The Vagus Nerve is a part of the Autonomic Nervous System. It is the largest nerve in the body and travels from the front of your neck all the way down to your pelvis. It also goes through the chest and down to the digestive system.  The Vagus Nerve sends messages from your brain to your body, such as your organs. It is also involved in those funny facial expressions and staring competitions!

 Vagal Tone describes how strong a particular nerve is working within the nervous system. An Increased vagal tone is what we all want, this means our body is adapting well to stressful situations.

10 Things to do at home to support Vagal Tone:

 1. Nurturing, caring relationships and socialising and laughing! Research has shown that reflecting on positive relationships can increase Vagal Tone. Additionally, Vagus Nerve stimulation often leads to laughter as a side effect, suggesting that they are connected and influence one another. 

2. Mindfulness – being more present in every day activities. Breath work can also be beneficial, deep and slow breathing is a way to stimulate your Vagus Nerve.

3. Enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends, this stimulates the sensory part of the nervous system. 

4. Calm and social meals – this aids with digestion and regulation of the nervous system. Try not to bring up difficult topics when having a meal.

5. The Gut and the Vagus Nerve have a close relationship – prepare high quality whole foods.

6. Sleep Hygiene – ensure a strong routine is set for you and your family. This assists with bringing everyone into a safe and grounded state. 

7. Singing, humming, chanting and gargling – these all enhance the soft palate development for the little ones which can encourage brain development. It also ensures we are activating the muscles that will stimulate the Vagus Nerve (The Vagus Nerve is connected to your vocal cords).

8. Ensuring all family members feel heard and listened to – having a safe home environment provides calmness and improves ones emotional balance. 

9. Cold Showers – Acute cold exposure has been shown to activate the Vagus Nerve.

10. Calm Parent = Calm Children = Calm Family = Increased Vagal Tone! Teaching our family members to self regulate ensures we are always using inside voices to provide cues of safety and comfort.


By Dr Rebecca Soosay, Chiropractor, Applied Kinesiology and NET Practitioner

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