When we talk about the nervous system and its most essential elements, we commonly think of the brain and spinal cord and the nerves in charge of the senses that allow us to interact with the environment. However, in our popular culture, a crucial part of the nervous system has been neglected because it regulates internal functions, but even more critical because it allows us to become aware of and even control these systems.
This part consists of one of the brain’s cranial nerves, called the ‘vagus nerve,’ which, even since ancient practices such as yoga and tai chi, is considered a crucial element for good health, as it serves as a communicational bridge with our body to manage our emotions. And anticipate disease. At FastlyHealwe, please explain how to stimulate the vagus nerve naturally and keep it healthy.
The vagus nerve and its importance
The vagus nerve is the tenth pair of cranial nerves, the one that extends from the medulla oblongata (brainstem) to various organs and glands such as:
It is a crucial connecting bridge between the brain and our digestive and respiratory systems awareness. The extensions of this cranial nerve are sometimes classified as a second brain or emotional brain. It also allows us to have the different emotions that characterize us as living beings. Still, its health will enable us to regulate those emotions and impulses instead of overflowing them.
Millennial traditions have cultivated exercises and tools for the care and optimization of this communication ‘cable’ since they affirm that they also connect with the main center of vital energy ( prana or chi ) of the body and allow the person to have vitality throughout the day.
Massage to stimulate the vagus nerve
For this exercise, sit in a comfortable posture to breathe fully. From that position, begin to contract your belly rapidly, approximately two times per second, as if you were putting it inside.
These pumps can be done by holding the air as much as possible (and stopping to exhale and inhale again) for several repetitions or exhaling each time you pump continuously. You must wait at least 1 to 2 hours after eating or drinking something other than water to do this technique.
This simple technique does not need to strain your back or have too many muscles, so it is feasible for many clinical cases, but it will serve as a very efficient scan of your health. Here are some indicators and their possible meanings :
- If it hurts in the center of the belly, by the navel, you inevitably have intestinal inflammation or some condition that usually goes unnoticed in a sedentary person.
- If it hurts on the sides of the belly, some inflammation of the large intestine or severe constipation must be present, leading to chronic diseases if left untreated.
- If you have a headache, you may need to wait even longer to rest after eating, or you have a problem digesting the last meal.
- Suppose you find it difficult to control the respiratory rhythm. In that case, you must take care of the health of your respiratory organs, and you are probably a person who finds it difficult to channel his emotions when they emerge because those who do not regulate their breathing cannot control themselves.
These techniques are usually preceded or followed by several repetitions of deep breathing and meditation.
How to activate the vagus nerve to regenerate the body
Abdominal toning exercises are excellent for this purpose, clarifying that the abdominals are not only repetitive lifts of the torso or legs but that there are other alternatives with which to work this area of the body. Some abs are:
- Upper abs: the classics, raising and lowering the torso.
- Lower abs: Raise the legs to 90º (or what you can) and lower them.
- Crunches: Perform upper crunches simultaneously and approach the knees to the chest.
- Bring legs to the chest and hug them, inhaling, then stretch them and suspend them briefly at 30º concerning the ground.
- Plates: Lean on his elbows to the width of the arms and hands together. Body stretched and back, you lean on your toes—30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Platform pose: You stand on your hands and arms stretched shoulder-width apart and keep your body aligned from neck to feet for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. For more incredible difficulty, do not lean on the tip of the feet behind but on the instep.
- Legs in 30º suspension: the feet pointed and the torso and hands resting on the ground. Take deep breaths or pump until you can’t hold it anymore and lower your legs. Try to hold out for longer and longer.
Constant abdominal strengthening is necessary for you to tone the abdominal wall so that your organs have enough space to operate correctly. Exercises, where the abdomen is stretched, are essential – and not only contractions – as in the case of the last three because, with them, we undo possible tensions accumulated in these muscles that make it difficult for the vagus nerve to function correctly.
Activate vagus nerve with feeding
The link between the vagus nerve and food goes beyond its innervation in the digestive system. The intestinal flora or microbiota is a set of millions of bacteria that are responsible for helping to digest food and assist in a wide variety of functions, among which is influencing our preferences about food and the visceral emotions that drive some of our actions. This is thanks to its role in the alkalinization or acidification of the intestinal environment that is perceived through the vagus nerve and interpreted as healthy and harmonious or unwanted and can also harm the vagus nerve itself.
A correct diet allows the vagus nerve to function better and harmonizes our emotional and digestive health. It is essential to avoid or reduce:
- Flours and simple carbohydrates
- Refined pastries and sweets
- Sucralose o Splenda
- Dairy animals
- Processed meats
On the other hand, the intake of the following foods should be maintained or increased :
- Green vegetables
- Garlic and onion
Vagus nerve: cold water stimulation
Even if it is short of 2 minutes, a cold water bath stimulates the vagus nerve to balance its functions. If it is in the morning, just after waking up, it will allow the body to activate all its energy for a day with more vitality and better functioning of our digestion and respiration.
Exposing yourself to cold environments (do not run risks of hypothermia, of course) helps this system remember one of the most critical functions for which it was born, distributing heat to the body.
Dancing to stimulate the vagus nerve
Last but not least effective and enjoyable is dancing. Dancing spontaneously and for a long time requires body coordination; it is a physical activity that stimulates all the viscera at the abdominal level.
On the other hand, studying a particular dance form will work in one way or another on your postural correction, which necessarily induces a better function of the vagus nerve since most of the existing dance styles focus attention on the umbilical point contraction.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to stimulate the vagus nerve naturally, we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.