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VAGUS NERVE function also know as the wandering nerve is becoming very popular amongst health professionals. As you can see from the picture above it wanders through the body to all the major organs and is partly responsible for health and wellbeing in all these conditions.

The vagus nerve controls all involuntary body processes such as heartbeat, breath, speech, swallowing, blood pressure, bladder, fertility, hearing, taste, circulation, digestion and GUT HEALTH.

It also allows us to utilise parts of the brain that are responsible for creativity, complex decision making and cognition. If the vagus nerve is not functioning we are only able to access parts of the brain that control the fight or flight response also known as sympathetic nervous system which can make us feel anxious, stressed and on edge.

Causes of malfunction of the Vagus can be from a traumatic brain injury or concussion like falling off a bike or horse. Smoking, drinking alcohol, working too hard and stress also contribute to its malfunction.

Digestion begins with the activation of the vagus nerve from the sight, smell or thought of a meal. Digestive juices like stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes and bile are then made ready to be released when the food enters the body.

So can you see that if the Vagus nerve is not working optimally you will not be able to digest your food and in turn obtain nutrients and have good regular bowel movements everyday which is crucial to health.

Doctors have started to stimulate the vagus nerve with electrical impulses to help in conditions like depression. But we can help ourselves with some simple natural home activities like alternate nostril breathing, yoga, singing loudly, humming and chanting, laughing, hugging, splashing the face with cold water and gargling until your eyes tear.

Activation of the Vagus nerve allows us to relax, rest and digest for the best gut function. So in cases of IBS where you have not had any resolution Vagus nerve activation is a very good place to start.

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