The vagus nerve sure is getting more attention these days. Rightfully so. This 10th cranial nerve is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating many of the body's important functions, such as heart rate, digestion, and respiration.
When you breathe properly, meaning you take slow, deep breaths, it stimulates the vagus nerve and can activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This activation can help to lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and promote feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Additionally, proper breathing can also stimulate the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that activates the vagus nerve. Acetylcholine is involved in many important functions in the body, including muscle movement, memory, and attention.
Conversely, shallow breathing or breathing that is too fast can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
Raise your hand if you or your child get over stimulated and need a way to promote relaxation and stress relief.
The most important component of my therapy involves ways to relax the nervous system, improve our breath and stimulate our vagus nerve. This calms the body and mind, reduces anxiety and tension, relaxes the nervous system and even boosts lung capacity.
A 2018 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that practicing a mindful, slow breathing (10 breaths per minute or fewer) was associated with “increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.”
Let’s bring some intention to something we do over 20,000 times per day. Let’s set ourselves and our kids up for success. This is a tool that can change your life and overall health. As with most things, this can be more complicated than it sounds, so I would love to help.
I am certified in functional breathing re-education through Buteyko International. I have the training to teach you or your child how to gain mastery over the respiratory system and to recognize the connection with the breath, the mind and our emotions.
This advanced training is included with my myofunctional therapy program. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about the power of the breath and how it can improve your sense of well being.