Hi, it’s Mimi.
I am all about elegant, graceful, and “on the cheap” Solutions to health. Working the keys from spiritual and energetic practices has been more productive then I could EVER imagine. (which lets me know I am on track!)
If there is something I could wish for you, it would be that you could begin to understand the importance of the connections between the gut and the brain and OUR BEHAVIOR to sabotage those connections so we don’t feel the discomfort and overwhelm that we have created. When I beg you to reconnect with the feeling of the discomfort people run. But that is only because they don’t understand!!!!
IF you knew that you could simply breathe through it, let thoughts and feelings flow through you, hold onto the positive regard and the Light for 2 minutes, we could get through the overwhelm without much issue. More importantly, than our own discomfort, we would protect our ability to perceive, think, feel, receive our feed back system, be able to move our smooth muscles, (like digestion, reproduction, waste removal) and the like.
This article is a tiny peek into your connection between the brain and the gut! Give it flesh and blood in your body. When you eat sugar, it inflames your nerves. It stops them from communicating. Can you imagine, what you are stopping? There is such a big life beyond the smallness of what we allow ourselves!
The implications of such simple and basic practices on your overall health, and in particular on inflammation are far-reaching. If you suffer from an inflammatory condition, digestive upset, high blood pressure or depression, a closer look at vagal tone is highly recommended. We’ve known for years that breathing exercises and meditation are helpful for our health, but it is so fascinating to learn the mechanism by which they work. I hope this short article has inspired you to begin a meditation practice, as it has for me, and also to look for other means to manage the body’s inflammatory response.
- Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from the top of the lungs stimulates and tones the vagus nerve.
- Humming. Since the vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords, humming mechanically stimulates it. You can hum a song, or even better repeat the sound ‘OM’.
- Speaking. Similarly speaking is helpful for vagal tone, due to the connection to the vocal cords.
- Washing your face with cold water. The mechanism her is not known, but cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve.
- Meditation, especially loving kindness meditation which promotes feelings of goodwill towards yourself and others. A 2010 study by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kik found that increasing positive emotions led to increased social closeness, and an improvement in vagal tone.
- Balancing the gut microbiome. The presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone.
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