Due to its long path, the vagus nerve is also known as “the wanderer” nerve. It’s no wonder such a huge nerve has a huge impact on our mood and how we react to external stressors, which has a cascade effect on the overall health of the body. Loss of tone to the vagus nerve can result in emotional stress, inexplicable physical pain in various areas of the body, and fatigue.
These are vital markers because they affect our immune system and inflammatory responses. A low-functioning immune system or high inflammation can lead to disease, and disease can cause damage to the vagus nerve. A damaged vagus nerve can’t send signals properly to the stomach muscles, the brain, or the pelvic floor, which can cause chronic problems with our mental health, nervous system, digestion, energy, sexuality, and more.
Strong vagal tone is the baseline when it comes to regulating our moods and emotions, but it’s also super important for hormonal health and, ultimately, very hard-to-trace gut imbalances. That’s because the vagus nerve provides a channel for all of our sensory information and tension receptors, connecting with areas like the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and sensory endings in the liver and pancreas.
So how do we tone our vagus nerve?
Slow, controlled belly breathing
Singing, humming, or even “om” chanting
Scalp or foot massage