The Vagus nerve: harnessing the gut-brain connection

PoppyBefore reading this article, close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. Feel a little calmer? You’ve just tapped into your Vagus nerve.

The Vagus or ‘wandering’ nerve starts in the brainstem, just behind the ears, and travels down the neck and all through the chest and abdomen, connecting the brain with the lungs, heart, spleen, gut, kidneys and reproductive organs.

As it meanders through the body, it plays an important (though vague) role in a wide range of bodily functions. It is involved in speech, facial expression, eye contact, digestive function, the stress response, heart rhythm and inflammatory pathways, among many other things.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, recent research has shown how this vagabond nerve affects conditions that were originally thought to have no relationship to each other.

Things like reflux disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, atrial fibrillation, depression and migraines may in fact be connected by a single common denominator: the vagus nerve.

To read the conclusion of this article, click here

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