vital organs in the body, this assists the communication between these organs and the brain.
The vagus nerve is important for optimal health, especially when it comes to being in the parasympathetic state or rest and digest. When triggered the vagus nerve stimulates digestive juices, bile release and movement through the digestive tract. When the body is in a sympathetic state our vagus nerve loses tone and becomes
imbalanced. How are we meant to digest or food when we’re in a constant state of fight and flight. When the vagul tone is good our digestion is stimulated. This is started before we even eat food; the message is sent up and down the highway the digestive system gets the gastric juices ready to prepare for optimal digestion. If the vagus nerve is not optimal then digestion won’t be great and you may experience digestive issues such as IBS, bloating, gas abdominal discomfort, indigestion and so much more.
Stimulating the vagus nerve…. It is a simple but powerful practice to stimulate the vagus nerve daily. This can simple be done by:
- Cold showers
- Humming, Singing, chanting or Gargling
- Breathing exercises
Just to touch on why optimal Vagus Nerve function is so important in so many other ways. It’s associated with strong social connections, positive emotions, and better physical health. Individuals with low vagal tone index may experience depression, heart attacks, inflammatory and irritable bowel disease, loneliness, negative feelings, and stroke. We are only just discovering the multiple roles that the vagus nerve plays in our health and wellbeing: It directly connects the brain and gut to form the brain-gut axis and the enteric nervous system. It helps to regulate our memory creation and recall It triggers acetylcholine production which stimulates breathing in our lungs
It controls the inflammatory response and has the ability to activate a calming cascade to keep to body in a state of homeostasis; by communicating with anti-inflammatory neurotransmitters It controls heart rate and regulates vascular tone It can regulate hunger and satiety – which makes it important in weight management
It has a role in insulin and glucose control within the body Due to the importance of the vagus nerve in the gut-brain axis – it plays a role in mood irregularities and mental health It is elemental in taste perception, as well as gag reflex control and both swallowing and coughing