The vagus nerve is the longest in your body, and it connects all of our essential organs. It starts as a highway that takes a journey through many parts before connecting back up with other nerves at various locations throughout you. It means “wandering” according to its Latin origins.
The vagus nerve is also a key part of your parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. It influences not only how you breathe but also the rate at which digestive enzymes break down food into energy for use by body cells. A process is called macronutrient partitioning.
The vagal tone is an internal biological process that represents the activity of our parasympathetic nervous system. A higher level means we can relax faster after stress and will make us feel better. In this article, we will discuss further what vagal tone is all about and its importance.
Vagal Tone Introduction
We all have a highway that runs from our brain to every part of us, but the vagus nerve is like an express route. It sends messages without any stop-and-go traffic.
The large nerve that originates in the brain and branches out to control many muscles is what makes you who you are.
It carries information from your skin, affects how much saliva there should be for proper breathing purposes (among other things), influences immune function on its own accord. All while being responsible for actions like swallowing or speaking.
The vagus nerve is a pair of nerves that emerge from the left and right sides of our brain stem. Making it longer than any other cranial nerve. The Vagus nerve is singular because there can only be one at once, but this famous messenger travels on both paths towards its destination: heart or abdomen.
The vagus is a wandering nerve connecting the brain to your body. The input travels through 80% of the cortex and 20 percent on just one side.
It is a little nerve that tells the brain all sorts of things. Like how well our organs are working and what is going on in them. It also sends signals to other parts for talking or facial expressions. Without this networked bundle, there would be no way we could communicate with one another.
The enteric nervous system is a collection of neurons in your guts that controls digestion and eliminates waste. It works alongside the parasympathetic, or “feeder” part to calm you after an intense, stressful moment like running from danger.
Vagal Tone and Its Function
The vagus nerve is a folded, elegant strip of tissue that courses through many different organs and systems in the body.
- Sensory: The voice box is an intricate system of canals and pipes that help your words flow. It also innervates the skin on both sides and all surfaces within the range of its acoustic meatus.
- Special Sensory: The epiglottis and root of the tongue get a taste sensation from this product.
- The Motor is responsible for providing innervation to the majority of muscles in your pharynx, soft palate, and larynx.
- Parasympathetic: Innervates the smooth muscle of our respiratory system and regulates heart rhythm. Cardiac branches slow down a person’s heartbeat. The bronchial branch constricts airways in your lungs while relaxing muscles around them (including those that control bile flow). Esophageal nerves stimulate peristalsis for digestion.
Vagal Tone and Its Action
The vagus nerve is the main parasympathetic outflow to our heart and gastrointestinal organs. In addition, it helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body by sending signals about how much food you have eaten or drunk already.
- The Heart: The parasympathetic branches that arise from the thorax send out nerve impulses to reduce one’s resting heart rate. These Cardiac Branches are constantly active and produce a rhythm of 60 – 80 beats per minute when they’re at rest in your chest cavity or abdomen tissues; if you had vagus nerves lesioned, then this could be around 100 bpm.
- Gastro-Intestinal System: The vagus nerve provides parasympathetic innervation to the majority of abdominal organs. It sends branches that stimulate smooth muscle contraction and glandular secretions in these various parts: for example, it increases acid production by stomach cells through relaxation on demand.
Gut-Brain Axis Introduction
In recent years, a new understanding of how the brain and gut communicate with each other has been uncovered.
Through an ever-increasing body of research into this fascinating topic, we have learned that it’s not just one-way communication going on but instead bidirectional dialogue where both sides are sending signals back to each other.
The vagus nerve is the principal component of our parasympathetic nervous system. It accounts for 80% afferent fibers and 20% efference fibers.
The VN, as it’s essential for interoceptive awareness. It can sense the microbiota metabolism through its afferent nerves and transfer this information to our central nervous system, where we integrate them with other senses. This process is what creates a response in us.
- The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway has been described through VN’s fibers, which can dampen peripheral inflammation and decrease intestinal permeability. It helps the body to modulate its microbiota composition by decreasing both boarding agents. It causes infections and healing provisions for any existing illnesses in your system.
- Stress may be one of the most challenging things to deal with in life, but it also has a devastating effect on your body. It can lead you into an endless cycle where stress leads to pain which causes inflammation throughout different parts or organs resulting from IBD and/or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Low vagal tone is seen in IBD and IBS patients, due to which inflammation spreads peripherally.
- The brain is not just an organ of the body. But also a “gut-brain axis” that sends signals to regulate digestive functions. The microscopic bugs in our guts can affect how we think and feel; they produce substances such as ghrelin which stimulates appetite or testosterone responsible for mood swings.
Vasovagal Stimulation Trend
As the new era enters we have easier access to technologies where we can stimulate our vagus nerves. Strengthen vagal tone for your wellness and health. Most people just now know the importance of vagal tone and vagus nerve.
Discover the new vagus nerve stimulation device from Neuvana life which can tackle stress, boost sleep, and improve focus by simply listening to music. Live well and be well today.