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5. The vagus nerve explained.

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in our body. It is the most complex nerve that connects the brain to the body.

The vagus nerve controls fight or flight and rest and digest in our body. When we are in high stress situations our fight and flight response is activated to keep us safe. Our stress response can remain in high alert and our body continues to release stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol to keep us going. The longer we are in the sympathetic system the more health concerns can arise from chronic pain, anxiety, mood swings, gut inflammation and so much more. We also begin to lose the vagal tone in the parasympathetic system which is the rest and digest.

When we don't have enough vagal tone in the parasympathetic system, rest and digest can't rise up to pull us put of fight and flight. We need to stimulate the vagus nerve to send the message to our brain that we are safe and can relax back down into the parasympathetic system. The more we work the nervous system, the more vagal tone we build up so that we can begin to regulate our own nervous system.

Belly breathing is something that we can do anytime to activate the vagus nerve to calm down. When we take a deep breath down into our belly, the diaphragm expands which pushes on our organs, which then pushes on the vagus nerve. It sends the message back to the brain that we are safe and we can calm down. This is very good to do before bed to relax the body for sleep. It is also very good to do just before we eat.

If we are in fight or flight before we eat, all our blood is in our arms and legs and not at our digestive system. If we calm down with the belly breaths the blood will return to our digestive system so when we eat our food, it can be disgested and the nutrients absorbed. You will also be less likely to experience bloating and an upset tummy after you eat. Try 10 deep belly breaths and notice how you feel after.

If you notice that you're having issues with feeling stressed, depressed, tummy issues, having trouble sleeping etc then you may need some treatment on your vagus nerve. I do a treatment that specifically targets the vagus nerve to calm down. If you would like an appointment, please call Red Earth Healing Centre. When we are calm and relaxed we feel connected and happy!

Sending you positive vibes 🤍

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