10 Ways to Stimulate Vagus Nerve
Vagus nerve regulates the body functions across the nerve route and plays an important role in rest and digest nervous system. Low vagal tone is associated with poor emotional health along with some others symptoms like unusual heart rate, loss of Gag reflex, difficulty in drinking liquids etc. We have to improve and increase the vagal tone by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve also known as pneumogastric nerve. It is the longest nerve of Autonomic nervous system. Vagus nerve has multiple branches and possesses numerous functions. It scuttles competently from the brain to the part of colon. Vagus nerve oversees the internal organ functions such as sustain the peristaltic movements of the gastrointestinal tract, heart rate, respiratory rate and vasomotor activity. It also regulates certain reflex actions like sneezing, coughing, vomiting and swallowing.
Vagal tone is the inner biological process that constitutes the activity of vagus nerve on which we have to pay more attention. Low vagal tone represents the declined vagus nerve activity that leads the way to numerous symptoms which hampers the functions of the nerve.
As per studies, it is mentioned that high vagal tone sustains the mental and physical health by activating the Parasympathetic nervous system. High vagal tone helps in relieving the stress rapidly.
Now we are proceeding further to know the different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve.
10 Ways To Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve
These are the different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve.
1. Exposure to cold
Cold exposure initiates action of the vagus nerve and triggers the cholinergic neurons. Exposure on regular basis decreases the Sympathetic activity and increases the parasympathetic activity .
Wash your face with ice cold water, exposure to cold environmental temperature with minimal clothing and take shower with the cold water for at least 30 minutes.
2. Slow and deep breathing
Another way for Vagus nerve stimulation is deep breathing. During deep breathing the diaphragm gets expanded, relaxes the body by relieving stress and anxiety. This is a very good way to stimulate the vagus nerve.
Taking 6 breaths slowly in a minutes helps in increasing the vagal tone. Technique should be like the stomach should expands outward and the exhale should be slow.
Meditation is the unique and relaxing way to increase the vagal tone. Meditation relaxes the mind, body and reduces the stress and anxiety by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. By doing meditation, positive emotions and feelings also develop.
4. Regular exercise
Daily physical activity increases the vagal tone and supports the brain activity. It strengthens the nervous system and effective in patients suffering from mental illness. 30 minutes regular exercise helps in lessen the stress level of the body.
Massaging on specific body parts stimulate the vagus nerve modulation and diminishes the sympathetic response.
- Foot massage enhances the activity of parasympathetic nervous system by increasing the vagus nerve stimulation.
- Carotid sinus massage relaxes the mind and surge the function of vagus nerve by stimulating it.
6. Intake of omega-3 fatty acid
Omega-3 fatty acid is an essential fat that are not manufactured in the body. The function of this compound is to conduct the electrical impulses generated by the neurons and nourishes the brain by maintaining the overall functions. This controls the vagus nerve functions and also increases the vagal tone.
7. Singing and chanting
Singing and chanting activities actuates the muscles of throat and stimulates the vagus nerve activity. This also increases the heart rate variability and declines the function of sympathetic nerves.
8. Intake of Probiotics
Probiotics intake decreases the production of stress hormone and less likely to cause anxiety and depression. It also improves the functions of the brain. As per researches, it is found clear that these positive changes in brain and gut are facilitated by the vagal tone modulation and increased parasympathetic activity.
9. Being socialized
Socializing and laughing aids in reducing the stress hormone level and relaxes the mind and body. This also improves the mental health of the patient by stimulating the pneumogastric nerve.
As per researches, positive environment leads to positive mind and helps in boosting the mood.
Taking low calorie diet and doing intermittent fasting helps in reducing heart rate but increases the heart rate variability by increasing the vagal tone. Fasting lowers the metabolism of body for some time that relaxes the GI muscles and increases the parasympathetic nervous system.
Thus, we can say the above mentioned ways assist in increasing the parasympathetic activity and aids in relieving the stress from our daily life. These ways maintains the normal vagus nerve functions and diminishes the sympathetic activity of brain.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile