Is Your "Stomach Anixety" Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!

Is Your “Stomach Anixety” Making You Feel You’re About Die? – Here’s How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!

Below are notes and advice from various websites that have helped me cure this “Vagus Nerve – Stomach – Anxiety Issue” ASAP!

While you are reading this hum in the meantime. Humming stimulates the vagus nerve…Hum a song, hum “Om”…hum anything!

It turns out that stomach problems can cause a lot more than just physical discomfort. Research has suggested that gastrointestinal troubles may be linked with anxiety and depression as well.

A large body of research into complementary and alternative therapies has examined the relationship between the mind and the body, but the Stanford study focused on how the body can directly affect the mind. The evidence led the researchers to note that the condition of a person’s stomach can directly affect the way they think and behave. The primary mechanism identified was a signal from the stomach to the brain that causes a permanent change. Scientists are further investigating precisely how that communication is triggered and sent to the brain. This could lead to new treatment therapies for anxiety and depression.

Based on research in this area, experts came to believe that anxiety and depression may sometimes be caused by electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve. This belief prompted the development of new therapies for treatment-resistant depression.

Can Gastric Disorders Contribute to Anxiety and Depression

How to Calm an Anxious Stomach: The Brain-Gut Connection

Researchers have previously thought that stress hormones were the reason that people with digestive problems were more anxious and depressed. More recent studies, such as the one at Stanford, have implicated childhood gastrointestinal issues that occurred before the person’s psychological symptoms developed.

Ever wonder why you get “butterflies” in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is “tied in knots” after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasn’t caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.

How to Calm Stomach Brain Connection

Pay attention to your gut-brain connection – it may contribute to your anxiety and digestion problems

The gut-brain connection is no joke; it can link anxiety to stomach problems and vice versa. Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous”? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings (and others) can trigger symptoms in the gut.

The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For example, the very thought of eating can release the stomach’s juices before food gets there. This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.

This is especially true in cases where a person experiences gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause. For such functional GI disorders, it is difficult to try to heal a distressed gut without considering the role of stress and emotion.

Gut Brain Connection

Brain-gut connection explains why integrative treatments can help relieve digestive ailments

Given this strong mind-body/brain-gut connection, it should come as no surprise that mind-body tools such as meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, yoga, and gut-directed hypnotherapy have all been shown to help improve GI symptoms, improve mood, and decrease anxiety. They decrease the body’s stress response by dampening the sympathetic nervous system, enhancing the parasympathetic response, and decreasing inflammation.

Your gut mirrors every emotion that arises in your brain

When you’re stressed, your heartbeat speeds and your neck and shoulder muscles tighten, and the reverse happens when you’re relaxed. The gut is, in fact, a theatre in which the drama of emotion plays out and mirrors how you feel.

Nearly 15% of the US population suffers from a range of aberrant gut reactions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic constipation, indigestion, and functional heartburn, which all fall into the category of brain-gut disorders.

In the brain, spiking corticotropin-releasing factor, or CRF, levels rise anxiety and make people more sensitive to a range of sensations, including signals from the gut, which are experienced as severe belly pain.

Is Your "Stomach Anixety" Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!The Vagus Nerve – The Body’s Most Powerful Mind-Body Connection

Why would a nerve that starts in the brainstem travel throughout the body and end in the gut? Well, it turns out that the reason it’s so extensive is because the vagus nerve is a fundamental part of our parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of the ‘rest and digest’ body functions. It is the companion “off” switch to our sympathetic nervous system which is in charge of the ‘fight or flight’ response that fills us with adrenaline when we sense danger. Since the parasympathetic is the one that calms us once a threat has passed it influences your heart rate, breathing rate and digestive function by interacting with a number of vital organs or systems, including the heart, lungs, gut, liver, spleen and kidneys. It is perhaps the most important mind-body connector and the vast and deep connection between the vagus nerve and all the major organs and systems is why stimulating the vagus nerve will also affect automatic processes such the heart rate, breathing rate, and gut muscle contractions.

Basically, increasing your vagal tone means that your body can relax faster after stress. In 2010, researchers discovered a positive feedback loop between high vagal tone, positive emotions, and good physical health. In other words, the more you increase your vagal tone, the more your physical and mental health will improve, and vice versa. Good vagal tone reduces stress as it reduces our heart rate and blood pressure.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Methods

The advice below is from a very well researched blog post on a great CDB product shop Cordial Organics, please purchase their awesome products (sorry for taking so much of the text)

Also read all their articles here

The earliest documentation of vagal stimulation was done by the Greeks. They found that massaging the carotid artery in the neck caused the heart rate and blood pressure to lower with a very pronounced effect and so they dubbed it ‘the site of sleep.’ However, it was actually the stimulation of the vagus nerve that runs right alongside the carotid artery that caused the effect. Although this is the first known vagal stimulation method, we are now aware of several other ways to stimulate the vagus nerve in order to induce a relaxation response.

Massage

Carotid massage is still as valid and powerful a method of vagus nerve stimulation today as it was when the Greeks used it.  You can stimulate your vagus nerve by massaging the area around the carotid sinus, located along the carotid arteries on either side of your neck. Tilt your head back and apply gentle pressure with two fingers for about 5-10 seconds near the angle of the jawline area where the pulse is the strongest in the neck.  Rub in a circular motion. It may be helpful to use a massage oil like Ritual from Cordial Organics to help the fingers slide easily.

