This Nerve is the key to your health and ability to relax

Your well-functioning Nervous System is critical to overall health. An important division of the Nervous System is the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which controls many functions of the body automatically (ie without our conscious control) such as our heart beating and digestion.

Part of the ANS speeds functions (sympathetic nervous system) to deal with stress. Opposing or balancing the sympathetic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system that slows function to accommodate relaxation and healing.

A critical nerve as part of this relaxing nervous system is the wandering nerve otherwise known as the vagus nerve (vagus is Latin for wanderer or vagabond). The vagus originates in the brain and travels to the heart, lungs, entire Gastrointestinal system as well as several other organs.

The vagus nerve is critical for control of the heart, breathing and digestion. Any dysfunction from the brain to the Gastrointestinal system will affect all tissues and organs to which the vagus nerve distributes.

These connections are important to diagnose illness rather than the usual medical approach of a drug for a symptom. Vagus nerve tone is important to treating chronic illness that involves several systems.

In fact the key to overall health and the ability of the body to truly relax is the function and tone of the vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve controls overall accommodation to the environmental and functional needs of the body.

The tone of the vagus nerve is both determined by our physiology and anatomy as well as genetically from the mother.

Low vagus nerve tone will lead to a highly susceptible individual, young or old. The pregnant mother passes on vagal tone to her developing fetus. A pregnant mother who is angry, anxious or depressed will pass on low vagus nerve tone as well as low levels of dopamine and serotonin, the mood enhancing, feel good brain neurochemicals.

Nevertheless you can control your vagus nerve tone throughout your life. Along with good vagal nerve tone comes a higher level of health.

How to improve your Vagal Nerve tone
The first way to improved vagal tone is to decrease stress as measured by your heart beat and your heart’s ability to adapt to stress. There is actually a technology called Heart Rate Variability that measures the heart adaptability to stress. Lower heart adaptability can indicate a poor vagal tone.
A second way to improve vagus nerve tone is exposure to cold by swimming in cold water, taking colder showers, immersing your head in water or drinking cold water. These activities will condition blood vessels and improve vagal tone.

Other ways to increase vagal tone is to do deep gargling, singing, or by intentionally gagging yourself with your finger stimulating the throat.

Other ways that have been shown to increase vagus nerve tone include:
• Laughing
• Developing quality social friendships
• Acupuncture or acupressure to the temple area, base of the neck, the skin space between your thumb and forefinger or the soles of the feet
• Massage
• Feeding your gut probiotics with fermented vegetables (eg Sauerkraut), apple cider vinegar, pickles, natural yogurts
• Eating Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids in fish oils among other sources

Two other high level actions will dramatically increase vagal tone. Cranial or cranial osteopathic treatment is effective for improving Vagal nerve tone and health.

The other method to improve vagal tone is Bemer technology. I have discussed this technology in several blogs. Bemer is a technology which dramatically increases circulation to all cells and tissues. Bemer also increases vagal tone and improved function of all organs fed by the vagus nerve including the brain.

For more on the Bemer technology go to www.Bemergroup.com.

The vagus nerve and its tone has significant influence on health both good or bad. Improved vagal tone is easy, low cost, involves little time and most important is very effective.

Remember to
Enjoy the Journey,
Dr. Bob