The vagus nerve has recently become a hot topic in the holistic community. However, chiropractors have always known the importance, and here’s why:
The vagus nerve is one of the most important nerves in the body. It’s the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system, which controls many of the body’s automatic functions, such as heart rate and digestion. But the vagus nerve does much more than that. It also plays a crucial role in regulating inflammation, mood, and immune function.
What is the Vagus Nerve?
The Latin word “vagus” means wandering. It truly does “wander” around your body. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that extends from the brainstem to the abdomen. It’s responsible for many important functions, including:
- Heart Rate: The vagus nerve helps regulate heart rate by sending signals to the heart to slow down or speed up as needed.
- Digestion: The vagus nerve also plays a role in digestion by sending signals to the stomach and intestines to contract and release digestive enzymes.
- Inflammation: The vagus nerve helps regulate inflammation by sending signals to the immune system to reduce inflammation when it’s no longer needed.
- Mood: The vagus nerve plays a role in mood regulation by sending signals to the brain that affect the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
How Does the Vagus Nerve Affect Your Health?
- Stress Reduction: The vagus nerve is involved in the body’s relaxation response, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. Activating the vagus nerve through deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
- Improved Digestion: The vagus nerve helps regulate digestion by sending signals to the stomach and intestines. Dysfunction of the vagus nerve can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, and acid reflux.
- Reduced Inflammation: The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in regulating inflammation. By activating the vagus nerve, it’s possible to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- Improved Mood: The vagus nerve plays a role in mood regulation by affecting the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. By activating the vagus nerve, it’s possible to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Better Immune Function: The vagus nerve helps regulate immune function by sending signals to the immune system. Dysfunction of the vagus nerve can lead to increased inflammation and a weakened immune system.
Our bodies are self-healing and self-regulating; however, we sometimes get stuck in survival mode. Regular chiropractic care increases your vagus nerve activity and allows us to find balance in your autonomic nervous system and get out of survival mode.
We detect the strength of your vagus nerve response through vagal tone and adjust accordingly. When the vagus nerve is stimulated it promotes calmness in our nervous system, which allows for healing, growth, and happiness.
The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in many aspects of health, including stress reduction, digestion, inflammation, mood, and immune function. By understanding the vagus nerve and how it affects your health, it’s possible to take steps to improve your overall well-being. If you’re struggling with stress, digestive issues, inflammation, mood disorders, or immune dysfunction, consider speaking with your Chiropractor about ways to activate the vagus nerve and improve your health.