Do you suffer from fatigue, anxiety, digestive issues, food sensitivities, feel depressed, have brain fog, or feel despondent? Are you dealing with chronic pain, inflammation, or autoimmune disease?
If yes, your vagus nerves may be not be functioning optimally.
The vagus, or 10th cranial nerves, are the main nerves of the parasympathetic nervous system originating at the brain stem, traveling down the sides of your neck, across the chest, and down through the abdomen and are responsible for calming your organs after the stressed “fight-or-flight” adrenaline response to danger. This nerve sends and receives information between the brain and the organs about what’s going on; especially in the digestive tract, lungs, heart, spleen, liver and kidneys.
During times of stress, including times of negative thoughts and emotions, the ‘fight or flight’ response raises the heart rate, diverts blood away from the organs to the muscles, and shuts down digestion and immune functioning.
Recovery from stress relies on signaling from the vagus nerve to restore parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ functions; allowing the heart rate to slow, and digestive and immune functions to return to normal.
People with strong (high) vagal tone are able to recover quickly from stressors, coming back into homeostasis by allowing ‘rest and digest’ and healing to occur.
Those with weak (low) vagal tone, however, persist in the ‘fight or flight’ state, leading to immune dysfunction, inflammation and, eventually, disease.
Although vagal tone is genetically predetermined at birth and evident at infancy, the good news is that it is malleable. Studies have shown that meditation practice, mindfulness, and relaxation training can increase vegal tone in adults.
With a daily meditation practice, the nerves of the brain develop new pathways that strengthen a healthy parasympathetic dominance by restoring vagus nerve signals, allowing the body to relax, digest and heal.
Deep breathing, positive thinking, and entering into a state of loving kindness towards yourself and others, gives the vagus nerve a chance to reset and function optimally; decreasing fear and anxiety, increasing intuition, improving mental clarity, stabilizing mood, and reducing inflammation and chronic pain.
So, meditate, breathe deeply and hug someone today!
This blog is intended to pass along information, share tips, and express ideas on topics related to improving spiritual, mental and physical well being. Your comments and suggestions are all welcome!