Taking Charge of Your Health

How to Hack Your Nervous System
The vagus nerve is the most important nerve you probably didn’t know you had. Unlike the other Vegas, what happens in this
vagus doesn’t stay there. The vagus nerve is a long meandering bundle
of motor and sensory fibers that links the brain stem to the heart, lungs, and gut. It also branches out to touch and interact
with the liver, spleen, gallbladder, ureter, female fertility organs, neck, ears, tongue,
and kidneys. It powers up our involuntary nerve center—the
parasympathetic nervous system—and controls unconscious body functions, as well as everything
from keeping our heart rate constant and food digestion to breathing and sweating. It also helps regulate blood pressure and
blood glucose balance, promotes general kidney function, helps release bile and testosterone,
stimulates the secretion of saliva, assists in controlling taste and releasing tears,
and plays a major role in fertility issues and orgasms in women. Dr Justin Hoffman, a Santa Rosa, California,
licensed naturopathic medical physician, says: Without the vagus nerve, key functions that
keep us alive would not be maintained. Nationally recognized sports nutritionist,
strength, and conditioning coach Brandon Mentore elaborates: The vagus nerve is extremely critical to your
overall health and is intimately tied in with multiple organs and systems of the body. The vagus nerve has fibers that innervate
virtually all of our internal organs. The management and processing of emotions
happens via the vagal nerve between the heart, brain and gut, which is why we have a strong
gut reaction to intense mental and emotional states. Vagus nerve dysfunction can result in a whole
host of problems including obesity, bradycardia (abnormally slow heartbeat), difficulty swallowing,
gastrointestinal diseases, fainting, mood disorders, B12 deficiency, chronic inflammation,
impaired cough, and seizures. Meanwhile, the vagus nerve stimulation has
been shown to improve conditions such as: Anxiety disorder
Heart disease Tinnitus
Obesity Alcohol addiction
Migraines Alzheimer’s
Leaky gut Bad blood circulation
Mood disorder Cancer
A Closer Look At This Super Nerve The vagus nerve is the longest of our 12 cranial
nerves. Only the spinal column is a larger nerve system. About 80 percent of its nerve fibers—or
four of its five ‘lanes’—drive information from the body to the brain. Its fifth lane runs in the opposite direction,
shuttling signals from the brain throughout the body. Anchored in the brain stem, the vagus travels
through the neck and into the chest, splitting into the left vagus and the right vagus. Each of these roads is composed of tens of
thousands of nerve fibers that branch into the heart, lungs, stomach, pancreas and nearly
every other organ in the abdomen. The vagus nerve uses the neurotransmitter
acetylcholine, which stimulates muscle contractions in the parasympathetic nervous system. A neurotransmitter is a kind of chemical messenger
released at the end of a nerve fiber, that allows for signals to be moved along from
point to point, which stimulate various organs. For example, if our brain could not communicate
with our diaphragm via the release of acetylcholine from the vagus nerve, then we would stop breathing. Some substances such as botox and the heavy
metal mercury can interfere with acetylcholine production. Botox has been known to shut down the vagus
nerve, which causes death. Mercury blocks the action of acetylcholine. When mercury attaches to the thiol protein
in the heart muscle receptors, the heart muscle cannot receive the vagus nerve electrical
impulse for contraction. Cardiovascular problems normally follow. Mercury used in fillings only inches from
the brain as well as the 3,000 tons of mercury put into the atmosphere can interfere with
acetylcholine production. Mercury-laden vaccines may also play a role
in vagus nerve-related autism in children. Hoffman says: Theoretically, anything that helps to improve
the presence and function of acetylcholine, will also help to regulate the health of our
vagus nerve. He recommends natural nootropics huperzine
and galantamine for improving the sensitivity of acetylcholine receptors. Vagus nerve damage can also be caused by diabetes,
alcoholism, upper respiratory viral infections, or having part of the nerve severed accidentally
during an operation. Stress can inflame the nerve, along with fatigue
