Your vagus nerve is the “hub” to the parasympathetic (resting and digesting) nervous system. When we experience chronic distress, acute distress, trauma, etc. our parasympathetic nervous system gets dominated by our sympathetic nervous system and the vagus nerve becomes less active. This causes and/or contributes to digestion problems, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and more. The following are exercises that help get the tone of the vagus nerve back up and functioning appropriately!

  1. Gargle vigorously 3 times per day. Twice while brushing your teeth and once in the middle of the day. Gargle vigorously enough that you cause yourself to tear up 10-30 seconds. As a bonus, gargle with peppermint oil, peppermint activates vagal nerve receptors in the back of our mouths.
  1. Gag yourself. As odd as this sounds, a slight gag instantly increases vagal tone. This can be done after brushing your teeth as well – twice per day.
  1. Extended swallowing: Stick your tongue out, protrude your neck out past your shoulders and tilt your head back and try to swallow. Do this 4-5 times before or after steps 1 & 2.
  1. Sing! Sing loudly! We’re all Grammy winners in the car and shower!
  1. 1:2 breathing. For every second you take breathing in, you should take two seconds breathing out. Example: If it take 3 seconds breathing in, take 6 seconds breathing out.

Check out Dr. Alex’s video for more information:

*Seek medical advice before performing any of the above if you are not a patient of HML Chiropractic and Functional Care. This is not a replacement for any medical treatment for any medical conditions you may or may not have.