Vagus nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves and it’s the longest nerve in our bodies. It starts in the brainstem and runs all the way to our abdomen, cutting through our heart, esophagus and our lungs.
Known as “cranial nerve X”, the nerve is part of your involuntary nervous system, the system that directs your unconscious body activity, such as keeping your heart rate stable and ensuring you digest food properly. It tells the body to heal itself, essentially.
The nerve moves around your body (like a vagabone, hence the name) sending out tiny fibres to your organs, such as your heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines. The vagus nerve is essentially controlling your parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for stimulating your “rest and digest” activities.
New research has revealed the connection between vagus nerve and treating chronic inflammation that can result in digestive issues, migraines and high blood pressure.
What is a vagal tone? It’s the control vagus nerve has over the heart rate.
When you breathe in your heart usually speeds up slightly, and when you breathe out your heart rate slows down a little. To determine your vagal tone, you need to establish the difference between your inhalation heart rate and your exhalation heart rate. The bigger the difference, the higher your vagal tone will be.
High or low?
It is a good thing if you have a higher vagal tone . This means that you can relax your body after suffering from stress in a faster and easier way. Also , your internal systems probably function better. Internal systems such as :
- Sugar regulations
- Reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Better digestion
- Less migraines
- Lower depression
- Less stress and anxiety
Scientists have discovered that the vagus nerve is monitoring and responding to your body, it initiates responses to any inflammation, all of which affects your mood and your ability to cope with your body’s reactions.
Low vagal tone
On the other hand if you have lower vagal tone you are more prone to heart diseases, strokes. Depression, diabetes and inflammatory conditions such as:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- inflammatory bowel disease
Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your vagal tone yourself
- Hum– This may sound strange to you but actually humming stimulates the nerve because of its connection to your vocal cords. You should try it out
- Speak – Another way is to speak more. This way you will raise your vagal tone through your vocal chords.
- Cold water – More research is needed to prove that this technique really works. However, there has been some evidence that If you splash cold water on your face, you will stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Breathe deeply – Breathing deeply through your diaphragm in order to stimulate your vagus nerve.
- Yoga – Your vagal tone levels can be increased by the relaxing and breathing yoga exercises.
- Meditate– According to a study done in 2010 meditation and thinking positively can positively affect your vagus nerve.
- Improve gut health – Having a healthy gut increases your vagal tone levels. It works by creating a loop of health from your gut, through the nerve and back. Try probiotics as a healthy bacteria supplement.
Try these ways yourself and stimulate your vagus nerve. They are all very simple but very effective and beneficial for your health. It’s time to be in control of your nerves.
Source : www.lifeadvancer.com