Vagus Baby!

I’m talking vagus nerve and vagal tone.

What is the vagus nerve, vagal tone and why should I care?

About 12 years ago my then 70 year old mother was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is abnormal; making it harder for your heart to pump and deliver blood to the rest of the body. My mother’s diagnosis came after extensive tests at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN where the doctors concluded that she was NOT breathing properly and as a result she developed cardiomyopathy. Improper breathing happens when we
breathe in and just our chest expands.

When we breathe in our heart beats faster, breathe out and our heart rate slows down. The variability in our heart rate is one of many things controlled by the vagus nerve. The BIGGER the difference in heart rate from breathing in to out is considered high vagal tone. That means your heart is able to calm down quicker after exertion/stress. According to the article, There's a Single Nerve That Connects All Of Your Vital Organs — And it Might Just Be The Future Of Medicine, “low vagal tone has been associated with chronic inflammation. Research shows that a high vagal tone makes your body better at regulating blood glucose levels, reducing the likelihood of diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease.”  Can we improve our vagal tone? YES! Learn to breathe properly and exercise regularly. Studies have also shown that meditation focused on positive emotions helps.

The MELT method, specifically the Rebalance Sequence, can also help improve vagal tone. This move is designed for rebalancing the nervous system. When we practice 3-dimensional breathing we are activating our vagus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system. The research is clear, the brain and body interact to control the immune system and the vagus nerve plays an integral role in this communication. “The vagus nerve reports back to your brain what is going on in your organs. It is an essential part of our parasympathetic
nervous system and vital to keeping our bodies healthy.”

Unlike Vegas and their games of chance, high Vagal tone is something we can control.

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