The Vagus Nerve

Yes you are reading it right, and no it has nothing to do with Las Vegas!

I hadn't heard of this part of our anatomy until really quite recently.It was only when I started to read up on it more that I began to understand what an incredible little known part of our body that this nerve is, but what a huge part it has to play in the functioning of the whole of our systems. Our body's are the most highly tuned, and sophisticated organs, but there are parts of it that really stand out as X Factor winners.

The Vagus nerve is the largest cranial nerve, and it links the brain to many of the body's organs and the guts.It runs from the brain stem right through the body to the soles of our feet.It really is the M1 of our body, with so many functions, but also sending messages from the body directly to the brain, hence the reason why we should rely on our 'gut feelings' as these are often part of the processing going on in the subconscious, passed into the stomach through the Vagus nerve.

It even helps the eyes to release our tears, and store long term memories in the brain!

The nerve has a response rhythm, often described as its 'tone'. When we are young this nerve is highly responsive, and has an effective tone, but this starts to change as we go through life, and it naturally ages, but factors such as autoimmune diseases, viral infections, trauma, heavy use of medication, obesity, and diabetes are amongst some of the things that change the tone, and slows down the nerve response, which in turn starts to interfere with the effectiveness on other parts of our body .So as you can see it is such a big player in the way the body functions.

Because of the significant part of our system balance, and the impact this incredible nerve has on our body, I always ensure that I include in all of my Reflexology treatments, the stimulation of the Vagus nerve reflex.It isn't always part of a Reflexologists routine, but for me it was a no brainer that this single nerve was one of the key parts of my treatements.

As well as having Reflexology treatments with me, there are ways in which you can stimulate your own nerve, and keep it young, on a daily basis without too much effort.

Singing, and humming are brilliant, as the vibration from the vocal chords stimulate the nerve.

Laughing... something we should all do on a regular basis, it is so true, that 'laughter is the best medicine'

Splashing your face with cold water, and placing the feet in cold extremes.

Meditation. Practising meditation stimulates a sense of wellbeing, and promotes goodwill which have in turn shown to improve the vagal tone.

The Vagus nerve really does hold us together, and keeps every part of the body in tune with each other, so yes for me this reflex gets a huge thumbs up, or should I say gentle press down, as part of my treatments.

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Barefoot in the hard frost

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