Vagus Nerve Stimulation/Adrenal Function
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The Vagus nerve is the longest of the 12 cranial nerves. It goes from the brain stem to the abdomen by way of major organs, throat, thorax and sends signals to the body as well as back to the brain. The Vagus nerve is one of the most important parts of the body’s nervous system. The Vagus nerve gets its name from the latin term meaning “wandering” because of the way it travels through the body. The nerve forms a type of an electrical current through the brain, heart, lungs, and stomach. Think of it as a USB type of connection through the body that monitors activity such as heart rate. Major functions of the Vagus nerve include: 1. speech 2. breathing 3. sweating 4. letting the brain know the stomach is full or empty 5. heart rate.
The (2) adrenal glands sit just above the kidneys in the middle of the lower back; one adrenal gland for each kidney. The cortex part of the adrenal gland controls the production of DHEA, sex hormones and corticosteriods. Corticosteriods control our sleep/waking pattern, suppress inflammation, and controls blood pressure. The medulla part of the adrenal glands controls our bodies response to stress. It produces norepinepherine, dopamine, and adrenaline. These hormones can control our fight or flight response and our well-being. When under stress the production of these hormones can slow down which in-turn increases hunger, slows down digestion, as well as can divert blood flow to important organs. “Adrenal Fatigue” is not necessarily when your adrenal glands get tired however, over long periods of stress, the production of important hormones they produce can slow down causing tiredness, lack of energy, lack of motivation, and irritability, and depression.
Keeping the adrenal glands happy and well functioning are extremely important to physical and mental wellbeing. Rest, meditation, relaxation, enjoying activities not related to work, a good diet, and good sleep are all important to adrenal health. Stimulation of the Vagus nerve is also important because of the way the nerve is connected to, contributes to, and wraps around major organs. Vagus nerve stimulation can be done in a few ways such as cold water/cold shower, singing, meditation, etc. But the most effective way to stimulate the vagus nerve is through electrical stimulation. Sending electrical impulses to the vagus nerve is a treatment that has been used in epilepsy and difficult to treat depression. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is also now being used to treat anxiety, heart failure, alcoholism, obesity, migraines, autism, adrenal fatigue…the list is massive.
At WAR Clinic we use Electrical Medicine to deliver electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. It is painless, effective instantly and over long-term, and soothing. Early and more invasive methods included surgically implanting devices close to the heart but now through Electrical Medicine non-invasive methods can be used with no down time which usually follows with a more relaxed mind and body with significant pain reduction in chronic pain patients as well as an increased range of motion. Electrodes from devices can be placed on the vagus nerve on the base of each side of the neck as well as other devices can be used more long-term on the ear with the same results. Electrical Medicine is FDA approved with no side-effects and no need for medications.