How does stress affect your body and what does the Vagus nerve have to do with it?
Have you found that your stress seems to throw your whole body out?
Do you have trouble sleeping, thinking, feeling tired and even feel your allergies get worse at times?
Well, there can be a very simple explanation for this!!
Your Vagus nerve is a massive nerve that links nearly all of your organs and brain, allowing them to communicate to one another. It is your main parasympathetic nerve.
When you are in a parasympathetic state you are able to REST, DIGEST, HEAL RECOVER AND RELAX. This means that being stressed or in a sympathetic state, fight or flight turns off the Vagus nerve.
Prolonged stress can rewrite the functioning of this nerve and we can see a variety of symptoms.
Recent treatment techniques such as Vagus nerve stimulation which is offered at Sydney Remedial Massage can greatly improve and recover Vagus nerve function and the function of the body’s systems.
What Is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
Vagus nerve stimulation is a non-invasive process which has no side effects and at most, feels like your ears are vibrating.
The therapy is a modern medicine technique and has an ever-growing body of evidence both in medical and research journals and results I have seen firsthand.
Vagus nerve stimulation can help treat the symptoms of
- Autoimmune Disease
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Gastro-intestinal tract complaints and Digestion
- Inflammatory Disorders
- PTSD and
A lot of our recovery both physically and mentally occurs when we are in a parasympathetic state and in deep sleep.
Your quality of sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Stress results in high cortisol – and when you have high cortisol you cannot make it into a deep restorative sleep. That’s if you can even get to sleep or stay asleep at all.
Interesting fact: the Vagus nerve regulates cortisol and inflammation systemically.
What Is The Vagus Nerve?
The Vagus Nerve (Cranial nerve X) is the longest of the 12 cranial nerves and plays a HUGE role in the body’s functions.
First of all, the Vagus nerve is a neuromodulator which has motor and sensory fibres that connect the brain stem to many organs in the body.
These include your
- large intestine
- small intestine
- female fertility organs
- ears and
The Vagus nerve also effects different parts of the brain such as the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, insula in a bidirectional manner from these organs.
What Are The Benefits of Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
Stimulation of the Vagus nerve improves signals going to and from the brain which improves negative feedback loops (If its too high brings it down and if its too low brings it up).
Treatments utilising Vagus nerve stimulation lean towards a growing body of evidence showing major improvements in
- gut health
- mental health
- cardiac health
- inflammatory disorders
- autoimmune conditions and
Vagus Nerve stimulation may involve
- manual manipulation of the nerve in the neck
- exercises which strengthen Vagal tone
- neural tensioners and
- electrical stimulation with auricular clips (transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS)) or electro needling.
As well as tVNS there are a variety of things which can be done to increase vagal tone with some being more effective for particular conditions than others.
Exercises such as gargling, gag-reflex, singing, uvula elevations, meditation and putting the face in a bowl of ice water (divers reflex) all upregulate vagal tone and improves its functions.
Article by Samuel Minkin (BHSc (Musculoskeletal Therapy), Dip Fitness.
If you would like to learn more about Vagus Nerve Stimulation, please book in with Samuel Minkin, for a Vagus Nerve Session.
Online Bookings can be made under Musculoskeletal Therapy and sessions are 40 minutes long.
We are offering an introductory special of $80 to try this unique treatment at Sydney Remedial Massage.
Please note that this article is provided for information only and does not constitute medical advice.