The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve that extends all the way to the abdomen. As you can see from this diagram, it innervates the major organs, including the gut. An underactive vagus nerve can interfere with gut motility. A study on Brain and Gut Interactions in IBS found that:
“The vagus nerve and its branches provide an important connection between the brain and the gut and convey both afferent and efferent information. These networks play a crucial role in the normal regulation and homeostasis of the GI tract.”
This 15-minute guided exercise is designed to increase mobility and circulation in the neck, and improve the tone of the vagus nerve. Don’t be surprised if it shifts you into a state of calm openness, and decreases anxiety.
“I found the guided meditation very helpful and relaxing. I have done it for the past three nights, just before bed and have found it very helpful to relax me and ease my anxiety and overactive mind that often finds me struggling with insomnia and aggravates my IBD symptoms.” – R.G.
It is a combination of simple, gentle exercises (done lying down) that re-position the first two cervical vertebrae, which mis-align with vagal dysfunction. And was originally developed by craniosacral therapist, Stanley Rosenberg, author of Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve.
I’ve combined some of Rosenberg’s original exercises with additional elements drawn from my own practice of yoga and Feldenkrais. When we regulate the vagus nerve it can initiate deep relaxation, improve sleep, and improve recovery from injury and trauma.
“I often have neck pain and occasional headaches that seem to have to do with the base of my skull. I have been doing the exercise for just short of two weeks. I am noticing that my neck in the area of my atlas & axis feels better! I do the exercise in the evening before bed. The last couple of times I have started to doze off or lose focus when looking to the side with my eyes. I will continue to do this exercise and to make it part of my daily routine.” – D.T.
>>CLICK HERE for details and to listen to a sample of this guided connection.
“OMG – all I remember is waking early hours of the morning and taking my headphones off, rolling over and going straight back to sleep. I have not slept so soundly for YEARS, almost like I was the only person in the world. No racing thoughts, no thoughts of what I had to do the next day, I put you on my headphones and I think maybe 20 mins in – I was out… “ – I.G.
“The first time I did the guided meditation I was surprised that once I got about 5 minutes in to the recording my body did start to signal to me that I was relaxing and working with my vagus nerve. I started to yawn and relax and was very pleased to have such simple steps, that the meditation asks you to do, result in such obviously effective physical results. For the first time in ages I could feel my body and mind uncoiling. A very handy tool in trying to help an overtaxed body recover and heal from chronic health issues and also for anyone dealing with anxiety and its physical and mental manifestations.” – R.C.
“So I did the Vagus neck release and I have to say it was amazing. Within the first few minutes of laying down, I already started to feel relaxed and calm. Throughout the whole guided meditation, I felt at peace and I would definitely recommend doing it to everyone.” – A.E.
“I really enjoyed my experience with the vagus nerve and neck release by Jini. I felt a decrease in my anxiety and I felt a tingling in my legs when it began releasing. I loved Jini’s pace, it wasn’t too fast or too slow. It was very relaxing. And I would highly recommend it! Especially to relieve anxiety!” – L.L
“I did the exercise and I feel very grounded now. It was a really nice exercise to get the nervous system to settle down – and especially to remember to thank my body. My body is so wonderful, I am strong, I can still do long hikes and ride my horse and take care of my family and my house. I am working on healing my gut. Calming and thanking my body seems a great way to healing. Thank you for this exercise. I love it, and I will do it often!” – T.N.