Well, it could kind of be like a vacation, I guess... While many may venture to Las Vegas for fun, relaxation, and to de-stress themselves, your vagus nerve is actually your own secret weapon in fighting stress and the effects of stress without the expense and time off required to go to Las Vegas or any vacation for that matter. We are going to take time to delve into what exactly your vagus nerve is and how it impacts your body, and most importantly, how you can tap into this 'weapon' and combat stress more naturally.
The vagus nerve is the longest and most complex of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves. It transmits information to or from the surface of the brain to tissues and organs elsewhere in the body. The name “vagus” comes from the Latin term for “wandering.” This is because the vagus nerve wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen. It is also known as the 10th cranial nerve or cranial nerve X.
The vagus nerve has two bunches of sensory nerve cell bodies, and it connects the brainstem to the body. It allows the brain to monitor and receive information about several of the body’s different functions.
There are multiple nervous system functions provided by the vagus nerve and its related parts. The vagus nerve functions contribute to the autonomic nervous system, which consists of the parasympathetic and sympathetic parts.
The nerve is responsible for certain sensory activities and motor information for movement within the body.
Essentially, it is part of a circuit that links the neck, heart, lungs, and the abdomen to the brain.
Why is it important?
The vagus nerve has a number of different functions. The four key functions of the vagus nerve are:
The nervous system can be divided into two areas: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic side increases alertness, energy, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. The parasympathetic side, which the vagus nerve is heavily involved in, decreases alertness, blood pressure, and heart rate, and helps with calmness, relaxation, and digestion.
Other vagus nerve effects include:
Curious about what effect this could have on you and your body? Please continue to follow our blog series and learn more. Schedule an appointment to invest in yourself with Rita, and make sure your body is the best it can be.
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