The Vagus Nerve- The Most Influential Nerve
The Vagus nerve is a power source, yet most of us have never even heard of it.
The vagus nerve is the most influential nerve in the parasympathetic system. Meaning, learning how to activate it can help you better manage stress, reduce cortisol levels, and achieve a better homeostatic balance, which effects all physiological functions of the body, including: better absorption of nutrients and digestion, decreased systemic inflammation, improved short-term memory, lowers blood pressure and heart heart (heart coherence) boosts immune system, produces endorphins that make you feel good, relieves anxiety and depression and can stimulate stem cells.
10 ways to tone your Vagus nerve for optimal well-being:
1. Yoga/Meditation- Yoga and meditation mimics symptoms of calm, which encourages the vagus nerve to feed back to the mind that all is well.
2. Chanting/singing- Auditory vibration has long been used in many spiritual practices like prayer, chanting mantras and choir. Focus on the vibrations of your hum in your throat and your cranium.
3. Cold Therapy- Cold therapy instantly brings the heart rate back down and is able to rapidly bring feelings of anxiety down, panic, stress, inflammation and elevate your mood. When you are exposed to cold water the vagus nerve orders your heart rate to slow in order to conserve oxygen. Try a cold shower, cold plunge or simply dipping your face into an ice bowl for 30-60 seconds.
4. Breath work- Breathing through your nose and out through your mouth, take slow and steady breaths. Try 5-7 breaths per minute focusing on making the exhale longer than your inhale.
5. Laughter- Laughter is the best medicine. The very act, even if you are fake laughing gives your body the benefits.
6. Gua Sha Massage- Activate acupressure points at the thymus, between the thumb and pointer finger, around the ear, and head of the knee. Learn more about gua sha massage with any purchase of our gua sha tools- receive a 40 page ebook and two video tutorials.
7. Positive Thinking- Positive thinking is just like anything else, it needs to be practiced regularly to maintain and strengthen that part of the brain. Becoming more mindful of your every day thoughts and rerouting them towards a more positive result or your ideal outcome. This is why we have affirmations with all of our products.
8. Gargling- Gargling with warm water first thing in the morning contracts the back of the throat which in turn activates the vagus nerve. This is one of the easiest exercises to implement into your daily life.
9. Fasting- Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is where you eat your meals during a certain window of time. For example, you have your first meal at 12 p.m. and your last meal at 7 p.m. You can do this every day, every other day or choose a fasting technique that works for you. Learn more in my book.
11. Far Gazing- These days we are looking at everything close up, on our phones and computer. It is important to remember to look far with your eyes.