and anxiety. Even something as simple as bad posture can
negatively impact the vagus nerve. It’s also believed that diet plays a role
in vagus nerve health. An obesogenic ‘cafeteria diet’ (high-fat,
high-carb junk food) reduces the sensitivity of the vagus nerve. Spicy foods can also cause it to misfire. A Feeling In Your Gut When people say they feel it in their gut,
that’s not just imagination, according to Dr. Mark Sircus, acupuncturist, and doctor
of Oriental and pastoral medicine. Our gut instincts are not fantasies but real
nervous signals that guide much of our lives. This is because the enteric nervous system
(ENS), which governs the function of the gastrointestinal tract, communicates with the central nervous
system (the brain) via the vagus nerve. This is known as the gut-brain axis. The ENS is sometimes referred to as the second
brain or backup brain centered in our solar plexus. Sircus continues: We now know that the ENS is not just capable
of autonomy but also influences the brain. In fact, about 90 percent of the signals passing
along the vagus nerve come not from above, but from the ENS. Keeping the gut and vagus nerve gateway healthy
impacts our mental health. A recent study shows how antibiotics can make
us aggressive when they upset the microbiome balance in our gut. An important study last year by McMaster University
in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, found that certain beneficial gut microbes can actually prevent
PTSD. Probiotics can help keep the gut and vagus
nerve signals in a healthier state, according to a report in the National Center for Biotechnology
Information (NCBI). Dr Abby Kramer, a holistic practitioner and
chiropractor in Glenview, Illinois, explains: Probiotics help promote vagal activity, due
to its connection to the gut and digestive functions. Zinc is also a great supplement for anyone
with stress or mental health issues, which also links back to the vagus nerve. Boosting With Electricity Doctors have long exploited the nerve’s
influence on the brain. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve,
called vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), is sometimes used to treat people with epilepsy or depression. VNS is designed to prevent seizures by sending
regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. These pulses are supplied by a device something
like a pacemaker. It is placed under the skin on the chest wall
and a wire runs from it to the vagus nerve in the neck. Researchers studying the effects of vagus
stimulation on epilepsy noticed that patients experienced a second benefit unrelated to
seizure reduction: their moods also improved. A 2016 study published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), showed how stimulating the vagus nerve with
a bioelectronic device “significantly improved measures of disease activity in patients with
rheumatoid arthritis,” a chronic inflammatory disease that affects 1.3 million people in
the United States and costs tens of billions of dollars annually to treat. 12 Vagus Nerve Stimulation Techniques The vagus nerve doesn’t need to be shocked
into shape. It can also be toned and strengthened similar
to a muscle. Here are some simple things you can do that
might improve your health markedly: 1. Positive Social Relationships – A study
had participants think compassionately about others while silently repeating positive phrases
about friends and family. Compared to the controls, the meditators showed
an overall increase in positive emotions like serenity, joy, and hope after completing the
class. These positive thoughts of others led to an
improvement in vagal function as seen in heart-rate variability. The results also showed a more toned vagus
nerve than when simply meditating. 2. Cold – “Cold exposure such as cold showers
or face dunking stimulates the nerve as well,” says Mentore. Studies show that when your body adjusts to
cold, your fight or flight (sympathetic) system declines and your rest and digest (parasympathetic)
system increases–and this is mediated by the vagus nerve. Any kind of acute cold exposure including
drinking ice cold water will increase vagus nerve activation. 3. Gargling – Another home remedy for an under-stimulated
vagus nerve is to gargle with water. Gargling actually stimulates the muscles of
the pallet which are fired by the vagus nerve. “Typically patients will tear up a bit which
