What is the vagus nerve and why it is the key to managing stress


In our long-term fast-paced society, it is almost impossible not to bear a certain degree of pressure.Even if you do Breathing exercises, Drinking tea for meditation, and Morning News And spend your day like an organized goddess, the pressure will come in quietly.If you are looking for a way to improve, it’s not just yours Stress managementBut your pressure Resistance, The vagus nerve is here to help. But what exactly is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve means “wandering” in Latin, and as his name implies, the nerve winds around your chest and abdomen and connects to most of your core organs. But why is it important, and what does it have to do with stress?

We talked with Dr. Stephanie Canestraro, an expert on the vagus nervous system Vagus nerve clinic, In-depth understanding of the ins and outs of the largest component of the parasympathetic nervous system, and understand how it affects our health. The frustrating medical history prompted her to innovate in the field and help others, which in turn led her into functional medicine. After gaining insight into the importance of the vagus nerve, Dr. Canestraro created her clinic to focus on intestinal and vagus nerve health (two foundations to help her maintain her own health). With a background in functional medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture, Ph.D. Canestraro now uses her expertise to treat her clients.

Continuing to scroll, Dr. Canestraro will take us to understand everything from what the vagus nerve is to its role and how to increase vagus nerve tension to effectively control stress.

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is your tenth cranial nerve (CNX). It is called the “migratory nerve” because it is the longest parasympathetic nerve in the body.

It is in a leading position in almost all autonomic nerve functions in the body. It stimulates the “rest and digestion” aspect of our nervous system, not the sympathetic “fight or flight” aspect.

The vagus nerve has two branches: the abdominal nerve and the dorsal nerve, which are named because they originate from the brainstem. The anterior branch of the vagus nerve innervates the organs above the diaphragm, the heart and lungs, the back of the soft palate, and some skin on the ears. The dorsal branch mainly controls the organs below the diaphragm, including the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and intestines, all the way to the transverse colon.

The role of the vagus nerve and its regulating function:

The vagus nerve connects the brain stem to the body. It allows the brain to monitor and receive information about many different functions of the body.

It has many different functions, including:

  1. Provide sensory information for the throat, ears, heart, lungs and most of the digestive tract.
  2. Provides post-tongue taste.
  3. Provide motor function and reflexes for the neck muscles responsible for swallowing, sneezing and talking.
  4. Its parasympathetic function includes responsibility for the digestive tract, breathing, and heart rate.

Over time, how will stress and uncontrolled nervous system affect our body?

Stress and an uncontrolled nervous system lower your immune system, and the immune system is responsible for protecting your body from diseases and infections. Long-term stimulation of your immune system due to stress will cause the system as a whole to be suppressed, thereby reducing the effectiveness of fighting diseases and infections.

In some cases, stress can cause existing conditions to worsen, while in other cases, stress and an unregulated nervous system may be the main factors causing susceptibility to new conditions.

How does vagus nerve health affect your overall health?

The vagus nerve is like an information highway to the brain. When the vagus nerve fails to work properly, it is called “low vagus nerve tone.”

Low vagus nerve tone is associated with many symptoms and problems, such as IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, panic attacks, and poor heart rate variability. Because it affects your breathing, digestion and heart rate, it also has a huge impact on your mental health.

What you really need to pay special attention to is the “tone” of the vagus nerve. Vagus nerve tone is an internal biological process that represents the activity of the vagus nerve. Increasing vagus nerve tone activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and higher vagus nerve tone means your body can relax faster after stress.

The more your vagus nerve tone increases, the more your physical and mental health will improve.

Methods of activating and regulating the vagus nerve:

1. Cold exposure — Try to end the morning shower with cold water for at least 30 seconds. Let the cold water from the shower run through sensitive areas of your body, such as the back of your neck. When you let the water wash your body, do deep diaphragmatic breathing. Gradually increase the exposure time. If this is too much, splash your face with cold water first.

2. Take a deep breath — Slowly inhale as much as possible through the nose. When you feel your lungs are full, breathe in a little more. Hold your breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale for seven seconds through the pursed lips like a whistle. Do this at least 10 times in a row. You want to breathe with your chart. When you do this, your stomach should expand forward while your ribs expand outward.

3. Hum and gargle — Singing, humming, and gargle are all good ways to stimulate part of the vagus nerve because it is connected to the vocal cords and the muscles of the back of the throat. All day long, hum to your favorite song. Rinse your mouth with water in the morning and evening. Take a sip of water with your mouth, tilt your head back and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds.

4. Vomiting reflex — The vagus nerve is responsible for your vomiting reflex. If you do not have the vomiting reflex, this is a sign of low vagus nerve tone. Use a tongue depressor or the end of a toothbrush to irritate the back of the throat and cause the vomiting reflex. You can do this after brushing your teeth every day.

5. acupuncture — The vagus nerve innervates the skin in the tragus, pinna, and ear canal. You can also tap this area with a toothpick, which will stimulate your vagus nerve.

6. Scratching face and neck/scalp massage — This affects the nerves that come out of the same area of ​​the brain that is innervated by the vagus nerve. When these areas are stimulated, it will relax and increase vagus nerve tension!

You can also perform other exercises to improve the tone of the vagus nerve, and you can find more information On the website of the Vagus Nerve Clinic.

Incorporate enhanced vagus nerve tension into your every day:

The exercises mentioned above can be incorporated into your daily schedule, so in times of stress, your vagus nerve tension will be stronger, and you will find that you can handle stress better and relax faster. Using deep breathing and meditation during stressful times will promote kindness to yourself and help reduce the compassionate “fight or flight” activities you might be in.

We like products that reduce stress:

OSEA Vagus Nerve Pillow Fog

Sleep is essential to support our body’s ability to recover and repair. A quick spray before going to bed can soothe and promote balance and health. No need to limit it to the bedroom-this vagus nerve spray can also create an excellent full room spray for a super Zen atmosphere.

Acquiring the healing power of the vagus nerve-Stanley Rosenberg (Stanley Rosenberg)

If you are interested in learning more about the amazing ability of the vagus nerve, then look no further. Stanley Rosenberg’s book links vagus nerve health with anxiety, depression, trauma, and autism.

Wooden Spoon Herbal Anxiety Ally

I really like herbal tinctures, this is one of my favorites. There is a dropper under the tongue, which gently soothes, balances and restores tension, helping to stabilize and calm.

OSEA Vagus Nerve Oil

This oil blend smells like heaven. It is a subtle, uplifting and warm feeling, and the pumping sensation between the hands and the sides of the neck is equivalent to super relaxing. Add a few deep breaths to increase the strength of the vagus nerve. This beautiful little mixture smells good enough to be used as a perfume-it contains chamomile oil, which has a calming and soothing effect, lemon tree oil provides tranquility and eliminates signs of stress, and lavender oil promotes relaxation.

Peak and valley balance my stress adaptor mix

Use it when you are particularly exhausted, or as a daily enhancer, this adaptive blend formula is designed to prevent stress and fatigue while strengthening the immune system.

Skin Gym IceCoolie

It is very suitable for rapid cryotherapy. I like to take out this ice roller in the morning because it has anti-swelling effect and vagus nerve conditioning effect.



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