Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Thus Chill Out: Simple, Natural, Uninvasive Methods


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.

I suspect the reason I so love back bends is because the vagus nerve involvement too:

And chanting as well:

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.


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  1. A timely posy- last year i started to experience nerve pain in my teeth and face after 6 weeks on lorazepam
    Three months ago this nerve pain started getting worse in daylight and my skin started to burn even in front of my computer. Now i have to spend all day in the dark and cannot tolerate any light.

    The dermatologist does not think its med withdrawal related so hes on board with the shrinsk. They offered me nortrityline to go with the other cocktail of drugs i have been subjected to in the past and I’m on now. Always the same solution to a problem started by the toxic drug. Any suggestions welcome as i didn’t release could end up leading to so much mental and physical torture. Plus i have to wear a splint all day to relieve the never pain in my teeth and gums.

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    • your situation is one of typical hyper-sensitivity (as well as chronic pain) that is common among folks with protracted withdrawal issues. it does diminish over time and there are many different ways of coping in the meantime. different people find different things helpful.

      the links in the above post may be helpful to explore.

      Also here is a list of posts on Beyond Meds that deal with chronic pain:

      if you scroll down the page that link brings you to you might find information that may be helpful. I found that reframing my experience while also learning coping skills helped a lot. That is in essence what I continue to do even now.

      I wish you the best. Perseverance if nothing else will get you through the worst and in time it all diminishes and we become more able to respond to what is happening to us.

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  2. This is incredibly effective for me. Along with DBT, ASMR and valerian or chamomile tea. These kinds of non-invasive coping mechanisms directly activate the parasympathetic nervous system and are enough to get me through the most vicious anxiety and panic attacks. In the same way that exercise is napalm for depression. The longer you practice these types of coping mechanisms the more powerful, automatic and versatile they become. And they are simple. Anyone can learn them.

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  3. its not protracted as i’m still on the poison – also they wanted to give me nortriptyline for the neuorpathic pain and burning on my face from the light – when i explained to the derm it was the med withdrawals he wasn’t having it.

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