Lowering Stress for Optimum Health Part 4: 8 Ways to Improve Vagal Tone

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Lowering Stress for Optimum Health Part 4: 8 Ways to improve Vagal Tone - Dr. Jason Jones Elizabeth City NC, Chiropractor

As a Chiropractor in Elizabeth City, NC, our main focus is helping people gain restoration of proper nervous system function. We understand of why our bodies react the way they do to certain stimuli and we have helped people achieve improved digestion, decreased pain, and positive mental health through adjustment and restoring of nervous system functions.

The vagus nerve is an important part of the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for the “rest & digest” function that counters the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system.

The vagus nerve travels from the brain down through the cervical (neck spine) and out to different glands, organs, and tissues. This nerve helps regulate stress hormone, improve mental cognition, keep the heartbeat regular, digestion, decreases blood pressure and keep you in positive homeostasis.

A high vagal tone is associated with better and physical well-being. But a low vagal tone is usually associated with heart disease, inflammation, poor psychological wellbeing, stroke, and more.

This is more reason why you should learn how to improve your vagal tone naturally. Here are some helpful tips:

Cold exposure

When you expose yourself to acute cold-like taking cold showers, it stimulates the vagus nerve. You can try to swap from hot to cold water for 3 minutes increments.

But if you can’t deal with a cold shower or bath, you can simply lower your face into ice water for five reps of 30 seconds. This is an easy way to improve vagal tone.

Singing, laughing and chanting

The muscles linked to your vocal cords are connected to the vagus nerves. So, when you sing, laugh, and chant, it helps stimulate the vagus nerve and this is a great way to increase your heart rate variability, which signifies a healthy nervous system.

Deep, slow breathing

When you breathe from your diaphragm rather shallowly from the upper part of your lungs, it helps to stimulate and tone the vagus nerves.

Diaphragmatic breathing allows you to get a full expansion of your abdomen as you inhale. The key is to take a slow inhale and give a long exhale.

The slower you exhale the more you stimulate the vagus nerve. This creates the relaxation response you’re seeking, especially in times of anxiety and stress.

Probiotics

Two strains of probiotics- Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus- are directly related to the gut-brain connection, and they have a strong effect on anxiety, mood, and depression.

Taking probiotics has been shown to be a good way to improve your vagal tone and stimulation.

Omega-3s

Eating foods like fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is a great way to improve the vagal tone and overall mental health. Ensure you add these foods to your diet.

Meditation

When you practice loving-kindness meditation, it promotes the feeling of goodwill to yourself and your loved ones. These increasing positive emotions lead to an improvement in vagal tone and social closeness.

Massage and exercise

You can improve vagal tone and enhance vagal activity by getting a regular massage. Things like foot reflexology is a great way to improve vagal tone, but you can simply stick to your regular massage

Movements are also great to stimulate the vagal nerve. You can make activities and exercise that you enjoy a big part of your life. This helps to improve your vagal tone, and also your overall happiness.

You can consult Dr. Jason Jones to learn more about natural and simple ways to improve vagal tone to enhance your physical and mental wellbeing and connect better to the world.

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