Vagal Breathing For Relaxation & Optimal Immunity
This article provides an overview of the following:
Vagal Breathing has been practised within ancient natural healing traditions for millennia. These days it is most commonly practised through Yoga breathing exercises, the world over. These breathing exercises help to improve Vagal Tone
There are many benefits to improving our Vagal Tone. The benefits include:
- Ensures a good immune response to pathogens
- Helps restore hormonal balance
- Extends life expectancy
- Improves quality of life
- Improves physical & mental performance
- Elevates stamina
- Reduces anxiety
- Enhances focus & concentration
- Improves our medical status & overall health
*Obviously, the opposite is true if we possess poor Vagal Tone.
In this Article
In this article, you will learn the basic functions of the Vagus Nerve, and how you can interact with it to improve the quality and longevity of your life, and also ensure that you possess optimal immune function at all times.
So, What Is Vagal Breathing?
Vagal Breathing is a very simple way of lowering the stress response in the body. It is achieved through consciously controlling the way in which we breathe to engage with our Vagus Nerve.
The lower our stress levels, the better our immune function is…
It makes sense, doesn’t it…!?
Our Vagus Nerve is the tenth cerebral nerve, which connects to every major organ in our body. It also connects with our digestive tract.
The Vagus Nerve is an important information highway within the body, ferrying information between our organs, digestion and our brains.
Aside from this important role, our Vagus Nerve is also the key to regulating our fight or flight response.
This means that the Vagus Nerve is responsible for reducing stress levels within our body, which correspondingly improves immune function.
We achieve optimal immunity when our body is in the rest and digest response!
Rest & Digest Response
Most of us have heard of the fight or flight response. But, sadly, almost none of us have heard of the rest and digest response.
The rest and digest response is just as important as the fight or flight response… if not more so. This is certainly true on a day-to-day basis, when we are simply engaged in our daily routines.
The fight or flight response is only required for exceptional circumstances. The body should only really elicit a fight or flight response when we are under direct threat, from an external source.
This means that the rest and digest response is our natural state of being, and the fight or flight response is there to help us contend with potentially life-threatening circumstances.
Fight Or Flight Response
Unfortunately, the stresses and strains of modern living, are prompting us to increasingly get stuck in the fight or flight response. Plus, because it is easier to manage a fearful population, and because sensationalise fear sells newspapers and generates website clicks, which lead to advertising revenue, governments, news outlets and corporations are all in the business of propagating fear to achieve their various goals.
As a child, I was threatened with being carted off to the children’s home if I refused to be compliant… other children were warned of the boogie man. Thankfully, modern parenting methods are less likely to employ such formative techniques.
*They are formative because, if an existential threat is used regularly, we will create a dominant neural pathway to the fear and anxiety that this existential threat generates within us. We literally become pre-programmed to be afraid when there’s no real need to be.
Thankfully, our neurology is mailable, and can be changed with practice. This is known as neuroplasticity, which means that our neurology has plasticity, rather than being permanent.
As mentioned, the Vagus Nerve connects all of the important organs and functions of the body. But, it is also the flip switch between the fight or flight response and the rest and digest response.
When we interact with, or engage, our Vagus Nerve, this sends a signal to the brain to activate the rest and digest response.
This is especially helpful if we are feeling panicky, fearful, anxious, or depressed. It is a great way of reducing panic attacks and lowering blood cortisol levels, and lowering the adrenal response.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. So is Adrenalin.
These stress hormones are released to help us contend with life-threatening conditions. They provide us with the energy and focus to escape from dangerous conditions.
And yes… men have these hormones too!
Vagal breathing helps us to lower blood levels of these stress hormones, thereby mitigating the stress response in our bodies.
Having better control over our Vagus Nerve is also known as Vagal Tone.
Good vagal tone is associated with all of the following:
- Improved digestion
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood-sugar regulation – less chance of Type 2 Diabetes
- Lesser risk of stroke & cardiovascular disease
- Improved mood & emotional health
- Reduced anxiety & depression
- Better recovery times after stress & medical procedures etc.
- Improved sleep quality and ability to fall asleep
So, what is Vagal Breathing?
Vagal breathing is as key way of achieving vagal tone.
You can do vagal breathing anywhere. It is especially helpful to start vagal breathing when you begin to feel a little anxious. Your vagal breathing exercise will stop the anxiety from progressing any further and will, reduce anxiety levels, until you feel calm once more.
Simply inhale to capacity, so that you feel the air in your chest pressing down on your diaphragm. Hold for four seconds before breathing out slowly through your mouth.
