The Vagus Nerve, the 10th Cranial Nerve, is now receiving well deserved serious scrutiny. It is aptly called the “wandering nerve” as it begins in the Medulla Oblongata section of the brain and branches behind the ears, down the throat, around the heart and lungs, reaches digestive organs and then into the pelvis.
The Vagus Nerve, being a bi-directional pathway of the nervous system, delivers information from the organs to the brain and also sends information from the brain to those organs of the body. Because of its long reach throughout the body it understandably seems to have important influence on how we feel and the functioning of our entire system.
“Dermatone” is an area of skin on the human body to which a nerve brings sensation. The dermatome of the Vagus Nerve is inside the ear canal. Its positioning around the ears, jaws and throat allows us to see the implications of the stress many of us hold in these areas and how this tightening can hinder the functioning of the Vagus Nerve. Because of the bidirectional activity, the tightening of the body can also be a response to nerve input. The cyclical, interwoven cause and effect of stress (from the body to the brain and the brain to the body) is inseparable. It is believed that disturbances in the gut can affect the “tone” or functioning of the Vagus Nerve, and the reverse seems also to be true.
Breathing, focused massage, reflexology and other relaxation techniques tend to calm and create proper, healthy tone of the Vagus Nerve as well as the nervous system in general.
Based on this information and some experimental sessions on others as well as myself, I have created two new Sessions in my HeartSong Bodywork practice specifically geared toward Calming the Vagus Nerve.
Calming the Vagus Nerve – 30 minute Session includes focused Massage for the scalp, ear & jaw, neck & throat, and particular points on the feet.
Calming the Vagus Nerve – 60 minute Session includes the massage techniques of the 30 minute Session, plus Energy Balancing for endocrine glands, such as the adrenals, thyroid & pituitary.
Monica Miller, HeartSong Bodywork