If you allow your mind and body to rest, the healing will come by itself.
Recently I came into some information that floored me. We joke about the vagus nerve as in, with one fell swoop of the hand in just the right place, you can knock someone unconscious if one hits the vagus nerve just right. I've yet to meet anyone who can actually do this outside of a movie or two. While all this is true, the Vagus Nerve is a much overlooked yet incredibly crucial nerve to our overall health and wellness.
The vagus nerve is one of the longest and most important nerves in the body as it helps control a number of crucial functions.
Such as, connecting your brain to your gut, and it can affect everything from your mood and stress levels to your digestion, heart rate and immune response. The vagus nerve may also play a major role in inflammation and various chronic diseases if not working properly. It sends sensory information to the brain (like info about sights, smells, tastes and sounds), and controls certain motor functions throughout the body,
It’s the longest of 12 cranial nerves, and is referred to as cranial nerve X (or 10). There are actually two vagus nerves—the left and right—but both are often talked about as one.
In Latin, the word “vagus” means “wandering.” It’s an aptly given name, since the vagus nerve wanders through the body, from the brainstem to the heart, lungs, stomach, digestive tract, liver, kidneys and spleen.
Why the Vagus Nerve is So Important
As part of the parasympathetic system, the vagus nerve allows the body to “rest and digest,” meaning it’s necessary to enable your body to better respond to and recover from stress.
It also plays a large role within the microbiome-gut-brain axis by sending signals between the gut and brain via gut bacteria. If we can begin to understand more, the idea of the mind-body connection becomes more clear.
EMOTIONS & PHYSICAL WELL BEING
It's a thing...
This means our physical and mental well-being are intimately interwoven, and the vagus nerve is a large reason why. Any damage or dysfunction to it can affect your mood, digestion or cardiovascular system. This is associated with low vagus nerve activity, or low vagal tone, which has been linked to chronic inflammation as well.
Fortunately, this can be improved via Vagus Nerve Stimulation, and the intentional and specific use of essential oils. In fact, an increasing amount of research has found that stimulating the nerve can help reduce symptoms of various conditions, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and more.
Poor health can often be traced to an infected or poisoned vagus nerve. Toxins are drained from the brain down the lymph channels on the side on the neck. If lymph flow is congested, these toxins – including environmental toxins, (this is why I speak so much about ridding toxins) heavy metals, (foods, medicines given in the form of shots) infections or pathogens – can linger near the vagus nerve and infect or poison the nerve, impacting the whole enteric nervous system.
First of all:
Heavy metals and sulfur toxins have a high affinity to nerves and can contaminate the vagus nerve. Because of the immense networking of sensory nerves and the nerves of the autonomic nervous system, toxins can be quickly absorbed in massive amounts. (this is not meant to alarm you, but bring an awareness so that you can do something quickly about your own vagus nerve)
The origins of infections are often microbes in the mouth that don’t physiologically belong there. For example, heavy metals, pathogens, infections, viruses or toxins can dump into the neck from chronically inflamed tonsils or sinuses, dental amalgams, infected root canals, or cavities in the jaw bone where they migrate to nerve endings. From here, the toxins move in the nerves toward the brain stem where they can impact the face and other brain nerves. The vagus nerve, just like the other cranial nerves, can be infected.
A toxic vagus nerve can impede all downstream function of the digestive system, leading to malabsorption, constipation or leaky gut. Malabsorption can then contribute to the accumulation of large-molecular matter in the lymph which can further trigger allergic immune responses and intolerances. As the vagus nerve controls movement in the digestive process, a toxic vagus nerve can lead to poor intestinal movement. This may contribute to not only constipation, but also to imbalances in the gut microbiome, that can cause small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, IBS and candida overgrowth. And since the vagus nerve signals the release of acetylcholine (ester of acetic acid and choline that act as a neurotransmitter) to slow down heart rate, a toxic vagus nerve can lead to cardiac issues. Root canals are often correlated with heart attacks for this very reason. The communication from the gut to the nervous system and the brain is then compromised, impairing the immune system and contributing to autoimmune reactions.
Can you imagine if autoimmune diseases were cured by simply detoxing the vagus nerve? Could it be that simple?
As it turns out it is that simple to heal the vagus nerve. Especially if you use essential oils. Before we get into the perfection of essential oil usage to heal and clear out the vagus nerve, here are a few other ways to heal.
1. Cold Exposure
Exposing yourself to cold temperatures can activate the vagus nerve and also lower your “flight-or-fight” response. Splashing cold water on your face, taking a cold shower or heading outside on a chilly day without a jacket. This would be a major last resort to me but hey, everyone's different.
2. Breathing Exercises
Deep and slow breathing has been shown to stimulate the vagus nerve and induce a sense of calmness. Take a deep inhale, filling your lungs with air as your belly expands, before slowly exhaling. Repeat this process 4 times and notice the change in your body. Add to it an essential oil and you'll begin to feel a release. This practice is recommended at least once an hour.
3. Singing and Humming
The vagus nerve works with the muscles at the back of your throat.
Activating these muscles via singing, or humming will stimulate it and increase HRV. Singing in unison, like in a choir, can have an even greater effect. Think of the frequency being released!
4. Meditation and Prayer
Prayer and meditation can also increase vagal tone and positive emotions. When your focus if the negative things in life and onto what's right- God and his purpose for you, the vagus nerve benefits greatly.
Laughter will make anyone feel good, and the vagus nerve likely plays a part in this.
Mild exercise can influence the vagus nerve to stimulate gut flow to enhance the stomach’s ability to process food. Interval training at moderate intensity may also increase its activity post-exercise.
Feeding the “good” gut bacteria with probiotics may be beneficial for both the brain and gut by means of the vagus nerve. Using Life 9 probiotic gives you nine strains of time released healthy bacteria strands that will assist your gut in healing.
8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in fish, have been linked with an increase activity of the vagus nerve. OmegaGize is by far the most optimal choice for an omega supplement because it is infused with essential oils. This assists the supplement in not turning rancid and provides better absorption. 9. Essential oils
In healing your body using essential oils many times a hand crafted blend is the best way. One of the best combinations os Clove and Lime essential oil. Simple, right?
There are several essential oils to use for a variety of detoxing purposes, but if you're new to essential oils or the idea of detoxing the vagus nerve, the simple combination of Clove oil and Lime oil will do the trick. Clove oil is high in antioxidants and will cleanse toxins and build up from the never. The Lime will continue the process as well as flushing out the lymph system. Taking Lime or Lemon essential oil in your water is also a great way to flush the lymph system.
Application- begin along the mastoid bone (behind the ear) and follow along down the sides of the neck to saturate the lymph system.
Other essential oils that may assist in the detox process are:
A second application to consider is place one drop one the base of the skull, massage throughout the entire scalp.
FYI- Research has found that Cinnamon Bark is highly effective at inhibiting microglial activation.
Know that significant research has shown that many common conditions today all point to the a toxic vagus nerve. Be sure to intentionally support this critical nerve in the body so that you are living your most vibrant and optimal life!