is a good sign and if they don’t, we recommend that they do it regularly every day until
they notice that they do start tearing up a bit,” says Hoffman. “This has been shown to immediately improve
working memory performance.” 4. Singing And Chanting – Humming, mantra chanting,
hymn singing, and upbeat energetic singing all increase heart rate variability (HRV)
in slightly different ways. Essentially, singing is like initiating a
vagal pump sending out relaxing waves. Singing at the top of your lungs works the
muscles in the back of the throat to activate the vagus. Singing in unison, which is often done in
churches and synagogues, also increases HRV and vagus function. Singing has been found to increase oxytocin,
also known as the love hormone because it makes people feel closer to one another. 5. Massage – You can stimulate your vagus nerve
by massaging your feet and your neck along the carotid sinus, located along the carotid
arteries on either side of your neck. A neck massage can help reduce seizures. A foot massage help can lower your heart rate
and blood pressure. A pressure massage can also activate the vagus
nerve. These massages are used to help infants gain
weight by stimulating gut function, largely mediated by activating the vagus nerve. 6. Laughter – Happiness and laughter are natural
immune boosters. Laughter also stimulates the vagus nerve. Research shows how laughter increases HRV
in a group environment. There are various case reports of people fainting
from laughter and this may be from the vagus nerve/parasympathetic system being stimulated
too much. Fainting can come after laughter as well as
urination, coughing, swallowing or bowel movement—all of which are helped along by vagus activation. 7. Yoga And Tai Chi — Both increase vagus nerve
activity and your parasympathetic system in general. Studies have shown that yoga increases GABA,
a calming neurotransmitter in your brain. Researchers believe it does this by “stimulating
vagal afferents (fibers),” which increase activity in the parasympathetic nervous system. This is especially helpful for those who struggle
with anxiety or depression. Studies show that tai chi also can ‘enhance
vagal modulation.’ 8. Breathing Deeply And Slowly — Your heart
and neck contain neurons that have receptors called baroreceptors, which detect blood pressure
and transmit the neuronal signal to your brain. This activates your vagus nerve that connects
to your heart to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Slow breathing, with a roughly equal amount
of time breathing in and out, increases the sensitivity of baroreceptors and vagal activation. Breathing around 5-6 breaths per minute in
the average adult can be very helpful. 9. Exercise – Exercise increases your brain’s
growth hormone, supports your brain’s mitochondria, and helps reverse cognitive decline. But it’s also been shown to stimulate the
vagus nerve, which leads to beneficial brain and mental health effects. Mild exercise also stimulates gut flow, which
is mediated by the vagus nerve. 10. Coffee Enemas — Enemas are like sprints
for your vagus nerve. Expanding the bowel increases vagus nerve
activation, as is done with enemas. This cleansing is accomplished by increasing
the liver’s capacity to detoxify toxins in the blood and binding them to the bile. In the process, the liver cleanses itself
as it releases the toxic bile into the small, then large, intestine for evacuation. The entire blood supply circulates through
the liver every three minutes. By retaining the coffee 12 to 15 minutes,
the blood will circulate four to five times for cleansing, much like a dialysis treatment. The water content of the coffee stimulates
intestinal peristalsis and helps to empty the large intestine with the accumulated toxic
bile. 11. Nervana — This wearable product sends a
gentle electrical wave through the left ear canal to stimulate the body’s vagus nerve,
while syncing with music, which in turn stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain
that generate a calming sensation throughout the body. 12. Relax – Learning how to chill may be the
No. 1 thing to help keep your vagus nerve toned. According to Hoffman, most relaxing activities
will stimulate the vagus nerve. Ultimately, this is where the most profoundly
felt impacts can be found. Reading a book, listening to music, watching
children play–whatever it is, my advice is to seek relaxation and make time in your
life for it. ~ Dr Justin Hoffman

