How can we activate the Vagus nerve with Pranayama breathing exercises?
The Vagus Nerve is a big nerve inside our body, connecting the belly brain with the central nervous system. It is essential for our body functions that information flows unhindered so that the body can perform all necessary processes without disturbance. The state of our intestines tells a lot about our all-over well-being. The stomach, colon, small and large intestine, pancreas, gall bladder, liver, kidneys, bladder and all sexual organs have to be monitored and organized. The hormonal state, muscle tension, ingrediences of food, calorie intake, blood sugar levels, insulin production, digestive fluids (gall, digestive liquor, pre- and urine), blood flow, activation, deactivation and many more measures are transported to the brain. From there simple orders are going to the abdomen like rest and digest or stop digesting and healing and increase the blood sugar levels to perform physical tasks.
Nervus Vagus and the subconscious mind
If we had to process all these data with full awareness, we would not do anything else anymore. So, it´s happening subconsciously. The belly talks a lot to the brain, bringing all important information from the visceral nervous system that engulfs our belly organs up to our head. We only become aware of funnelled down information like hunger. Our brain on the other hand only has few orders for our belly, the traffic is 80% up to the brain and 20% down when everything is normal. But not only bodily functions are measured, also subtle energy, electric information and emotional (hormonal) information is processed. When we become aware of these, we call it a gut feeling.
The Vagus nerve and manipulated behaviour
How the belly brain affects our behaviour has been researched for a long time. People with a distinct awareness of their belly brain follow their feeling and often find themselves with less hurdles in their life. However, external and internal pathogens can influence the miniscule orchestra of our abdominal organs. Parasites, bacteria, viruses or fungi have a strong influence on how we feel and act. Via environmental toxins and bad nutrition (processed foods, unhealthy diet) we can damage the ecosystem of our belly which leads to altered behaviour and changed emotional states. Very well-known is candida, which forces the host to intake high amounts of sugar and makes people less resilient and exposed to manipulated behaviour.
Pranayama helps to regulate the Vagus Nerve
In Pranayama you first learn how to breath diaphragmatically, so that the belly moves in a relaxed manner in every breath. It´s just establishing a normal breathing pattern so that the belly organs get massaged and detoxed. Also, it is the foundation for any advanced breathing exercise. The connection between belly and brain is re-established and the information exchange healthy again. Furthermore, the Yogic breathing techniques clean the body tissues and help our abdominal organs to come back to health. Thus, the health applications of Pranayama are vast and powerful. The importance of an intact and well-talking Vagus nerve shows when we take a deeper look into the wisdom of our physical body and how trauma can heal from within.
Poly-Vagal-Therapy and the Power of Pranayama
Our biochemistry is responsible for forming our reality as we perceive it. With a stress cocktail in the body, we feel alike. On the other hand, when we are in love, we see the world through pink glasses and feel like we´re walking on clouds. But it´s the same reality that we perceive so differently. We can and do influence our chemical proportions of hormones through our behaviour, our thoughts and foremostly our breath. We create our biochemistry and how we feel. That is the reality we live in. The Vagus nerve plays an essential role in that. By regulating the activity of the autonomous nervous system, our Vagus Nerve is responsible for its coherence and orchestrates healing processes. With Pranayama we can trigger the Nerve in a way that helps us process undigested information and regulate stress-responses differently. Especially in psychological patient, PTDS, panic-attacks or trauma patients, the activation of the Vagus Nerve is part of the treatment as it proves as simple and effective.
Self-regulation and self-healing with Pranayama
With Pranayama we can activate the Nervus Vagus and get a better orchestration of our overall autonomous nervous system. The results are massive: more resilience, a calmer mind, self-healing processes are triggered and undigested emotions are set free. Traumas can heal and we can learn to come back to holistic health, emotionally and physically. We have access to more of our power as the Vagus Nerve starts to regulate all important processes in our favour. We don´t need much external help and can self-regulate any kind of stressors (chemicals, toxins, emotional stress, physical work, diseases, injuries etc.). In trauma patients the nervus Vagus connection often appears to be severed and the behaviour tend towards abuse (drugs, food etc.). Re-establishing that inner connection makes us free from external helpers and bring us back into our own balance, into our own power. Through the right Pranayama we can reactivate the nerve and thus our healing processes. We find back to holistic health and overall well-being.