What Happens in Vagus ...

The vagus nerve is one of the cranial nerves that connect the brain to the body. It wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest and abdomen. The vagus nerve has a number of different functions including: 

Communication between the brain and the gut: The vagus nerve delivers information from the gut to the brain.

Relaxation with deep breathing: The vagus nerve communicates with the diaphragm. With deep breaths, a person feels more relaxed. 

Decreasing inflammation: The vagus nerve sends an anti-inflammatory signal to other parts of the body.

Lowering the heart rate and blood pressure: If the vagus nerve is overactive, it can lead to the heart being unable to pump enough blood around the body. In some cases, excessive vagus nerve activity can cause loss of consciousness and organ damage. 

Fear management: The vagus nerve sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to dealing with stress, anxiety, and fear - hence the saying, "gut feeling." These signals help a person to recover from stressful and scary situations.

Broken down even further - another function of the vagus nerve is balancing the nervous system. The sympathetic side increases alertness, energy, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. The parasympathetic side, which the vagus nerve is heavily involved in, decreases alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate, and helps with calmness, relaxation, and digestion. With the vagus nerve having pathways to almost every organ in the body, researchers have now found that vagus stimulation (manually or through electrical pulses) can improve conditions like; 

. epilepsy

. rheumatoid arthritis inflammation

. heart failure

. inflammation from diabetes mellitus

. intractable hiccups

. abnormal heart rhythm

. inflammation from Crohn's

. inflammation from Parkinson's

. inflammation from Alzheimer's

. anxiety disorders

. depression

Excitingly, we can tap into the power of the vagus nerve, which controls the relaxation-inducing parasympathetic nervous system through some simple breathing practices. The body and mind connection is endlessly fascinating and we love sharing the process and exploration of it with you.