While it’s known for triggering vasovagal episodes, the vagus nerve is more than just that – it’s a crucial contributor to our overall well-being. Let’s delve into this fascinating nerve.

Initially described as meandering throughout our body, it earned its name, the vagus nerve, for good reason. Meandering hardly captures its essence! This nerve, our body’s longest, is our tenth cranial nerve. Originating in the cranial cavity, it extends down to the abdomen, branching out along the way to connect with most of our vital organs: heart, lungs, bronchi, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine, kidneys, pancreas, and part of the large intestine.

Like all nerves, it acts as a conduit between the organs it serves and the brain. As the star of the parasympathetic nervous system, it plays a pivotal role in regulating our autonomous bodily functions: breathing, digestion, hunger and satiety signals, cardiovascular health, and even our immune response. It also serves as a communication link between our gut microbiota and our brain.

Functioning in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system, which is often overstimulated by modern Western lifestyles, the health of our vagus nerve suffers. Essentially, chronic stress overactivates the sympathetic nervous system, causing the parasympathetic system to retreat. This withdrawal impairs its proper functioning, potentially leading to symptoms such as vasovagal fainting, and contributing to conditions like chronic inflammation, depression, and feelings of insecurity.

Stimulating the vagus nerve can be achieved through various methods, including autonomous techniques like ear acupressure points, gargling, deep breathing exercises, and more, as well as through massage therapy.

During an AXO body massage, we directly target the vagus nerve with thoracic breathing exercises at the start of the session, abdominal and diaphragmatic massage techniques, and indirectly through promoting relaxation and deep relief.

Do your clients seek a deeper understanding of their AXO massage experience? Don’t keep them in the dark – invite them to explore the role of their vagus nerve. By engaging them in their treatment journey with mindfulness, you empower them to take charge of their health. That’s the essence of the AXO commitment!



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