Did you know that the vagus nerve plays an important role in aiding with digestion? This nerve is located at the base of your skull and helps to control many of the body's involuntary functions, including digestion. Here we’ll take a look at how stimulating the vagus nerve can improve digestive health, as well as basic tips on how to do so.
Our vagus nerve is responsible for sending signals between our brain and organs. When it comes to digestion, this nerve sends signals to our stomach to start producing acid. It also helps regulate many processes associated with digestion, such as secreting enzymes from the pancreas and bile acids from the gallbladder, controls appetite and metabolism in the liver, and guides bowel movements.
Stimulating the vagus nerve can help improve digestive health by increasing stomach acid production, strengthening gut muscles, improving nutrient absorption, and reducing inflammation. These happen because when we stimulate the vagus nerve, it sends signals to our body and organs to rest. When we are in rest mode, our body can effectively digest.
Here are several ways to stimulate the vagus nerve
· Yoga · Deep and slow abdominal breathing techniques or box breathing · Gargle water 2x/day for 2 minutes each · Hum throughout the day · Sing very loudly · Turn your shower on cold for the last 60 seconds · Splash cold water on your face · Acupuncture
Always keep in mind that to have a healthy and habit gut, we must rest to digest. So, start practicing one or more of these techniques to train your body to fully rest.