Turning Chaos into Calm
What if your body is already designed to help you stay balanced and peaceful in this chaotic world?
Tapping into the power of your vagus nerve will assist in reducing stress, anxiety, anger, and inflammation by activating the "relaxation response" of your parasympathetic nervous system.
The vagus nerve, also called the CNX cranial nerve or 10th nerve is the most extended and most complex of all of the cranial nerves. The vagus nerve runs from the brain through the face, thorax, and abdomen.Imagine the vagus nerve, which begins at your brain stem, and continues down to the abdomen, transmitting sensory messages of your ears, throat, lungs, heart, and digestive tract. This wandering vagus nerve encourages the calming of your autonomic nervous system. It provides communications to decrease your stress response, lowers your blood pressure, and slows your heart rate. It can relax your respiratory rate and reduce reflexes such as coughing and sneezing. Further, it plays a vital role in mediating digestive activity that is important to your mental and physical health.
The Vagus Nerve & Improving Your Digestion
The vagus nerve promotes calm in your body, bringing you into parasympathetic mode. In this state, you have increased digestive function. The vagus nerve is your brain-gut connection, picking up messages from your digestive tract's enteric nervous system (ENS). It modulates intestinal homeostasis and can impact your feelings of hunger or fullness. In addition to having an impact on the amount of food you eat, it also controls your rate of nutrient delivery, digestive function, and absorption throughout your body. Thus, having a healthy vagus nerve will assist in reducing inflammatory bowel disease, weight gain, indigestion, constipation, and poor nutrition. Improving the digestive function has shown to help with anxiety and depression and may impact vagus nerve activity. (3)
The gut is where we digest not only our nutrition but also our emotions.
The Vagus Nerve can Help Your Gut Immunity
Your gut-brain connection plays a crucial role in your immunity. Your gastrointestinal tract has a delicate balance of helpful bacteria that aid in digestion. The ENS must also decipher harmful pathogens and toxic food antigens that enter your digestive tract. The vagus nerve connects your brain to your intestinal immune system, coordinating an endocrine response, and driving the first line of defense against harmful invaders. This response can help reduce chronic inflammation, fighting your body’s consistent exposure to bacteria and toxins that can cause tissue injury. (3)
The tone of the vagus nerve is correlated with the capacity to regulate stress responses. It can be influenced by deep breathing, increased by awareness meditation, and yoga can contribute to resilience and the balancing of mood and anxiety symptoms.(3)
There are several easy methods to stimulate your vagus nerve that activate your parasympathetic nervous system to create a calming response.