Yoga and the Vagus Nerve

Kermit Cole

Monica Cassani explains that yoga can accomplish the same effect on the vagus nerve as implanted vagus-nerve stimulators.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, is foundling editor of Mad in America. He worked in residential treatment with a focus on trauma & psychosis for many years before attending the first Open Dialogue trainings offered in the US. There he experienced the beauty and power of a network rather than an individual focus, and as a result came to love working with couples. He works at the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, with an interest in couples and families that have "identified patients," but doesn't discriminate against people who are thought of as "normal."

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  1. Monica

    That was a good article on the importance of Vegus Nerve in regulating mood. I recently attended a training on Food,Mood, and Cognition which raised a number of important questions about diet and its influence on brain function.

    Ninety percent of the seratonin in the human body is in the gastric system along with fifty percent of the dopamine. SSRI’s and antipsychotic drugs perturb the seratonergic and dopaminergic system in the brain by destroying (hopefully temporarily) the brain’s state of homeostasis. Is it any wonder that these drugs can do so much harm to people struggling with extreme states of psychological distress?

    I am convinced that yoga can be a tremendous tool in improving mood and in the recovery from the damage done by Biological Psychiatry.


  2. thank you, Richard…I’m seriously committed to yoga/meditation…I feel it’s pretty much the foundation of my recovery protocol, though as I have come to profoundly understand…as holistic beings all the pieces that we put together for wellness are very important. Diet, the company I keep, the air I breath…etc, etc.

    I think it’s important to note that the vagus nerve being distressed in heavily implicated in PTSD as well and it’s a common belief among many of us critics that most psych diagnosis are, in essence, variations of PTSD. So yoga, really, in my mind has a potential place in all mental well-being and the maintenance of resilience.

    I have quite a big collection of articles on yoga on the blog now.