The vagus nerve is the main source of your parasympathetic outflow. The part of your autonomic nervous system that works on rest, repair and regeneration.
It is a cranial nerve, meaning, it originates from inside the cranium (skull), take a long, circuitous route through the chest and abdominal cavity supplying all the vital organs. The circuitous route caused it to be named the vagus (vagrant/wanderer)
Trying to stimulate the vagus through natural methods, will improve recovery and reduce stress related illnesses. Should work as an adjunct to whatever else you’re doing to fix the problem, as all healing uses the vagus as the final common pathway.
Here’s a few methods that I copied from a biohacker website a few years ago. Can’t find the original link. Will post in comments when I do.
Coughing or Tensing the Stomach Muscles
(Modified crunches/kettlebell swings/Pilates/yoga/loaded carries/ planks/barbell squats for reps)
(Cook rice and shift it straight to fridge while it is still hot. Eat it cold)
Chew Gum: CCK
(Not recommended, in view of artificial flavours and sugar, chewing tough fibrous foods maybe a better option. Jerky?)
(Make sure that you’re not stressing the listeners out)
(Have to start this, oil pulling has similar effect)
(Not recommended, but tongue cleaners could do the same, and might be with trying)
Tongue Depressors stimulate the gag reflex….
Gag reflexes are like doing push-ups for the vagus while gargling and singing loudly are like doing sprints.
Sleep or Lay on Your Right Side
Massaging certain areas like your carotid sinus, which is located on your neck can stimulate the vagus nerve. This helps reduce seizures (R). Foot massages can also increase vagal activity, heart rate variability and lower your heart rate and blood pressure (R). All of these decrease heart disease risk.
(Real cold. Not South Indian cold of 20 degrees Celsius)
Exercise- mild exercise
(Do your hard workouts before 4pm)
Slow breathing, with a roughly equal amount of time breathing in and out increases the sensitivity of baroreceptors and vagal activation, which lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety by reducing your sympathetic nervous system and increasing your parasympathetic system (R).
Breathing around 5-6 breaths per minute in the average adult can be very helpful
Have Positive Social Relationships
Meditation + “Om” chanting stimulates the vagus nerve