I found an interesting article called “Hacking the Nervous System” by Gaia Vince (http: / /mosaicscience.com/story/hacking-nervous-system). The author of the article describes the experience of a woman suffering from severe and debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and minimizes this simply by stimulating the vagus nerve.
Therefore, if we are able to stimulate the vagus nerve, which runs through the parasympathetic nervous system, which can greatly influence in inflammation and immune system.
The role of brain inflammation in the body can be profound. If you suffer from an inflammatory condition, digestive stomach pressure, hypertension or depression, a closer look at the vagal tone is highly recommended.
The vagus nerve
The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body that originates in the brain cranial nerve ten low by going around his neck and then passes the entire digestive system, liver, spleen, pancreas, heart and lungs. Its role is the most important in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “rest and digest ‘part (opposite the sympathetic nervous system, which is” fight of flight “).
The vagal tone
the key for activating the parasympathetic nervous system is the tone of the vagus nerve. it is measured by tracking your heart rate beside their breathing rate. your heart rate is a little faster when inhaled and slows down a bit when breathing out.
higher vagal tone means your body can relax faster after stress. the larger the difference between heart rate breathing and heart rate exhalation, the higher their vagal tone will be.
low vagal tone
depression, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, the much higher rates of disease inflammatory as all autoimmune diseases (inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis, autoimmune thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and others) and cardiovascular disease and stroke are all coupled with low vagal tone.
high vagal tone
On the other hand, improved mood, less anxiety and stress resistance are associated with increased vagal tone. Improves the function of many body systems, reduce migraines, it causes a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease and better regulation of blood sugar, blood pressure and improves digestion through better production of basic stomach and digestive enzymes.
Another interesting property of high vagal tone is essentially reads the intestinal microbioma and initiates a response to modulate inflammation depending on whether or not pathogenic against non-pathogenic organisms is detected. It is in this way that the intestinal microbiome can affect your mood, stress levels and inflammation in general.
How to increase the vagal tone?
We have already mentioned that the vagal tone can be increased through a device that stimulates the vagus nerve. To some extent, they are genetically predisposed to different levels of vagal tone, but this still does not mean you can do anything about it.
By contrast, regular practice, you can also succeed to regulate and increase their vagal tone. The implications of this type of simple and basic questions about your general health practices and, in particular, on issues of inflammation are far-reaching.
Some ways to tone the vagus nerve are as follows:
- Wash your face with cold water . cold water in the face stimulates the vagus nerve, although the mechanism of this practice is still unknown.
- Meditation (loving kindness meditation) Itwhich promotes positive feelings towards oneself and others. A study in 2010 by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kik found that increasing emotions of goodwill led to greater social closeness and improved vagal tone.
- slow, rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing . Breathe from the diaphragm stimulates and tones the vagus nerve.
- Speaking . Speaking is also useful for the vagal tone, due to vocal cord connection.
- Balancing the intestinal microbiome.
- Humming . Humming also stimulates the vagus nerve, due to its connection with the vocal cords. You can repeat the sound “OM” or humming a song.
For those who suffer from high blood pressure, digestive problems, inflammatory disease or depression, this article can serve as inspiration to begin a meditation practice, as we have read that breathing exercises and meditation are useful for our health, or to discover new possibilities and mechanisms to manage the body’s inflammatory response.