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Improving Vagal Tone for Improved Emotional and Mental Health

Monday, August 30th 2021 10:00am 17 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

The vagus nerve is a crucial nerve that runs from your brain stem through your neck and into your chest and abdomen. It connects your brain and gut. It helps to regulate breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and emotional state. If you are experiencing any emotional health symptoms such as depression, stress, anxiety, or fatigue, it may indicate that you have a poor vagal tone.

Let’s take a deeper dive into this issue. The article will cover the function of the vagus nerve, polyvagal theory, the importance of good vagal tone, and the causes and symptoms of poor vagal tone. We will also look at ways to improve your vagal tone for better emotional and mental health.

The function of the vagus nerve

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system. There are actually two nerves one on the right and one on the left. It is crucial to many functions of the body. It carries key motor and sensory information, and it supplies innervation to the heart, major blood vessels, airways, lungs, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

It plays a role in regulating digestion, heart rate, sweating, blood pressure, and speech, among other functions. It controls the muscles of your throat and voice box. In addition, it helps the entire gastrointestinal tract work together.

Vagal tone and parasympathetic function

One of the most critical functions of the vagus nerve is the role it plays in the major parasympathetic nerve. It helps regulate blood pressure, slow the heart rate, control the gag reflex, control sweating, enables the involuntary constriction and relaxation of muscles in the gut, and controls vascular tone.

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