vagus nerve

The vagus nerve between low vagal tone, inflammation, and depression.

The vagus nerve is the highway for messages to travel between your mind and body. It determines how you react to the stress in your environment. Most trauma people are in “fight or flight,” which creates an unhealthy vagal tone.

Disturbed vagal tone leads to inflammation, gastrointestinal problems, and symptoms of depression/anxiety.
Studies conducted with devices that stimulate vagal tone show improvement in PTSD, depression, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep and apnea, and migraines. There is a convincing link between low vagal tone and inflammation.
While scientists are working on a lot of technology to stimulate this nerve, the easiest way to do it naturally is by using your breath.

Practicing breathwork neurologically changes how you respond to stress by altering vagal tone of the vagus nerve.

It just takes dedicated practice.
Sit wherever you want.

Try to do this on an empty stomach (morning is best).

Breathe deeply from your lower abdomen.

When you can’t breathe more air, stop and hold your breath for 3-5 seconds.
Exhale without any force.

Take a cycle of regular breathing and repeat 10 times.
When you first start practicing this, you may feel dizzy or panicked when exhaling.

Your body will adapt quickly.

Use this whenever you need it to release stress.

The vagus nerve is like a muscle. Every time you stimulate it, you amplify a healthy response in the body and mind.

Calming Your Nervous System — With Vagus Stimulation Exercises

With foods that calm the body, you can also stimulate the vagus nerve. For example, various minerals can support the nerve. Probiotics also provide good support for intestinal bacteria. It has been scientifically shown to improve the function of the nervous system.8
Vagus nerve exercises can be easily integrated into everyday life and are a great way to better care for your well-being.

The vagal tone can affect the health of the nerve9 describe and activate the entire parasympathetic nervous system.

Because the vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords, exercises such as singing, humming, or gargling can stimulate this nerve. The rhythmic pronouncing (chanting) of the OM sound is a well-known technique from yoga, with which you can also enable the vagus nerve.10 

To accomplish this, sit in a comfortable position where you do not fall asleep, for example, in the cross-legged position. Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees with the palms up with your thumb and index finger touching.

Take a deep breath, relax your body and start chanting “OM” (OHM or AUM). This does not have to be very hard. It is enough to achieve a subtle inner vibration.

Do gravity blankets really work?

These blankets have shown positive results for several conditions, including autism, ADHD, and anxiety. They can help calm a restless body, reduce feelings of stress, and improve sleep troubles. When choosing a weighted blanket for yourself, find a snug size that’s around 10 percent of your body weight.

The Wim Hof ​​method has such a powerful effect on your mental and physical health.

This has several reasons. One reason is that cold training is one of the most effective ways to stimulate your “vagus nerve.”

But why is this so important? And why does the cold help with this? To understand this, you first need to know what role the vagus nerve plays in your body.

Yes, your body has to work just as hard to quickly bring your body temperature back up to par, which activates the autonomic nervous system. Helped by deep breathing to calmly tolerate the cold, stimulate the vagus nerve, and relax your body.

You also increase your energy level and metabolism. It also helps control your blood sugar and maintain a consistent heart rate.

Therefore, it is not surprising that research has shown that people who take cold showers are 29% less sick than people who do not.

3 exercises to start with cold training to stimulate the vagus nerve!

What’s great about cold training is that it doesn’t cost at all, it’s accessible to everyone, and it’s easy to get started.

Exercise 1: A cold shower!

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A simple way is, for example, by taking a cold shower. Simply turn your battery on to the lowest setting for the last 30 seconds of your shower. And do this every morning after a Wim Hof ​​breathing session. Once you get used to the 30 seconds, you can increase the time or switch entirely too cold showers.

But you may doubt that you can do it because the cold will be too hard to bear. You will indeed have to bite through the cold the first few times. But you quickly get used to it.

Furthermore, you will be amazed at how good you feel after doing it once. You will immediately feel more alert and energetic. And the adrenaline rush you get is almost addictive.

In addition, it will help you be more productive, you will recover faster from training sessions, and it will improve your sleep. Not to mention all the health problems it enables you to avoid!

But cold showers aren’t your only option. You can also consider “cold water immersion.” This is when you submerge (a part of) your body in cold water for a specific time.

Exercise 2: An ice bath!

An ice bath is one such example for which the Wim Hof ​​method is known. This is actually a next-level exercise. If you are a beginner and find it very exciting, follow an introductory workshop to learn the intricacies. Tip. Enter a maximum of 2 minutes. A more extended period does not bring many additional benefits, and the time to recover is ultimately the most important.

Exercise 3: Dip face in cold water!

When you’re stressed, grab a bucket big enough to fit your face in. And fill it with ice-cold water. Then bend your head so that your forehead, your eyes, and a large part of your cheeks are covered by the water. Immerse for 10 seconds, and you are the “male” again.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970666/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517481/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29424758/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576315/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189422/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26364692/
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/vagus-nerve-stimulation/about/pac-20384565
  8. https://sass.uottawa.ca/sites/sass.uottawa.ca/files/how_to_stimulate_your_vagus_nerve_for_better_mental_health_1.pdf
  9. https://sass.uottawa.ca/sites/sass.uottawa.ca/files/how_to_stimulate_your_vagus_nerve_for_better_mental_health_1.pdf
  10. https://www.arcvic.org.au/34-resources/402-vagus-nerve-exercises

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