I love your Vagus nerve.
It is one of the most powerful nerves in your body, yet least talked about.
And I'm not quite sure why…
Here's the thing.
There is a good chance that you have never heard of your vagus nerve, or that you have heard of it, but have little or no knowledge about it.
There is another good chance that if you are visiting my blog, you probably have some anxiety issue of some description, and you are looking for a decent relief from it.
What if I were to tell you that your vagus nerve is the epicentre of all of your healing stories?
Or to put it another way; if you wish to begin your self-healing (and note the word begin) it all starts with your vagus nerve!
Have I lost you yet?
So, let me quickly explain what the heck the vagus nerve is all about and how, by using a simple 6 part process, can bring about quick mental peace.
Because this crap is about to get real, real quick!
What exactly is it?
As the name suggests, your vagus nerve is the only nerve to stem from your brain and touch every main organ in your body, and is your interface between your parasympathetic nervous system (feelings of calm) and sympathetic nervous system (flight-or-fight mode).
The general idea (but just to warn you, this idea is still being investigated scientifically) is that most mental illness, including some autism, is due to an over-stimulated sympathetic system (but that article is for another day).
To counter the effect of an over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system and to bring peace to the mental chaos in the human mind, one needs to find a way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
This counters the fight-and-flight response, which helps ageing!
Whilst you can't do this directly (sorry to burst any bubbles…) you can do it directly by activating your vagus nerve…
I say directly, because in truth you will be also be activating your vagus nerve indirectly by using your breathing in a certain special way.
Stay with me here, because I'm about to show you a technique which I use personally to help activate your vagus nerve.
This also stimulates more growth hormone!
Human growth hormone does the following:
– It helps regulate muscle and bone growth, including healing fractures
– Helps increase your sex drive
– Helps with weight loss
– Helps slow the progression of illnesses that are age related
– Reduces the risk of cardio vascular disease
– Can even reduce hair loss
– And don't forget better sleep!
Has that wet your appetite.
Now the trick to activating your vagus nerve is to breath in a certain way.
Don't forget, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in normally while your sleep anyway, while the sympathetic nervous system remains stable during the REM part of sleep (the REM bit, where your brainwaves are in Theta/alpha and you dream, but your body is paralysed so you don't act out your deams).
The type of breathing is usually variable during REM sleep, but is usually stable during deep NREM sleep.
You have to essentially pretend that you are on the verge of snoring when you are breathing, to help activate the vagus nerve.
It is no coincidence that when the tongue is flat on the floor of your mouth, this is the ideal tongue posture for singing. Singing, incidently, is another good way of activating it.
1. Let your tongue rest on the bottom of your mouth. If done correctly, you should feel the back of your tongue touching the back of your teeth.
2. Using belly breathing, breath through your nose and pretend your on the verge of snoring. If you do find that you are snoring, you're slightly over doing it.
3. You may find a slight contraction of the windpipe (i.e. it will feel like your tongue is partially in the way) so make sure you can still breath normally and that you are not stopping yourself breathing.
4. This does take a bit of practice to find this balance. You are looking for that middle ground of the back of your tongue resting on the floor of your mouth, but not too much that you are obstructing your own breathing channels.
5. Keep practising and you will find that, when done properly, a warm feeling will begin to flood your heart area (your heart chakra will be opening) and you may find that your 3rd eye may be activated.
Or to put simply, if you feel a loving, warm feeling encompass your heart, that is oxytocin being released, meaning that you are activating your vagus nerve.
6. Keep practising this until you can do this without much effort, and you will find that you will have trained yourself to use a tool that can counter some of the damaging health effects of stress from someone who is in fight-or-flight mode, but who isn't consciously aware of this.
The beauty of using this technique, is that once you feel stress coming on you can quickly help activate your vagus nerve which will calm you down and help ward of the damaging effects of an overstimulated sympathetic nervous system response.
This can also include accelerated ageing due to the effect oxidative stress has on your Telomeres (part of your DNA…again, this will be explained in a later article;-).
When you practise this form of deep belly breathing, you will help almost manually begin the healing process, as the stimulation of the vagus nerve helps with improving memory, as well as increasing your immunity.
Stimulating your vagus nerve for stress relief is a great way of reducing stress/anxiety and depression
However, there is also an equally easier way of reducing stress and help you focus on your goals, so you can lead a more healthier, happier and productive lifestyle.
You can do this with learning and applying NLP, which also allows you to help keep your body from being overstimulated and can also help you with your goals and aspirations.
If you wish to learn more about NLP, and to learn great techniques that also involve understanding your very owns body subconscious (which is responsible for 99.9% of your behaviour), please click here to read my review on the NLP practitioners training course, by NLP trainer Michael Stevenson.
By using NLP with your vagus nerve will not only help you reduce stress and help be mentally focused, you will also be motivated so you can really go for your goals, and begin creating the life that you really want.
To find out more about the NLP practitioners Training course, please click here.
Till next time.
P.S. Using your vagus nerve with deep breathing is a great way to reduce stress and even activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is is the same system that stimulates growth hormone that helps with growth and healing in many parts of your body.
Whilst you cannot stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system directly, you can do it indirectly, by pretending to almost snore while belly breathing.
Due to the tongue being flat against your mouth, this will cause the vagus nerve to be stimulated, bringing the required emotional change.
Using anchoring with the activation of your vagus nerve is another great way of not only reducing stress, but also to focus on your goals. Anchoring can be achieved using NLP.
If you would like to find out more information on NLP, please look into the NLP practitioners course, by clicking here.