The vagus nerve connects with our lungs at the base, so the pressure on your diaphragm is also applying pressure on your vagus nerve. This prolonged pressure allows a signal to be sent to your brain, which prompts it to restore a state of rest and digest over time.
Repeat ten times an hour if you are facing prolonged challenges, or just keep on breathing this way until you feel calmer when contending with an acute situation.
Just like the pulse points found on our wrists (where healthcare professionals sometimes place the flat side of their forefinger and middle finger to measure our pulse), we also have vagal points on either side of our neck.
As with our pulse points, which give us the easiest access to our blood vessels, the vagal points in our neck give us the most direct access to our vagus nerve. This is because, at these points, our vagus nerve is closest to the surface of the skin than anywhere else in the body.
More specifically, the vagal points are located on either side of our neck, directly behind the bottom part of our ear lobes, and before the hinge of the mandible, (jaw bone).
We can massage our vagal points to help calm ourselves down, and we can also use vagal massage to deliver diluted essential oils quickly and easily around our body. We simply do this by massaging pre-diluted essential oils into the vagal points.
This must be done very gently, with a feather-light touch.
The lymph nodes are also in this area, so we are also helping with lymphatic drainage and detoxification when we do this.
Healing The Vagus Nerve
There’s a shocking statistic relating to Vagus Nerve health.
It is estimated that 90% of us have an infected Vagus Nerve.
This will obviously adversely affect the performance of our Vagus Nerve, but there are other consequences as well…
Because our Vagus Nerve is an information highway, connecting our brain to all of our major organs, this means that infections in one part of the body can hitch a ride on the Vagus Nerve and find their way to another.
Dental infection is thought to account for 90% of heart attacks!
Because our Vagus Nerve travels down our neck, passing very closely to the hinge of our jaw bone, it is an easy jump for the infection from one to the other.
But, our Vagus Nerve can deliver all manner of infections, to all of the major parts of the body. These can be viral or bacterial, or even fungal. The notion that we can split the body up into different segments, and just treat one part of it where infectious dis-eases are concerned is, therefore, completely bogus.
We need to adopt an holistic approach to healing if healthcare is to be completely successful.
Vagal Nerve Infection
One of the best ways to deal with an infected Vagus Nerve is to use an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal preparation.
The Wild As The Wind Thieves Oil 2020 possesses all of these properties.
It is also possible to buy Thieves Essential Oil 2022 from Wild As The Wind, which is an undiluted essential oil blend, that is again is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. It contains slightly different essential oils to the pre-diluted Thieves Oil 2020, and it is suitable for diffusing and inhalation purposes.
*This essential oil blend must not be applied topically in its undiluted form. However, it can be diluted at a 5% dilution in a good carrier oil. Please read Diluting Essential Oils for more information.
Thieves Comprehensive Essential Oil Blend is another undiluted essential oil blend, which is suitable for everyone over the age of two. Again, this oil blend needs to be diluted prior to topical application.
Massaging The Vagus Nerve
Apply a couple of drops of Thieves Oil 2020 to the tips of your fingers and rub them together until warm. Then apply to the Vagus Nerve points directly behind the ear lobes, where the edge of the Mandible, (jaw bone), meets the neck.
Continue to gently massage this area for a couple of minutes until all of the oil seems to have been absorbed. The warmer the oil is the quicker it will be absorbed.
Repeat up to three times a day.
IMPORTANT :: Even deeply healing products and medicines can bioaccumulate within our body, over time, and cause us problems. It is, therefore, important to take a minimum of a couple of days off using Thieves Oil 2022 every other week or so. This is easily done if you stick to using Thieves Oil 2022 on the days you feel particularly hormonal or sensitive and taking a rest on the days you are feeling more even temperamentally.
Detoxing, stimulating and helping rid the Vagus Nerve of viral and other infections, will really help to restore balance to your body. (The Clove Essential Oil and Rosemary Essential Oil are antibacterial and antiviral, as are Oregano Essential Oil and Thyme Red Essential Oil.)
One of the things you will notice is that your sleep will improve, often quite dramatically. You will also feel calmer and less likely to get stressed.
On your days off from Thieves Oil 2022 you can use the residual oil left on your fingertips after applying your face oil to massage your Vagus Nerve points.
Or, use a Bath & Body Oil if you prefer. However, if you need to keep using antiviral essential oils or if you feel you need antibacterial essential oils, then there are many individual antibacterial essential oils to choose from. Simply search the different options by typing ‘antibacterial’ into the search box at the top right-hand side of this page.