Stress & the Vagus Nerve
Stress and the Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve and interfaces with parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. It is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system in the human body, comprising between 80% and 90% of afferent nerves, mostly conveying sensory information about the state of the body’s organs to the central nervous system. The vagus nerve affects all the organs, from the neck down to the colon. The right vagus branch innervates the sinoatrial node of the heart. In healthy people, the parasympathetic tone from these sources is well-matched to sympathetic tone.
Why Is This Important?
Among other things, vagal nerves mediate the raising and lowering of the heart rate. Our heart rhythms can be affected by unhealthy stress. We can overload our nervous system with excessive screen time, make poor food choices, lose sleep, endlessly sit, or accumulate trauma energy. When we lose balance in our nervous system, inflammation is engaged, our immune system is compromised, and elevated, prolonged levels of anxiety are produced. This can lead to excessive worry, feelings of impending doom, and a state of inner tension. Once the balance in the nervous system is lost, it is difficult to regain. Many people who have experienced COVID have long term issues with imbalance of the vagus nerve and the proper functioning of the central nervous system.
What can be done?
I utilize a screening tool that allows me to scan a patient’s Heart Rate Variability, giving insight into the vagal tone. The results are then graphically displayed to show any imbalances in the nervous system. This tool also is utilized to objectively measure changes resulting from a treatment plan.
Network Spinal, or simply Network Care, is a highly researched chiropractic technique for restoring the nervous system to a more balanced state. Tension, anxiety, and blocks can be removed with the gentle touches made by Network Care. Call or text me today at to make an appointment.