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A Nourishing Heath Tip

The vagus nerve is an important part of the parasympathetic nervous system, connecting many organs, such as the brain, heart, liver, and gut. Having a ”low vagal tone” means that the vagus nerve is impaired in its functioning— a well-known cause of stress. Stimulating the vagus nerve can increase vagal tone, and thus have a significant positive effect on the functioning of your body. 

Reboot Your Vagus Nerve with these Simple Techniques

  • Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from the top of the lungs stimulates and tones the vagus nerve.

  • Humming. Since the vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords, humming mechanically stimulates it. You can hum a song, or even better repeat the sound ‘OM’.

  • Speaking. Similarly speaking is helpful for vagal tone, due to the connection to the vocal cords.

  • Washing your face with cold water. The mechanism her is not known, but cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve.

  • Meditation, especially loving kindness meditation which promotes feelings of goodwill towards yourself and others. A 2010 study by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kik found that increasing positive emotions led to increased social closeness, and an improvement in vagal tone.

  • Balancing the gut microbiome. The presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone.

  • Gum chewing: Chewing stimulates digestion, controlled mostly by the parasympathetic nervous system. Chewing gum does the same. 

Have a Nourishing Day!

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

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