Vagus Nerve and Polyvagal Theory
There is a lot of great info on the importance and care of the Vagus Nerve. I will be sharing more on this at a later date.
The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in the body, the only cranial nerve that goes outside the skull and a huge factor in gut/brain health. "Vagus" means 'wanderer' in Latin and that is exactly what this nerve does, wandering its way to basically every organ of the body.
Creating good vagal tone is important in our well-being. Focusing on your breath, slow and even; humming or singing, massage, meditation, exercise, laughing, spending time in gratitude... these are a few things you can do to help your vagus nerve function better and help to engage your parasymphathetic nervous system - the rest and digest system. Most of us spend too much time in sympathetic response, which is our stress response. Flight, fight, freeze. It's imperative that we find time each day to give that system a rest and restore our healing abilities.
Not as well known, is Polyvagal Theory. It deals with the reptilian brain's response to stress and trauma. Do you have muscles that don't seem to respond to massage, stretching, rolling? There's a good chance that the reptilian brain is using those muscles to protect you from perceived threat. Since there is no reasoning with this purely instinctual part of our brain, some wise people have come up with ways to get it to feel safe, so that it can let go and no longer 'protect' us.
Until I get my own videos made, I suggest checking out Suki Baxter's YouTube videos on polyvagal theory and learn these easy techniques to help soothe your instinctual stress response.