Is your vagus nerve inflamed?

Feel. Meal. Heal Workshop series

Last week we discussed our mental operating system by how we respond to stress or how we change our behaviors. This week we are going to discuss the physical superhighway in our body that is in charge of this operating system: The Vagus Nerve.

The vagus nerve is the part of the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates the “rest-and-digest” or “tend-and-befriend” responses. The vagus (means wandering in Latin) nerve originates from the cerebellum and brainstem touching your heart, most of your major organs, and ends in your lower abdomen. When the body is not under stress, the vagus nerve sends commands that slow heart and breathing rates and increase digestion. In times of stress, control shifts to the sympathetic system, which decreases digestion and increases heart rate.

The vagus nerve carries sensory signals from internal organs back to the brain, enabling the brain to keep track of the organs’ actions and needs.

The innate response to fear appears to be influenced significantly by “gut instinct” signals sent from the stomach to the brain. This confirms the importance of a healthy vagal tone to maintain grace under pressure and to overcome fear conditioning.

For example, you got in a fender bender that left you shook up for awhile. Fear could make it super challenging for you to drive again. Instead, you practice relaxing your nervous system, observe your fears, thoughts, and reactivity. Does this heal overnight? No, it takes time and developing more mind-body awareness.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that sends a chemical message released by nerve cells to send signals to other cells, such as neurons, muscle cells, and gland cells. This creates a calming and relaxing response, which is used by the vagus nerve to send messages of peace and relaxation throughout the body. New research has found that acetylcholine decreases inflammation in the body and stimulating your vagus nerve sends acetylcholine throughout your body,

What to do to stimulate your Vagus nerve and maintain a healthy vagal tone?

1. Deep breaths with longer exhales: Using positive self-talk along with the deep breaths will calm yourself from both the head to toe and back up. Consciously tapping into the power of your vagus nerve can create a state of inner calm while taming your inflammation reflex. Try setting a one-minute timer and count your breaths. The goal is 5.5 breaths per minute.

2. Cold Water: You may have heard about the benefits of cold showers, soaks, and plunges. If this resonates with you, awesome! If not, just splashing cold water on your face or taking a cold shower for one minute is a super great place to start. This change in body temperature can stimulate the nervous system.

3. Zinc: Try adding in zinc to support your nerves along with your immune system. Most people are deficient. You can do a zinc tally and if you taste it, you are not deficient and if you do not, most likely you are. Here is a brand I recommend for testing and to take as a supplement.

4. Restore Gut health: Having a healthy gut-brain connection is key for vagal tone and integrity. Every day we challenge our gut health, and adding in simple gut restoration is essential. Since there are so many variables and it is hard to control what is causing gut disruption, I recommend adding in Digestive enzymes. Taking these with meals can help with reduce bloating and absorb minerals.

5. Add in gelatin: Kanten or Agar Agar: Check out this vegetarian gelatin. Made from Agar agar, which is a seaweed that is freeze-dried, simple processed. and Kuza root, an ancient health food to help heal the stomach. Kuzu starch is most commonly used to treat minor indigestion and the symptoms of the common cold, but it can also be used as a remedy for constipation, to stimulate appetite, and to calm hyperactive children or minds.

Gelatin, either animal or give this vegan version a try, can enhance gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach.

The Recipe:

  • 2 cups of organic apple juice
  • 3 T of agar flakes
  • 2 T of kuzu powder, dissolved in a 1/4 cup of cold apple juice and whisk.

Combine apple juice and agar flakes in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for two minutes

Stir in dissolved kuzu, return to boil, simmer for one minute or until transparent.

Pour into a moistened bowl, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.

Check out the video below!

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If you are excited to learn more about your Vagus Nerve, Nutrition & Feldenkrais, we have the perfect scenario for YOU!

My friend and colleague, Buffy Owens of Conscious Movements and I created a 3-part workshop series.

This 3-part (recorded for your listening convenience) workshop will help you understand how you can utilize your vagus nerve to meal plan, choose nourishing foods, relax your mind. and assist your body in absorbing nutrients. PLUS, Buffy’s will share her expertise with awareness and movement exercises.

If you sign up by October 15th and receive 20% off! Use this code (EB-SA20) and Click here to learn more!

Feel. Meal. Heal.

Love from your nourishment leader,

Heather Fleming, C.C.N.

P.S. Join my complementary Facebook Group and Follow Conscious Nutrition!

P.S.S. LAST LIVE one-week Appetizer course for 2020 begins October 27th and ends on November 3rd. I planned this to support us to feel nourished for what is to come next in the United States. Head here to learn more!


Please forward this email to anyone who needs some extra nourishment!

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