Stimulate your vagus nerve and thus chill out: simple, natural, noninvasive 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 noninvasive methods suggested 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:

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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) … Update: lately I’ve been ending every shower or bath with a cold rinse. It’s really great and seems to help keep the vagus nerve TONED…as mentioned here.

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Sunday mellow music

This provoked some fun stuff up and down my chakras. Happy summer solstice.

More

My life bound friend… (music and sound healing)

hollow boneMusic, sounds and vibrations of many kinds have helped me find different sorts of profound healing states. For me this has been one of the joys of becoming sensitive. I put this song on loop once and listened to it in meditation and contemplation for hours. It was a healing experience. Ayla Nereo just made a video of the song. I thought I’d share.

Music and healing

 

A collection of posts with suggestions for music and sound healing (includes some free downloads):

More on moving/dancing/shaking for healing:

More Ecstatic Dance

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The Sacred Chants of Devi (adventures in healing pain, trauma, iatrogenic injury)

deviI continue to do a lot of meditation while listening to evocative music and tones. It can be profoundly healing. I can in fact nip a migraine in the bud with this: OM — healing, soothing, transformative sounds (for me can also end migraines) Other healing experiences are more subtle but remain undeniable.

I’d like to underscore that when these chant like pieces of music have been helpful for acute pain that it’s not in the way western medicine has come to expect. Western medicine aims for getting rid of the pain. It aims for avoiding all suffering. I’m learning that healing, real, deep and complete healing, sometimes hurts. And for me, that’s meant creating containers in which I can deeply experience the pain safely. These chant like pieces when used for pain create such a container. A space in my psyche where I can deeply sink into the pain and experience it. I’ve learned that pain has information. We miss out on what it might teach if we do all we can to avoid surrendering to its lessons. This does not imply masochism. It’s a process to get to this place. Early on when my pain was insanely acute I would only practice surrendering to it for 30 seconds at a time. (Yes, a conscious diving into it…to experience it. I called it being curious about my experience) see: Life as a meditation: my contemplative adventure

Slowly I built up the capacity and as I did this the pain began to change as well and now when I use these chant like tones and pieces of music to help me surrender I find that as I dive consciously into the pain some sort of alchemical process happens and it is transformed. The pain often dissipates , dissolves and transmutes over the course of listening and meditating for an hour or so. I am guided to heal myself this way with the aid of music and sound. Herbs often help in this manner too. Helping create a space to deeply experience the pain and thus begin a process to transmute and heal it.

Working with pain for me has been either like a spiral, changing each time it revisits on another rung, or alternately, like a unlayering process of trauma and conditioning. In either case, healing is happening. I’ve written more about natural pain relief here: Adventures in natural pain relief  — some of what I talk about in that post are methods I no longer use as my needs have changed and evolved. This included methods that were highly effective but are no longer. Such has been my healing path. things are always changing.

Most important in this process is kindness and gentleness to oneself. That means not pushing ahead with something that doesn’t feel right. It’s taken me years to get to this point and early on in the process I couldn’t listen to any music of any kind because the sensitivities were so severe. I have learned to deeply respect the needs of my body regardless of what others think they may know. I have learned to trust my own inner guidance because by and large, we have to find our own way.

Here is something I’ve been listening to recently that has helped a lot with this phase of remaining pain.

If this music doesn’t do it for you, something else may. It’s always changing even for me so we cannot expect to respond to the same thing others do at any given time as well.

See it here: Sacred Chants of Devi : Mother Divine

More sounds for the soul from Beyond Meds:

More on moving/dancing/shaking for healing:

More shamanic dancing and music (or if you want to be clinical, dance and sound therapy)

The below comments were made on a Facebook status update not too long ago:

indigo the catmy kitty is definitely a medicine/shaman cat. I was dancing (wildly) to an electronic shamanic dance beat and he was on the kitchen counter. I started dancing to him…my head moving like mad right in front of him…he jumped on my head for the ride!! then we danced wildly about and I danced him off of me…again dancing wildly in front of him…now he was on the floor…he JUMPED onto me…for MORE…yes…I love my wild shaman kitty!!

I have to say that dancing madly to whatever music calls me has been a far more effective trauma release practice than these more clinically oriented trauma release exercises. That said, we all respond to different methods of care. That is why I always talk about listening to our own internal guidance. We know. Our body knows. Better than anyone else. In the end the only compliance that matters is that which we give to our own deepest knowing.

So, if you try to dance for healing and growth, move any way your body wants to move. You need not look graceful or sexy…just move any which way while listening to and learning from your body so that you might respond to it’s deepest needs.

And find the music, too, that speaks to you particularly at any moment. For me it’s ever changing. The internet, again, allows one to browse endlessly and there is a lot of music one can find for free. Try youtube and soundcloud for starters.

Below is the track I was dancing to when my kitty joined me. (from the quoted comment above)

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Also available for free download. Just click on the word download above.

More on moving/dancing/shaking for healing:

I’ve been sharing music and sounds that move me lately…for a collection see here: More sounds for the soul from Beyond Meds.

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