From an original article called Hacking the Nervous System that Darou Wellness of realfarmacy.com discusses below… the author describes the experience of a woman who suffered from severe, debilitating rheumatoid arthritis and her eventual treatment with a device which minimized inflammation by simply stimulating the vagus nerve. What this means, is that by activating the vagus nerve which works through the parasympathetic nervous system, we can greatly influence inflammation and the immune system. The role of the brain on body inflammation can be profound. If you suffer from digestive complaints, high blood pressure, depression or any inflammatory condition, please read on. Dare goes on to explain the possible implications step by step below.
Brenda Williams of the Triad Wave technology has been teaching and identifying this extremely important element of how our bodies work and how to stimulate the vagus neve through the RB/QT technique she has developed. And now there is science to show you why it works. Our body is so intelligent when we know how to “turn it on”.
What is the vagus nerve?
First of all, the vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body which originates in the brain as cranial nerve ten, travels down the from go the neck and then passes around the digestive system, liver, spleen, pancreas, heart and lungs. This nerve is a major player in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the ‘rest and digest’ part (opposite to the sympathetic nervous system which is ‘fight of flight’).
The tone of the vagus nerve is key to activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Vagal tone is measured by tracking your heart-rate alongside your breathing rate. Your heart-rate speeds up a little when your breathe in, and slows down a little when you breathe out. The bigger the difference between your inhalation heart-rate and your exhalation heart-rate, the higher your vagal tone. Higher vagal tone means that your body can relax faster after stress.
What is high vagal tone associated with?
High vagal tone improves the function of many body systems, causing better blood sugar regulation, reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, improved digestion via better production of stomach basic and digestive enzymes, and reduced migraines. Higher vagal tone is also associated with better mood, less anxiety and more stress resilience. One of the most interesting roles of the vagus nerve is that it essentially reads the gut microbiome and initiates a response to modulate inflammation based on whether or not it detects pathogenic versus non-pathogenic organisms. In this way, the gut microbiome can have an affect on your mood, stress levels and overall inflammation.
What is low vagal tone associated with?
Low vagal tone is associated with cardiovascular conditions and strokes, depression, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, and much higher rates of inflammatory conditions. Inflammatory conditions include all autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis, autoimmune thyroid conditions, lupus and more).
How do we increase vagal tone?
In the article above, vagal tone was increased through a device that stimulated the vagus nerve. The good news is that you have access to this on your own, but it does require regular practice. To some degree, you are genetically predisposed to varying levels of vagal tone, but this still doesn’t mean that you can’t change it. Here are some ways to tone the vagus nerve:
1. Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from the top of the lungs stimulates and tones the vagus nerve.
2. Humming. Since the vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords, humming mechanically stimulates it. You can hum a song, or even better repeat the sound ‘OM’.
3. Speaking. Similarly speaking is helpful for vagal tone, due to the connection to the vocal cords.
4. Washing your face with cold water. The mechanism her is not known, but cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve.
5. Meditation, especially loving kindness meditation which promotes feelings of goodwill towards yourself and others. A 2010 study by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kik found that increasing positive emotions led to increased social closeness, and an improvement in vagal tone.
6. Balancing the gut microbiome. The presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone.
The implications of such simple and basic practices on your overall health, and in particular on inflammation are far-reaching. If you suffer from an inflammatory condition, digestive upset, high blood pressure or depression, a closer look at vagal tone is highly recommended. We’ve known for years that breathing exercises and meditation are helpful for our health, but it is so fascinating to learn the mechanism by which they work. I hope this short article has inspired you to begin a meditation practice, as it has for me, and also to look for other means to manage the body’s inflammatory response.
BRENDA WILLIAMS… Reset Breath Quiet Touch (RBQT™)
One breath to connect your higher intelligence.
One touch to activate your body’s intelligence.
One moment to sustain Resonance within the Greater Field of Possibilities.
The human form was conceived with the same perfection as the spirit. RBQT™ focuses on three primary functions within the form…the brain, heart and gut, each of which possesses its own intelligence. Even without considering the recent discoveries of brain cells within the heart and gut, we have long acknowledged “gut instinct” and “heart’s knowing.” However, the reality is that most of us yearn for greater access to our inner guidance. When caught up in emotional loops, we humans are disconnected from the higher functioning that is our birthright, and our physical well-being suffers, especially in the case of emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness. As emotional stress takes a toll on the physical form, a downward spiral of more stress is created.
RBQT™, a technique corroborated by science, gives an antidote to this downward spiral of stress and decreased functionality, and a way to reclaim our birthright, with all the intelligence and awareness implied. The simple breathing technique of RBQT™, supported by Awareness and Presence, provides a PAUSE that allows us to disengage from emotional looping and entrainment to distraction and disconnection, and clears away mental chatter. High alpha and subtle theta waves enable increased cognitive discernment and focus…moving beyond the “monkey mind.” The simple touch technique of RBQT™ quiets the physiology by stimulating the vagus nerve, which commands lungs, heart, gut, and brain. Instead of fight, flight, or freeze, and the stimulation of the large motor muscles of the extremities, we have the release of soothing oxytocin, the slowing of heart rate and respiration, and increased digestive ability. Our energy moves inward, towards self-nourishment and care, giving a kind of inner comfort that is sorely missing in today’s culture. Also with RBQT™, the messages from the gut’s instinct and the heart’s wisdom are now available to the whole brain. When one PAUSES a moment to notice the sensations that RBQT™ creates in the body and brain, the pathways of higher intelligence and body intelligence are reinforced. With repetition, these pathways become habit…sustainability becomes the standard. We not only reset we are also able to self-adjust accordingly to move through each experience with more clarity and resonance.
Forsythe P, Bienenstock J, Kunze WA.Vagal pathways for microbiome-brain-gut axis communication. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;817:115-33.
Kok, B, Fredrickson, B, Coffey, K, et al. How Positive Emotions Build Physical Health: Perceived Positive Social Connections Account for the Upward Spiral Between Positive Emotions and Vagal Tone. Psychological Science 2013 24: 1123
Sources: darouwellness.com, mosaicscience.com, quietmiracles.com