Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
This week we’re going to talk about the VAGUS NERVE which is the longest nerve in the body. The vagus nerve has a lot to do with your body’s ability to HEAL ITSELF and calm itself down.
What is the Vagus Nerve?
The vagus nerve arises from the 10th cranial nerve and goes down to most organs in your body.
It’s responsible for your vagal tone, which is the part of your autonomic nervous system that is responsible for functions that you don’t have to be aware of. Things like your heartbeat and respiratory rate at rest. It also aids in digestion, maintaining blood pressure, and even sweating.
There are two systems that control your body. One is sympathetic and the other is parasympathetic.
Sympathetic: This is your fight or flight response. This is activated when you’re scared or when you need to move or act. You’re ready for anything. You need this at certain times.
Parasympathetic: This is the part of your autonomic nervous system that controls your state of calmness, or in other words your state of being.
The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system.
Things that you don’t think about, it is actively doing.
Here are some examples of how important this nerve is:
- VASO-VAGAL SYNCOPE EPISODE – fainting
Think of someone who faints when they get their blood drawn or see a needle. This is usually an inherited condition, and it’s really an over activation of the vagus nerve in response to fear. In this case the vagus nerve relaxes blood pressure, which lowers your blood pressure and slows your heart rate down to the point where you can pass out.
- TACHYCARDIA – a heart rate that exceeds a normal resting rate (in general, a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute is considered as tachycardia in adults)
When you have tachycardia, the vagus nerve can be stimulated, and it will slow your heart rate down. There are several ways to do this called vagal maneuvers:
- Rubbing the side of your neck
- Bearing down forcefully while holding your breath
- Putting your face in ice water
That’s how important this vagus nerve is.
But that’s not all it does.
The Vagus Nerve and Your Immune System
The vagus nerve also aids in calming down inflammation. It plays a big part in decreasing inflammation and protecting your immune system.
I really got interested in the vagus nerve as I was doing a deep dive on “Long Covid” and learned how COVID-19 over activates your sympathetic nervous system.
When someone comes down with COVID-19 their heart rate can go up, and they can have trouble sleeping.
People can get worried!
In a way, this “nervous” reaction can increase the cytokine storm we always talk about which is a bad thing when you have Covid.
Being nervous and sick makes the cytokine storm worse!
In other words, COVID-19 can over activate your sympathetic nervous system which makes everything worse.
Controlling the Vagus Nerve to Calm Down
During my research for ways to treat Long Covid, I read this book (VAGAL UP! COVID-19 Recovery Manual) about how to stimulate the vagus nerve for your own benefit. A lot of people just aren’t recovering from COVID-19. They make it through Covid, but they’re still suffering.
The overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system is what you see with COVID-19 and so many other diseases.
This is why it is so important to learn how to relax. It’s why meditation is good for you and learning how to breathe.
These things stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system which is good.
I recently learned that you can electrically stimulate that vagus nerve through different points in the body, especially the ear.
It’s a lot like acupuncture without getting stuck with needles.
I’ve seen it slow heart rates down in a matter of minutes.
It’s a great way to bring your own parasympathetic nervous system into play.
(Note: we are going to be doing an Outside The Box DEMO on this soon)
We are seeing COVID-19 cause brain dysfunction. We’re thinking that there will be more Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s from “Long Covid”.
What’s interesting is that it doesn’t matter whether your case of Covid was mild or severe.
You’re not going to do as well unless you continue to build your own immune system up.
You can take things like NAC, NR, D-Ribose, high dose EPA DHA, and perhaps electronic stimulation may help also.
Think about the vagus nerve. It’s one of the most fascinating parts of the brain. It connects the brain with your gut, heart, and lungs.
It can bring healing to all of these! And that’s important whether it’s COVID-19 or any immune system disorder.