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vagus nerve exercises

Updated: 4 days ago

The vagus nerve is the part of the body's system that helps you relax and stay calm. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen. So think of it as the superhighway connecting your brain to many organs within your body.  It is responsible for regulating numerous bodily functions including heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate, and it is involved with the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating rest, digestion, and relaxation in the body. 

By doing vagus nerve exercises, you can help keep this superhighway clear and functioning well, which can have a big impact on your overall well-being.

Some of my simple vagus nerve exercises I do daily:

Deep breathing- When you take slow, deep breaths, especially focusing on exhaling fully, it stimulates the vagus nerve and promotes relaxation. And when breathing I chose a color that is called to me and breathe it in while exhaling purple (this I learned from my dear friend Shannon). This carries over to consciously practicing mindfulness(again a whole post on it’s own, prayer, and meditation. When you calm your mind you are reducing stress, indirectly supporting the vagus nerve and its functions. 

Singing/Humming/Gargling/Gagging- activates the muscles in the back of your throat, which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve. So sing and hum more (plus this raises your vibration), try gargling with sea salt and don’t be afraid of that slight gag while brushing your tongue (tongue brushing! Another post on its own). 

Cold Exposure- simply splash cold water on your face or take a cold shower. This can stimulate the vagus nerve and boost its activity. If you can’t handle a cold shower in length then do your normal routine and then before you get out, end with cold water for 30 seconds. The more you practice the longer you will go!

And drum roll please for the grand finale…

One of my favorite tricks I learned from my friend (thank you Ashleigh) is using my Coregeous Ball to assist in an abdominal massage (I'm sure many of you have heard about the numerous healing benefits of abdominal massage and if not have fun down that rabbit hole. I will eventually write about that more when I talk about digestion and healing after my radical hysterectomy). Through purposeful movements and gentle pressure, this technique can activate the vagus nerve, instantly bringing equilibrium to the  body. 

To sum it up,  incorporating any of  these exercises into your ‘daily’ (it is a choice to pick up new habits) routine can help keep your vagus nerve healthy and promote relaxation and well-being. Have fun trying them out and let me know how it goes.


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