The Vagus Nerve is the regulator of the parasympathetic (or calming) branch of our nervous system. It sends messages of safety or threat from our body to our mind. When healthy and relaxed, the upper part of it helps us feel peaceful and socially available. When stressed, the lower part can shut us down, numb us and depress us.
While our Sympathetic nervous system is the gas of our nervous system the Parasympathetic Nervous System is the brake. As with a car, we can have either a bumpy or smooth ride. Polyvagal Informed Therapy helps us better navigate these systems to create more resilience and stability in our life.
Having a health vagus nerve, also known as “vagal tone”, can increase our resilience to illness, inflammation and chronic diseases. It can also help us better connect with others and have a more positive viewpoint on life. There are simple, concrete ways to increase vagal tone such as vibration, touch and social connection.