Ahh… The mighty Vagus Nerve, also called the “Master Nerve”, is the longest and most complex nerve in our body. It goes from the base of the cranium all the way down to the abdomen, connecting the brain to the gut and all the organs. This is also the only nerve that can be strengthened and toned, almost like a muscle 🙂
Its many functions include:
- Keeping the larynx open for breathing.
- Regulating our heartbeat and our hunger levels.
- Stimulating the secretion of hormones and liquids such as saliva, oxytocin or bile.
- Reducing anxiety, depression, stress AND inflammation (the main cause of chronic diseases).
- Increasing immunity and longevity.
- Balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system.
- Balancing the heart and brain, creating higher states of consciousness.
- Developing our compassion, telepathy, intuition and empathy towards others.
When the vagus nerve doesn’t function properly (mainly due to stress, which is not necessarily just stress as we know it, but it could also be underlying stresses such as the immune system fighting pathogens, thoughts buried in the subconscious…), we become overly sensitive and emotional. We say then that it loses ‘tone’, so we call ‘vagal tone’ to the activity of the vagus nerve, which can be overactive or underactive. Having a high vagal tone is a good thing (it means it’s well toned). The more we increase our vagal tone, the more our physical and mental health will improve.
There are many ways we can improve our vagal tone: being exposed to the cold, deep breathing, taking probiotics and Omega-3 fatty acids, meditation, massage and exercise. But, of all the activities one can do to strengthen the mighty nerve, the one that interests me the most is, of course, Singing. I’ve been saying from the beginning of my woke life how beneficial Singing is for health in all its forms: sound (frequency) heals body tissue (also frequency). The vagus nerve is connected to our vocal cords and the muscles at the back of the throat. Singing, humming, chanting and gargling (mobilizing and making sounds with the vocal cords) activate these muscles and stimulate the vagus nerve.
Singing with a soft voice and soft eyes (with love) helps the vagus nerve work better. The singing frequency produces sensations in our organs that also make them vibrate optimally. So basically this is one of the main reasons why singing reduces stress, for stress is the responsible of a low vagal tone.
“Within our own bodies, this beautiful symbiotic relationship exists as the vagal-vocal connection, making vocalists all the more adept at becoming our own healers!” – Leah Grams Johnson
From another perspective, the vagus nerve is the responsible for stimulating the muscles in the larynx for singing; if the vagal tone is bad, it can cause hoarseness or even vocal paralysis. Also, acid reflux in our gut, which causes cough, sore throat and phlegm, can impede the vagus nerve to properly operate the upper and lower sphincters of the esophagus, making hydrochloridic acid to come up the throat.
Here you have 4 simple exercises to tone the vagus nerve:
- With your fingertips, touch your vocal tract from top to bottom. Touch lightly as if touching the skin of a grape, in order to stimulate the nerves. If you touch too strongly you’ll work the muscle tissue. Continue to touch in a light clockwise direction, towards the heart, very gently.
- Alternate-Nostril Breathing: Sit up straight with a lifted spine. Using your thumb and pinky finger, close off one nostril with your thumb and inhale/exhale through the open nostril for one complete breath. Then use your pinky finger to close off the other nostril and inhale/exhale through the open nostril for another complete breath. Repeat a few times.
- The Valsalva Maneveur: Sit down. Take a deep breath, close your mouth and pinch your nose shut so that no air can escape. Then pretend like you’re trying to breathe out, but without opening your nose or mouth – you should feel the pressure from the air. Keep doing this for 15-20 seconds, and then let the air out and breathe normally. (In strength training, this is the type of breath-holding you do to stabilize your spine during, say, heavy squats and deadlifts.)
- Make facial expressions with your face, specially the upper part (forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose). Try lifting and depressing your eyebrows; moving your eyes up and down, side to side and in circles, with eyes open and then closed; open your eyes wide and close them tight; frown your forehead; place your fingertips on your cheeks and massage them in circles; etc.
Here are some foods that help keep our vagal tone in shape:
Sacred Secret Secretion.
Now, allow me to travel a bit deeper. The Vagus Nerve is key to more than I’ve just told you, related to our being and the meaning of life. It’s directly linked to our sacredness. When I say ‘sacred’ I mean materialization of the divine, something that is a universal truth, inherent to the above, the below, the beyond, and the here and now, and therefore it must be respected (that is, if you want to respect yourself). Sacred = Secret = Secretion (see?) Of course, this is occult knowledge. Esoteric. The occult has that name because it was hidden from the population in order for the rulers to exert their power. And so we have two types of knowledge: exoteric (exo = external, meaning it’s mainstream, often portrayed in religions, for the masses to follow) and esoteric (eso = concealed, only a few know it, so that they can lead such masses). People aren’t aware (because of indoctrination since birth) that spirituality (religions and dogmas included) is all about the body, and vice versa. Pertaining to this, the Vagus Nerve is the home of something that I am dropping here, just like that, and make of it what you feel: The Glorious Sacred Secretion, by Joseph William Smith. I always end up leading people to mysterious affairs 🙂 Interesting, isn’t it?
Links of interest: