My Gift to You: the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve
One simple move will reset the Vagus Nerve and bring you calm instantly.
I am going to give you an amazing gift that will help you de-stress during the holiday season. And throughout the New Year.
This one simple move will reset the Vagus Nerve. A gift to yourself that will bring you a immediate sense of peace and calm. The gift is cumulative. The more you
practice, the more you can maintain and return to your calm.
Resetting the Vagus Nerve activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Optimizing the PNS brings out the best in you. Like magic. And there’s more good news. A variety of different health issues are partly caused by Vagus Nerve dysfunction. And improve when we create tone in the Vagus Nerve.
Let me slow down, back up, and tell you more about the PNS and the Vagus Nerve, the bright and shining stars of this story.
Together, the PNS and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) automate your nervous system. Your sense of calm or your lack of it depends on whether you are hanging out in the PNS or the SNS.
When the PNS is dominant, you feel relaxed and calm. When the SNS is dominant, you are in “fight or flight” mode. SNS dominance is helpful in an
emergency. But after the emergency, not so much. And excess stress feeds many
of our chronic degenerative diseases.
Guess where we spend most of our time? We are a workaholic, over-doing, stressed-out culture. We reward Type-A behavior and multitasking. Even when we retire or semi-retire in Puerto Vallarta!
This is where the Vagus Nerve comes in. The heroine of this story. A story with a
very happy ending. Keep reading.
Resetting the Vagus Nerve boosts the immune system, fights depression, improves memory, slows degeneration, and more.
Let’s get acquainted with the Vagus Nerve, the longest nerve in your body. It begins
at the medulla, part of your brainstem. It travels down your throat along your
esophagus. It passes near your lungs and heart. Finally, it innervates your
The Vagus Nerve is the key to activating the PNS and overriding the SNS. It can be a giant stress-reducer.
Resetting the Vagus Nerve speeds up your body’s natural healing process. It resets your immune system. It helps you fight depression. It can improve your memory and
lower your blood pressure. It can slow down degeneration that happens as we get older.
Resetting the Vagus Nerve also enhances what Stanley Rosenberg calls “social
engagement.” Rosenberg wrote “Accessing the Healing Power of the
Vagus Nerve.” He believes that when we feel safe – not threatened or in danger – we are more able to interact with others. A topic for another time, but worth mentioning here.
The Vagus Nerve reset I am going to share here is Rosenberg’s basic exercise.
Rosenberg’s book is chock-full of other moves and information about the Vagus Nerve. Including strategies for addressing COPD, neck and shoulder tension, migraines, posture, and autism. You may want to check it out.
You can reset your Vagus Nerve before you get out of bed in the morning. And as often as you want during the day. It just takes a few minutes. Reset is immediate. The effects are cumulative. After you become familiar with the move, you can do it sitting on a chair, standing, or lying on your back.Start lying on your back (supine) with a stack of wash clothes under your head as needed. Interlace the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other
How to reset the Vagus Nerve.
- Place your hands behind your head. Feel your hands pressing into your head and your head pressing into your hands.
- If you have a stiff shoulder and cannot bring both hands behind your head, bring one hand behind your head. Place it in the middle of the back of your head.
- Keep your head in place. Shift your eyes to the right without turning your head.
- Wait 30-60 seconds for a swallow, yawn, sigh, or gulp. This is a signed that your autonomic nervous system has relaxed. The parasympathetic nervous system is now active. If this doesn’t happen the first time. Keep trying. It will come.
- Bring your eyes back to center. Repeat by shifting your eyes to the left.
- Note: Moving the eyes moves the suboccipital muscles at the base of the skull.
This resets the Vagus Nerve.
Learning to regulate the Vagus Nerve can help us de-stress. And address
many chronic degenerative diseases. To get started, try this basic move before
you get out of bed. And as needed. Keep a journal of your experience. The
calming effect and other benefits are cumulative.