The Low Histamine Chef published a post yesterday: The vagus nerve inflammation connection. I was tickled to get a list of various self-hacks on how to stimulate the vagus nerve. Once the vagus nerve is stimulated we calm down! It’s like magic. The vagus nerve is implicated in all sorts of stress. Like Yasmina points out it intimately involved in inflammation and therefore also the histamine response so many of us with histamine issues are dealing with.
It’s also implicated in the immune response and also in complex PTSD (which in my experience are related). So really it can also be involved in many sorts of ANXIETY. Regardless of how we have labeled or consider it. If you’re feeling stressed out give the information in this post is worth considering.
See also: Immune Response is Secondary to Trauma, at Mad in America.
Several of the simple, natural and uninvasive methods suggested in Yasmina‘s post are things I already do. I didn’t necessarily realize that I was stimulating the vagus nerve. My favorite is listening to various sorts of chanting. I’ve done several posts on my love of sound and tonal healing. Well, this is why. I’m stimulating my vagus nerve.
Here is a taste of what I’m listening to today:
I have this CD: Deva Premal’s Healing Mantras
I, of course, practice meditation, yoga, breath work, and pranayama. I’ve done posts on all those things.
- Meditation. This simple. This difficult.
- Yogic breathing in daily life
- Belly breathing and a bit of yoga
I suspect the reason I so love back bends is because the vagus nerve involvement too:
And chanting as well:
- OM — healing, soothing, transformative sounds (for me can also end migraines)
- The Sacred Chants of Devi (adventures in healing pain, trauma, iatrogenic injury)
- Chanting mantra break…
- Shut up and chant
Tones can help too:
What was really fun is that Yasmina gave me a new really fast fix. I can feel pretty much the minute my body goes into an immune response now. And so last night when that happened, I filled up a bowl with ice-cold water and dunked my head in the bowl. AWWW…an instant improvement in stress, anxiety and the immune response disappeared. LOVELY. Yes, it really did chill me out in more ways than one.
When I got stung by the wasps a couple of weeks ago I discovered that cold baths totally lowered histamine too so I was primed for this though I didn’t really know what I was doing…so thanks Yasmina — for the self-hacks and the explanation!
(and yes, cold baths and showers can work too, clearly)
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.