The Power of the Vagus Nerve Article of the week January 15 to 19, 2018
Nerves are the way your body connects its different parts to your brain. In the same way the television doesn't work unless it is plugged into power, your body can't work if it is not plugged into its power source, your brain. Any part of your body that gets disconnected from the power will start to work poorly, and over time will stop working altogether.
Your nerves are the conduit that exit your spine and carry power to the various organs, muscles, tissues and cells. It is estimated that the human body has about 100 billion nerve cells. These cells make up specific nerves that have been given specific names by anatomists over the years. Here are two examples you may be familiar with: The sciatic nerve runs down the back of each of your legs right down to your toes and they control your leg muscle function and mobility. The ulnar nerve runs along the inside of your elbow down to your ring and baby finger on each hand. Hitting your “funny bone” refers to impact on this nerve that sends a temporary shock of pain down to these two fingers.
One of the most important nerves in your body is the vagus nerve. It is one of the longest nerves in your body that originates at the base of your brain, travels through the neck area to all of your organs below. It's main function is parasympathetic control of your heart lungs and digestive organs. You may recall from previous newsletters that there are two branches of your nerve system that control your organs, your sympathetic and your parasympathetic. Your sympathetic nerves are “fight or flight” nerves that are active when you are under stress. They shut down digestion and elevate your heart rate and breathing rate. Your parasympathetic nerves are “rest and digest” nerves that are active when you are relaxing and they turn on digestion and lower your heart rate and breathing.
It has been shown that people who are under chronic stress have an imbalance in these two parts of the nerve system. Their “fight or flight” nerves are overactive and the “rest and digest” nerves including the vagus nerve are underactive. Over time this imbalance can lead to heart, lung and digestive problems and disease in these organs.
The good news is that chiropractic adjustments allow the vagus nerve to function properly, and restore balance to these parts of the nervous system to allow your body to enter a “rest and digest” state in spite of the stress that you are under. Chiropractic adjustments are the only intervention that restore proper nerve function and balance, and get your body better connected to the power in your brain. When that occurs, your whole body starts to work as it was designed and you begin to move toward health and away from disease.
Wishing you optimal health,
Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 – http://gracechiropractic.ca