About the vagal nerve
Most people aren't aware of how critical the vagus nerve is to our wellbeing. It's one of the 12 cranial nerves that carry messages directly from the brain to the body, mostly to the neck and head. But the vagus nerve, named for the Latin word for 'wandering', is the longest of the 12, wandering through the neck, throat, chest and intestines before ending in the colon. It's estimated that this nerve alone is about 80% of our parasympathetic nervous system and has been described as the prime driving force of our nervous system. Its health eventually dictates the health of our immune system, brain, and overall inflammatory state.
Damage to the vagus nerve can cause a host of symptoms: Difficulty speaking - losing your voice or becoming hoarse or wheezy Trouble drinking liquids Unusual heart rate Abnormal blood pressure Digestive issues like reflux, nausea, vomiting, bloating or pain General higher inflammation Fluctuations in blood sugar Unexplained weight loss Emotional and mental health impacts such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. Because it manages or influences so many critical processes in the body, it's become the focus of significant research in recent years. More information about this critical system is being discovered every day. What we already know is that improving vagal tone brings the heart, breathing and blood pressure to a more regular state, which improves our emotional state. There are many things you can do in your daily life to improve your vagal tone and balance your physical, emotional and mental responses to life.