The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in your body and is one of twelve cranial nerves. It starts in your brainstem and runs all the way to your abdomen.
This nerve is a part of your involuntary nervous system that directs your unconscious body activity. This means it is in charge of things like keeping your heart rate stable, ensuring you digest food, and telling the body to heal itself. This nerve moves around your body and sends out little fibers to your organs.
Research has revealed that this nerve is also linked with treating chronic inflammation. For those of you who are not aware chronic inflammation can lead to things like migraines, digestive issues, and high blood pressure. Using this nerve we may be able to treat these issues without having to deal with actual medication.
The control your vagus nerve has over your heart rate is known as vagal tone and recent studies have revealed that it is important in order to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Having a higher vagal tone is a good thing. It means you are more likely to be able to relax your body even after suffering from stress. This could also be seen as a sign that your internal systems function better.
If you have a low vagal tone then you are more likely to experience things like heart issues, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and other similar issues. Luckily, several researchers have discovered that if you stimulate the nerve using electrical current you can actually increase your vagal tone. This will improve your resilience to these issues. Now, of course, you can’t use electrical currents to do this at home but there are other methods that can also help.
Ways to improve your vagal tone:
- Breathe deeply- Taking long deep breaths will stimulate this nerve.
- Meditate- Thinking positive and meditating has been shown to have a positive effect on this nerve.
- Speak- Speaking more often will raise your vagal tone through your vocal chords.
- Hum- Humming stimulates the nerve because it is connected to your vocal chords, while it may sound strange this is very effective.
These things are very simple and effective. It will take time to control this nerve but it can be done. For more information on the vagus nerve please take the time to watch the video below.