If someone mentioned the words Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), you might wonder if it’s an alien science. Research has shown that VNS can relieve untreatable depression. Waking it up is simple, and you can do so with everyday practices.
What Is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
VNS is a medical treatment that involves transmitting electrical impulses to the Vagus nerve. Doctors use it as a complementary treatment for epilepsy and depression.
The Vagus nerve is responsible for many of the body’s functions. At present, experts conducting research to decide if it can treat illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, migraines, and fibromyalgia, Consequently, they are deciding if tapping on the Vagus nerve may improve memory and treat different types of addiction.
The Vagus nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves. Doctors call it “cranial nerve X.” As part of your autonomic nervous system, it stabilizes your heart rate and aids your digestion. It enables the body to heal itself. Scientists have learned that the Vagus nerve monitors the body. It responds to any of its reactions.
How It Works
The Vagal Tone is the key that triggers the Vagus nerve. The higher the tone, the better. A low vagal tone may make you prone to problems such as inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and, depression.
You can stimulate your Vagus nerve via a surgical implant. This device is about the size of a coin and looks like a pacemaker. The surgeon will insert it in your chest. It sends out electrical impulses to the brain and goes off regularly. Doctors can’t understand why, but this relieves depression. Your doctor can change your device’s settings as needed.
Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
1. Positive Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Studies show that VNS has positive effects on people with untreatable depression. A 2005 study published in Biological Psychiatry compared 124 individuals who received standard treatment for depression with 205 who received that and VNS. The patients who received VNS improved significantly.
2. Adverse Effects of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Note that people who get this treatment may experience some hoarseness, breathlessness, and cough. You may need surgery to remove the device if there’s a problem with the battery
Medical procedures may affect the VNS device. Mammograms and ultrasounds might damage it. Remember that this is an accompanying treatment for depression. You will need to continue with the medication your doctor prescribes.
Ways to Stimulate the Vagus Nerve
You may not want to run the risk of a medical device in your failing. So, these natural approaches to raise your Vagal tone may interest you. Doing any of these will help ease your depression.
First of all, are you a closet singer? Come out of it and attend a Karaoke session. Songs get your Vagal pump to work. It pushes the muscles at the back of your throat and activates it. It puts your nervous system in a state of flux.
Next on this list of ways to stimulate the Vagus nerve is yoga. Yoga exercises increase activity in the parasympathetic system. A study showed that this improves mood.
Chanting can also increase Vagus nerve activity. The study revealed that thinking kindly of others and repeating positive phrases such as ‘ may you have happiness’ improved Vagal function. The participants had better Vagal nerve activity because they felt connected to others. Other studies showed that reciting the Rosary also stimulates the system.
4. Deep breathing
Slow breathing will stimulate the Vagus nerve as well. Specialized neurons called baroreceptors to transmit a signal to your brain which lowers your blood pressure. As a result, you have an activated parasympathetic system.
A study on yoga laughter showed that it increases Vagal activity. Furthermore, there are cases of people fainting from laughter, possibly because of an over-stimulated parasympathetic system.
6. Sleeping on your right
Studies also show that sleeping on the right increases vagal activity. Therefore, it promotes the most relaxed mental state.
Moreover, gargling activates the muscles at the back of your throat. These connect to the vagus system. Again, that leads to increased parasympathetic activity, and calmness.
Another Vagus nerve trigger is acupuncture. According to a study, it’s so powerful that a man died from too much parasympathetic activity after he received it.
In all, Vagus Nerve Stimulation is not a complicated process. Everyday activities can get your Vagus nerve to work, and reduce your depression.