61 thoughts on “12 Ways to Unlock the Powers of the Vagus Nerve

  1. good info.. gonna try the cold .. that is why yogis were in Himalayas…you are right about humming, Qigong and others .. visualisation and knowing the nodes and chakras movements also helps….. you can hum your way to good health ..

  2. This is really awesome empowering info. I had never heard of this nerve. Thank you for sharing all about Vagus nerve. I was wanting to learn the things that can deplete the insulation of our nerves (Myelin Sheath) Here they have listed 105 things that can deplete the insulation of the nervous system – – Even "Agent Orange" used in the vietnam war that has infected thousands of men/women will deplete the insulation of nerves.

    For sure vaccinations loaded with chemicals, viruses and pathogens deplete the insulation of the nerve system. Especially the Flu vaccine loaded with mercury.

    I also was wanting to find natural supplements known to help rebuild and repair damaged nerves and found this one supplement made with "Black Seed" and other seeds known to help with eliminating inflammation, chronic pain and more.

    Take a few minutes to research here – then go here to – I have been using this seed extract because I had extreme chronic pain, swollen prostate, Parkinson's symptoms, poor memory and in-countenance. I have been drinking this seed extract now for 4 years, but in my first 90 days I was completely free of all symptoms.
    Show less

  3. I generally don't give negative feedback, but the computerized voice is really pretty annoying. Why did you use a computer for this ?

  4. The computer voice made me laugh in places (due to the pronunciation) …Hey, wait a second , that's good for my Vagus…

  5. Next time PLEASE find a to talk. There are 7 billion on this planet and I am sure ANY of them would be preferable to the annoying unemotional computer noise.

  6. What's number 11?  I couldn't understand. Thank you for all the good info here.  I DO wish you would use a real human voice, tho.  This was difficult to understand and keep listening to, as there was no intonation or inflection.  Some of us are predominately auditory, and it does make a difference when there's a more human sounding voice.

  7. No I couldn't hack the computer voice even though the content was interesting, ducked out about half way. WHY the stupid computer voice????

  8. it seems that some people never heard of Chiropractic. they release daily nerves compressed by vertebrae and the vagus nerve is no exception. the vagus nerve can be compressed by the 1st cervical vertebra as it get out of the skull behind the right and left ear .get yourself on Google: click : the chiropractic chart of the autonomic nervous system .it is a beautifull chart where you can see very clearly and simply all nerves going from the spine to the internal organs .the chiropractic correction is instantaneous and you will experience the effects very fast . check it for yourself and you will need no more proof that you are on , yes !! on the right track for your future well being !! and enjoy it !! and share !!

  9. I'm wondering why the computer voice bothers so many people? It gets the message across I understand everything completely I don't see what the problem is 🙂 to each their own

  10. George Benichou
    Thank you I need to know this too because I was in a very bad accident years ago with head trauma and post-concussive syndrome mild brain damage depression the whole bit and there is one vertebrae that occasionally will pop out of place causing me horrible pain but I'm glad you mentioned that the vagus nerve goes almost everywhere and that it comes out right near the first vertebra because they also have Whiplash that I never had fixed so thank you very very much I will definitely watch this video and all the other ones about the vagus nerve.
    Sorry for not putting in proper grammar punctuation and paragraphing Etc I have spent way too much time commenting on YouTube this morning and now I have really messed up my schedule hahaha

  11. I’m so glad I have an iPad so I can see all the other videos on the side .
    You People with just internet phones
    Are missing out on so much .
    This video explained it all & no computer voice ! ? ??✌???????
    It really helps if you have all the pieces of the puzzle .

  12. To the people that don't like the voice please remember the information is free, this petty bitching is negative

  13. Great video! Very instructive!
    Thank you for sharing….

    Only the idiots can not get over the plastic voice….

  14. If you want to see why to never let a doctor work on your vagus nerve look at my Facebook page. You will see what looks like story that could not be made up. Please view it and pass on the link. Thank you

  15. if you get chiropractic maintenance care you will forget practically almost all vagus nerve problems. do you see what this mean?? wake up ! it is time now !!

  16. The content is great. The computer voice is almost unbearable to listen to. Mispronounced words, incorrect inflection…ugh!

  17. would love to hear the information in this video but the robot voice it way too annoying to put up with to listen to even two minutes of the video.

  18. Check out this updated video with more important info on the Vagus Nerve: "The Secrets of the Vagus Nerve – Kundalini Connection and How to Unlock its Powers"

  19. Where did god make people like this video no way, she belongs on top of the mountain, the artwork attacks, period

  20. Really good. Thank you. I wish I had seen this on its release date. It would have saved me tons of suffering from vagus nerve relates problems.

  21. reference for me and anyone interested

    1; positive social relationships/ thoughts
    2; cold showers
    3; gargling with water
    4; massage
    5; laughter, happiness
    6; taichi
    7; deep breathing
    8; exercise
    9; relaxing

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