The Vagus Nerve…helping your heart tick!

These days you can hardly turn on your television without being bombarded by advertisements or warnings about taking care of your heart. There’s a lot of information out there about how to keep your heart healthy, but what about maintaining the thing that makes your ticker tick? I’m talking about the Vagus Nerve.

The Vagus Nerve is the largest bundle of nerves in our body, second only to the spinal cord. Ever wonder why people need pacemakers? It’s because the vagus nerve isn’t sending the heart the signals to pump at a proper pace.

Even though the vagus nerve is often ignored, there are lots of things we can do to keep it healthy as well! Research has shown that slow, meditative forms of exercise like Tai Qi and Qi Gong can also help balance vagus nerve transmission and lower stress associated with higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Diaphragmatic exercises like deep breathing, singing and even laughing have also been demonstrated to have a positive effect on the vagus nerve by stimulating the organs associated with it such as the heart, lungs and stomach.

Author: Dr. Chris Knutson, ND

Dr. Chris Knutson, ND, entered the natural health field after being cured of chronic Lyme Disease by an Australian Naturopath. He holds degrees as a Doctor of Naturopathy, Master Herbalist and Certified Nutritional Counselor. He currently works as a Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator with Fresh and Natural Foods.