A key part of your parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve contains 75% of your parasympathetic system's nerve fibers that carry involuntary signals between your brain, the heart rate, and the immune and digestive systems.
Our mission is to put tools into everyone’s hands to facilitate their neurological, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. When our bodies and brains react to environmental stressors, inappropriate food choices, emotional stress, and neurological injuries, we live in a fight-or-flight. Living in a body that is in fight or flight from any type of current stressor or trauma or the past will wear down the resilience of our Vagus nerve and will take its toll on all functions in the body. We help individuals, parents, children, and practitioners better understand how symptoms and signs of health imbalances from birth and up reveal themselves and offer targeted solutions to shift the potential outcomes.
The three polyvagal circuits are described in the adjacent chart.
The gut has the largest surface area in the body and can carry the most information back to the brain in a feedback loop. Through changes in diet, looking at lifestyle choices, and evaluating the Autonomic Nervous System and the environment in which you live, you have the power to make choices that will positively impact your life.
As whole integrated beings, our symptoms are not isolated to one exact system, and nothing happens in a vacuum meaning an imbalance in one area is affecting another. Somewhere in the feedback loop between the brain, the gut, and the vagus nerve exists a starting point for healing physical ailments, emotional trauma, and neurological injury.
This is finally getting the attention it very much deserves. We have been working with the most advanced techniques for creating resilience in this nerve superhighway with remarkable results. By integrating the work of Dr. Stephen Porges and his SSP (Safe & Sound Protocol), we can assist in creating more resilience in the vagus nerve and autonomic nervous system.
The communication via the Vagus Nerve depends on the integrity of its tone and inflammatory state. The goal of reducing the triggers that are making the vagus nerve more reactive is so we can enjoy a state of resilience in our lives. To feel joyful, open, and creative, and align our inner sense of well-being with our outer life to be able to enjoy quiet time without anxiety, our families, and the world around us.
If the Vagus nerve is inflamed, it can send signals to the entire body and brain indicating that a Fight/Flight response is called for; this keeps children and adults in a Sympathetic state, creating further pathological changes throughout the Autonomic Nervous System.
We cannot be open, engaged, interested, joyful, playful, or communicative in this state. We must be able to shift from Flight/Flight to Parasympathetic and learn for each one of us what allows us to do that most effectively. Removing those things that may be unknown triggers, including foods, and adding in the things that our brains and body respond to in a healthy, relaxed way.
Until our nervous system is healthy, we do not have a healthy foundation to move forward. The Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges illustrates the need for each of us to have a safe place to “entrain.” This means a regulated nervous system near us to seek a more regulated level safely.
For children, this is also true. They need a regulated primary caretaker, usually the parents, but not always. Sometimes when a parent can’t offer this, they may bond with a teacher or other family member that does. Parents of children with challenges are in a state of PTSD and don’t always know it. We all need a system and process to release the trauma stored in our Vagus.
“HRV is simply a measure of the variation in time between each heartbeat. This variation is controlled by a primitive part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). It works behind the scenes, automatically regulating our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion, among other key tasks. The ANS is subdivided into two large components: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight-or-flight mechanism and the relaxation response. The ANS provides signals to the hypothalamus, which then instructs the rest of the body either to stimulate or to relax different functions.
It responds not only to a poor night of sleep or that sour interaction with your boss but also to the exciting news that you got engaged or to that delicious healthy meal you had for lunch. Our body handles all kinds of stimuli, and life goes on. However, if we have persistent instigators such as stress, poor sleep, unhealthy diet, dysfunctional relationships, isolation or solitude, and lack of exercise, this balance may be disrupted, and your fight-or-flight response can shift into overdrive.” source www.harvard.edu
If the Vagus nerve, due to daily stress or trauma of any kind, is unable to function properly, this will stop the messages from being properly sent to the brain. The Vagus Nerve innervates 80% of our visceral organs and directly impacts everything from Sensory Processing to digestion to emotional regulation.
Research also shows that the use of traditional herbs and nutraceuticals can assist in rebalancing the Vagus Nerve /Autonomic Nervous system. Without addressing this healing component, it is much more difficult for a body to integrate and retain the benefits of any type of therapy. When you find something that works and then stops working, this can be because the tone of the Vagus Nerve is not strong enough to support the change as a lasting benefit. This can be improved by limiting stress triggers to the body.
Polyvagal Theory traces its origins to 1969 and Dr. Porges’s early work with heart rate variability. The work we now do with the Vagus nerve is essentially the next level of utilizing HRV as a numbered marker of longevity and resilience.
Three organizing principles are at the heart of Polyvagal Theory. Working with these in regard to health and emotional recovery is the foundation for significant and long-lasting change.
Polyvagal Theory identifies co-regulation as a biological imperative: a need that must be met to sustain life. It is the neural platform that is beneath every experience as we seek to find safety and connection with those around us in order to create resilience in our own nervous systems.
The autonomic nervous system responds to sensations in the body and signals from the environment through three pathways of response. These pathways work in a specified order and respond to challenges in predictable ways. The three pathways (and their patterns of response), in evolutionary order from oldest to newest, are the dorsal vagus (immobilization), the sympathetic nervous system (mobilization), and the ventral vagus (social engagement and connection).
This is the term coined by Dr. Porges to “describe how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous or life-threatening…this takes place in primitive parts of our brain without conscious awareness.”
On a neurophysiological level, our body has already started a sequence of neural processes that will facilitate either engagement and social communication (e.g., expression, listening) or adaptive defense procedures such as fight-flight behaviors and freeze (e.g., fainting, shutdown).
We cannot be open, engaged, interested, joyful, playful, or communicative in this state. We must be able to shift from Flight/Flight to Parasympathetic and learn for each of us what allows us to do that most effectively. Removing those things that may be unknown triggers, including foods, and adding in the things that our brains and body respond to in a healthy, relaxed way.
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Legal Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to supplement nor replace the advice of a trained health professional. If you know or suspect that you have a health problem, consult a health professional.
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