The vagus nerve is a nerve that many people don’t realise they have and if you are in that scenario, you certainly are not alone. However, it is the longest nerve in the body and originates in the brain, travelling down from the neck from where it passes around the digestive system, heart, lungs, spleen, liver and pancreas. It is important that this nerve is stimulated in order to tone and strengthen it, as this will ultimately improve a person’s health and wellbeing.
In the latest blog from Calm Therapy, based in Eastbourne in East Sussex, we look at how working on the pressure points associated with the vagus nerve during reflexology may help with digestive issues, stress and anxiety and bring a sense of calm, as well as giving pain relief, although it must be stressed that reflexology is not a cure for any disorder and it cannot be used in the diagnosis of any physical issues.
What Is The Vagus Nerve?
First things first, just a little more detail about the vagus nerve. It is the body’s major parasympathetic nerve and is a bundle of motor and sensory fibres that link the brain stem to the heart, gut and lungs. Vagus is actually Latin for “wandering” and as the nerve wanders through your system, it sends out fibres from your brain stem to your organs interacting with the liver, spleen, gall bladder, ureter, female fertility organs, neck, ears, tongue and kidneys.
This certainly adds up to it being an extremely important nerve, which controls unconscious functions of the body as well as aiding food digestion, keeping the heart rate steady and supporting breathing and sweating. That’s quite impressive so far, and the list goes on to include regulating blood pressure and blood glucose balance, helping the kidneys to function as well as being important in fertility issues. It is therefore quite clear that the vagus nerve is critical for optimal health irrespective of your issues.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Help With:
- Anxiety and Stress
- Heart conditions
- Digestive Disorders
- Poor blood circulation
Looking After Your Vagus Nerve With Reflexology
There are many techniques used to stimulate the vagus nerve including positive social relationships, laughing, yoga, meditation, exercise, breathing slowly and deeply, massage and reflexology. The vagus nerve is directly affected during a reflexology session, which is not surprising as there are more nerves in the feet per square inch than any other part of the body. Reflexology will help to slow the heart rate, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and promote relaxation. The feet have various vagus nerve reflexes and reflexology stimulates these areas, thus increasing the nerve’s activity. Oxytocin is released promoting relaxation, healthy digestion and also a sense of wellbeing.
Lack of stimulation of the vagus nerve can impact on your health and when it is not working optimally, problems such as anxiety, tinnitus, depression, weight gain, and irritable bowel syndrome may occur. Hands-on healing can help to stimulate the vagus nerve including massage, particularly reflexology.
Jane Long MAR has 15 years experience as a Reflexologist. She also practises Facial Reflexology and Reiki in Old Town, Eastbourne. For more information and to get in touch with Jane please phone 07734 695 964, email jane@ or visit www.calmtherapy.co.uk