Deep Slow Breathing

Deep, slow breathing has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase the parasympathetic system by activating the vagus nerve . To take a complete breath, inhale slowly by pulling the breath down with the diaphragm and fill the bottom of your stomach first before expanding it outward and then lifting the lower and upper chest and finally expanding up into the collarbones. Slowly release the breath starting with the collarbones and chest first and then gently pulling the stomach toward the spine at the end of the exhale. Feel yourself relax as you continue deep, slow and steady complete breathing. Aim for 5 – 7 breaths a minute. For added vagal stimulation, as you exhale, you can constrict the throat slightly to produce a sound like you are trying to fog glass (the HHH sound)

Ear stimulation

The ear is the only place where the vagus nerve reaches the surface of the body. Stimulating the vagus nerve via the ear is primarily done by acupuncture. There are also electronic stimulators that you can connect to the outer ear. However you can also gently stimulate sensation in the ear’s vagus-innervated areas by gentle touch, pressure, or light traction on the ear’s inner helix, the concha (deepest bowl), ear canal, and the scalp just behind the ears. As with massaging the neck, use of a massage oil such as Cordial Organic Ritual Oil will help facilitate ear based vagal stimulation.

Is Your "Stomach Anixety" Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!Gut Bacteria

Healthy gut bacteria leads to improvement of brain function by affecting the vagus nerve. “Studies have shown that these vagal-mediated effects are influenced by gut bacteria. Specific bacterial strains have been demonstrated to utilize vagus nerve signaling to communicate with the brain and to alter behavior.” ³  One probiotic In particular, Bifidobacterium longum has anti anxiety effects during low grade gut inflammation. There is also exciting new evidence pointing toward the ability of CBD to greatly enhance the absorption of probiotics in the gut. Because cannabinoids are lipids, (made of fats) they can withstand abrasive stomach acids. These fats absorb nutrients, essential minerals, and probiotic bacteria and evidence is beginning to show that CBD oil taken with probiotics might positively influence probiotic colonization and improve gut health. For the highest quality CBD oil we recommend the Cordial Organics brand Balance.

Singing, Humming, Chanting, Gargling

The vagus nerve is connected to the throat muscles and vocal cords and so you can stimulate it by activities that involve moving these. Singing, humming, and chanting, are all easy activities to do in the shower in the morning or the car on the way to work to help increase vagal tone and prepare you for stresses the day may bring. Try gargling the last swallow of water when you are having a glass.

Valsalva Maneuver

It takes two forms. In one form, simply pinch your nose closed and close your mouth. Then, try to exhale forcefully for about 20 seconds. The other form of a Valsalva maneuver also starts by holding your breath. While holding your breath, bear down as though you were having a bowel movement. Try to hold this position for 20 seconds.

Cold Exposure

Researchers have also found that exposing yourself to cold on a regular basis can lower your sympathetic “fight or flight” response and increase parasympathetic activity through the vagus nerve Cold showers and running around underdressed for the weather are possible routes. Find a way to freeze your butt off and you can get a healthier vagal response.

Exercise

This one really needs no explanation. A healthy body translates into a healthy vagus nerve and healthy vagal tone. The best exercise to do is the one you enjoy doing and will do on a regular basis. If you haven’t found it, find it! I personally like yoga, pilates and other bodyweight strength exercises. It really doesn’t matter much what you do as long as you are moving and getting your heart rate up.

Laughter

Because stimulating the throat is good for your vagus nerve laughter is similar to singing, chanting and humming. But as the vagus nerve runs through your chest and abdomen as well, a good deep belly laugh is even more beneficial. That blissed out euphoria we feel after a really good hard laugh is explained by this. Also as a rather odd sidenote, there is a form of yoga known as laughter yoga that might be worth checking out if you want to laugh, but you just can’t seem to find any humor in the world.

 

Is Your "Stomach Anixety" Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!Daily Practices for Activating the Vagus Nerve

From the book Activate Your Vagus Nerve

Gargling

2x daily Keep a cup beside your bathroom sink. Use it to gargle twice each day, when you brush your teeth in the morning and at night.

Gag reflex activation

2x daily When you brush your teeth in the morning and at night, use your toothbrush to stimulate the gag reflex on both the left and right side of your soft palate.

Humming

2x daily During your daily commute or to bookend your day, practice humming deep in your throat. You can use the word “om” and hold the vibration in your throat for as long as you can exhale.

Cold shower

1x daily End your daily shower with one minute of cold water (as cold as possible) and practice breathing through the shock of the temperature change. As this becomes easier, increase the time by 30 to 60 seconds every three days until your entire shower is taken under cold water.

Deep breathing

3x daily Practice three to five minutes of deep breathing in a quiet space before each meal. This will help to calm you down and improve your digestion for each meal.

Sunlight exposure

3x daily Go outside and expose your skin to the sun within 30 minutes of sunrise, in the middle of the day, and within 30 minutes of the sunset, each time for a minimum of five minutes. If you live in a colder climate, expose your eyes to the light at each of these times for two to three minutes, and practice breathing through the cold each time you do.

Sleep on your side Each night Put a pillow between your knees to keep you sleeping on your side each night.

The Vagus Nerve and CBD

CBD has been well established as a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-seizure medication. Research is ongoing, however there are cannabinoid receptors directly on the vagus nerve and it can logically be expected that supplementing our own endocannabinoid system with external CBD will benefit vagal tone. There is much anecdotal evidence of this, but we must await further studies for science to confirm.

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Is Your Stomach-Anixety Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!
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Is Your Stomach-Anixety Making You Feel You're About Die? - Here's How to Hack Your Vagus Nerve ASAP!
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It turns out that stomach problems can cause a lot more than just physical discomfort. Research has suggested that gastrointestinal troubles may be linked with anxiety