5.22.17
woman in bathing suit facing the ocean

We could talk about avocado toast all day (and sometimes at TCM HQ we actually do), but the wellness topics that really get us going are ones like this from anti-aging expert and May Guest Editor, Dr. Sara Gottfried

Get to know your vagus nerve, baby. We’ve all got one and learning to keep it “toned” has a few surprising health benefits…

Vagus means “wanderer.” This nerve — the longest one in your body — wanders all through your body to important organs and areas such as the brain, neck, ears, tongue, heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, kidney, spleen and reproductive organs in women. The vagus nerve contains motor and sensory fibers. It has wide distribution throughout the body as it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen. Think of it as the most important nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system.

So what happens when it’s whacked? An amped-up perception of stress causes lower vagal tone (or responsiveness), which means the vagus nerve is having performance issues and operating at a lower capacity. If the vagus nerve isn’t tended to, you won’t be healthy and you’re more likely to age faster.

High vagal tone is a marker of greater altruistic behavior and closeness to others. Lower vagal tone is linked to a variety of problems:

Mind: stress; anxiety; weakened sense of connectivity

Body: low stomach-acid secretion; poor absorption of B12; low or slow bile acid production, so it’s harder to clear fats and toxins; poor blood flow to kidneys; higher blood pressure; poor glucose control; poor heart rate variability and greater risk of heart disease; high resting heart rate; frequent urination; limited or absent capacity for orgasms

Both: poor satiety or sense of relaxation while eating; difficulty accessing mind-body connection and flow state

7 Ways to Rehab Your Vagus Nerve

These actions may trigger your stress genes to turn off, bringing a greater sense of calmness.

One: Connect positively with others.
Two: Take a cold shower (try it, but if it stresses you out, you may have the same TH gene as me!).
Three: Schedule a reflexology (foot massage) session.
Four: Sleep on your right side.
Five: Sing!
Six: Get acupuncture, especially in the ear.
Seven: Book a craniosacral session.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 


Meet one of our fave pros on the topic of hormones, aging and women's health, Dr. Sara Gottfried. We're talking about easy ways to anti-age, including a killer red sangria recipe...

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Leave A Comment

  1. Thanks for your Page , I have a Vagus baby and so help me please

    Esra Nortje | 05.23.2017 | Reply
  2. I faint if stressed. Diagnosed vagal syncopy.
    I faint rolling over in bed.
    I faint if I pick something up sometimes.

    Sharon Fuller | 05.24.2017 | Reply
  3. I have Vagal Vegus syndrome where especially having blood draw, I faint repeatedly over and over again, (not always) but it does happen. I also used to have bad fainting spells just like @SharonFuller the intense random fainting is better but I have like every symptom on your list among others not listed. I was told that when I faint it is not due to blood pressure dipping but instead it’s the Vagus nerve being told to shut off psychologically but if that’s the cause then what is happening to my body when it happens and are those symptoms the after results? I also have RLS (restless leg syndrome, which I am told puts me at higher risk for Parkinsons ) not just in my legs but my whole body and I find it interesting that the same area in the brain where this occurs, The Pons or cerebral cortex is the same area that is known for causing Parkinson’s is also the area the Vegus nerve runs through, could this be connected? I am asking with my limited medical education ha… please help thank you. I’ve also lost my normal sense of taste, smell, have blinding headaches, chronic nausea and chronic severe pain. Help…

    Parisa | 06.24.2017 | Reply


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