Did you know you had a ‘Calming’ nerve and you can use it to benefit your health? Let me tell you about it.
As you know, our nervous system is a very complex system, made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It is our body’s communication system and controls a lot of the body’s functions.
An important part of our nervous system is the network of cranial nerves that connect the brain to our head, neck and body. They are either sensory or motor. Think of our sense of smell, taste and touch and movement of muscles. These are just some of the functions of the cranial nerves.
Parts of our nervous system operate automatically eg breathing, digestion, heart rate. Our sympathetic nerves are involved in our ‘fight or flight’ response, physical activity, heart rate and innervation of many body processes.
Parasympathetic nerves on the other hand, are our ‘rest and digest’ nerves. They regulate the function of organs during rest and have a slowing down or dampening effect.
This is where the ‘Calming’ nerve comes in. It is called the Vagus nerve and is the tenth cranial nerve. It’s also one of the most important parasympathetic nerves and one of the longest in the body. It originates in the Brain stem and travels right through the neck, chest, abdomen and the digestive system to the middle of the large intestine. Its’ name comes from ‘vagabond’ and it’s known as the wandering nerve.
The Vagus nerve is truly a calming nerve because it slows down breathing and heart rate so aids in relaxation. It communicates between the gut and the brain and decreases stress, anxiety and fear. It controls our digestion and slows down heart rate. It is also involved in the immune system and decreases inflammation.
Did you know you had a ‘calming’ nerve? We all do and can use it to benefit our health? We are living in an unprecedented time, when so much is out of our control. The news is full of drama and alarm and our stress response has never been so activated. It’s very easy to get caught up in that ‘fight or flight’ mode and never truly relax.
This is where the Vagus nerve comes in. You can work the nerve point for it on your face whenever you are feeling stressed. Do it on a daily basis and you will start to see its’ benefits. You can find the chart here.
You can also take measures to decrease your reaction to stress by avoiding the news, spending time in nature, exercising, eating healthily (most of the time), doing meditation, laughing, being creative and putting some more fun back into your day.
When so much is out of our control, it’s so important to remember what remains in our control. Working the Vagus nerve, our ‘calming’ nerve is something every one of us can do. After all, reducing our stress and staying relaxed is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
References: Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Aguilar Cassara & Anna Roca, https://www.healthline.com/health/12-cranial-nerves, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-ap/chapter/functions-of-the-autonomic-nervous-system/, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318128#What-is-the-vagus-nerve, Touchpoint Denmark – Webinar on Digestion by Dorthe Krogsgaard and Peter Lund,
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.