The vagus nerve also called the “wandering nerve” begins in the brainstem and it has multiple branches to the heart, lungs, viscera, and many other organs. It is one of the longest nerves in the body and it is comprises about 80 percent of our parasympathetic nervous system, also referred to as the ‘rest and digest’ system.
The vagus nerve is key for healthy brain-gut communication. The function of the vagus nerve is to transmit messages between the brain and the rest of the body. This communication goes both ways; it’s called the gut-brain axis, and it lies at the root of many common gut – and brain – health issues.
When brain function declines due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion, or chronic inflammation, the vagus nerve function suffers, and the gut doesn’t get enough input. As a result, constipation, leaky gut, food sensitivities, irritable bowel disorders, and other problems can arise.
Here are several easy daily activities to stimulate the vagus nerve, to enhance vagal tone.
Singing loudly, humming, chanting
These create vibrations of the muscles of the vocal chord which are connected to the vagus nerve.
Vibrations of the muscles of the vocal chord which are connected to the vagus nerve.
Triggering the Gag Reflex. Stop by the clinic to pick up a couple of tongue depressors to practice with.
Activates the vocal chords, and the peristaltic response of the esophagus and diaphragm.
Deep Slow Breathing (Ask us about 4-7-8)
Deep breathing stimulates the diaphragm. The slower exhalation creates greater stimulation to the vagus nerve, and increases the relaxation response.
Deep belly laughs. Laughter really is good medicine.
This creates vibrations in the vocal chords, requires deep breathing, which are beneficial to the lungs and diaphragm.
At Red Lotus Wellness Center, Dr. Y. K. Scarlett, implements a wholistic approach to help you recover or stay healthy. Contact us by note or by calling at (760) 637-5069.