Monday, November 23, 2015

6 Ways to Instantly Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve to Relieve Inflammation, Depression, Migraines And More

I was bumbling through Facebook and I found this very interesting post. Anything about inflammation stops me dead in my tracks and has me hooked, as I work daily to manage my RA symptoms without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. I had NO IDEA that I even had a Vagus Nerve and no, it didn't have anything to do with a holiday is Las Vegas (darn!) 

When I see "6 ways" I want to know what they are quickly, without reading through the gumph, so here they are in a nutshell - the six ways to instantly stimulte your vagus nerve to relieve inflammation, depression and migraines:
  1. Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from the top of the lungs stimulates and tones the vagus nerve. [I don't know when last I did this!]
  2. 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’. [easy enough to add to my daily routine]
  3. Speaking. Similarly speaking is helpful for vagal tone, due to the connection to the vocal cords. [ok there's no problem here]
  4. Washing your face with cold water. The mechanism her is not known, but cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve. [this may take some getting used to!]
  5. 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. [Grrr that old addage that states "if you don't have time for 5 minutes of meditation then do 20 minutes" is nagging me. Gotta find time to do this, I'm reading more and more about the benefits of meditation]
  6. Balancing the gut microbiome. The presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone. [I'm getting into this, just got my first Keffir grains to make my very own Keffir]

Here's a link to the original article: Stimulate your vagus nerve