Introduction to the Wanderer Within: How Tuning Our Vagus Nerve Can Help Us Combat Stress
The vagus nerve is an important part of the nervous system, and Stanley Rosenberg has discovered a powerful way to use it to treat many symptoms of stress or depression.
In his book Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve, he explains how our nervous systems can become stuck in a state of stress and how we can get ourselves back into a healthy state.
Rosenberg’s knowledge and understanding of the vagus nerve and the nervous system provide readers with a new insight into our bodies and how they operate.
He reveals how the vagus nerve acts as a wanderer, connecting different parts of our body while helping us stay relaxed, balanced, and socially engaged.
By understanding the inner workings of our bodies better, we are able to work with them rather than against them, allowing us to maximize our own potential for healing.
With Rosenberg’s help, anyone can learn to access their own healing power through the vagus nerve – giving you all the tools you need for success!
The Role of Cranial Nerves in Social Engagement and Survival
Our bodies and minds need rest, recovery, and safety from potential threats in order to lead healthy emotional lives.
To access this restful state of social engagement, our cranial nerves must be functioning as they should.
Out of the twelve cranial nerves that we have, five are particularly important when it comes to social engagement.
When these cranial nerves are functioning properly, they promote physical and emotional wellbeing in order to ensure evolutionary success.
Although they all serve a different purpose, each one plays an integral role in keeping us alive.
A great example of this is CN IX – the ninth cranial nerve which aids us in tasting and swallowing our food.
However, if the spinal sympathetic nervous system is triggered unnecessarily (due to life circumstances like stress), it can cause unrest within our bodies that can ruin social engagements.
This highlights just how crucial well-functioning cranial nerves are for maintaining healthy and beneficial interactions with others – both physical and emotional alike.
Exploring the Five Different Settings of the Nervous System with Polyvagal Theory
Did you know that there are five possible settings for your nervous system? Well, according to Polyvagal Theory, it’s true!
Put forward by the psychiatrist Stephen Porges, the theory suggests that the vagus nerve –which is a cranial nerve that travels from the brain stem and down throughout the chest and abdomen– is actually comprised of two separate branches.
Those being a dorsal or rear branch and a ventral or front branch.
The five settings for our nervous systems as outlined by Polyvagal Theory include “relaxed state of social engagement,” “mobilization with fear,” “immobilization with fear,” “immobilization without fear”, and “mobilization without fear.” The first setting is when we feel safe and socially engaged, while the second two settings are triggered by fear.
The fourth setting typically brings feelings of comfort and intimacy, while fifth setting triggers persons into friendly competition.
Sadly, many people get stuck in states of either mobilization or immobilization with fear.
Thankfully though, psychologist Rosenberg has developed a simple treatment to help remedy this chronic state.
Activate Your Ventral Vagus Nerve in Just Two Minutes for Improved Health and Well-Being
Activating your ventral vagus nerve can have a tremendous impact on your well-being.
Stanley Rosenberg, a body therapist from Copenhagen, discovered this through years of treating clients at his clinic.
Through craniosacral massage and Polyvagal Theory, he developed simple routines to help people regulate their nervous systems for optimal health.
Rosenberg’s therapy is grounded in the belief that an overactive fight-or-flight response (commonly caused by an overactive dorsal vagus nerve) leads to a weakened state characterized by tiredness, general weakness, and distraction.
Therefore, one must activate the ventral vagus nerve instead in order to positively influence our bodies’ states.
To do this, Rosenberg identified a two minute exercise that has proven successful in activating the ventral vauge nerve in hundreds of clients so far.
Rosenberg always confirms that the ventral vagus isn’t functioning properly prior to beginning therapy with a client – this is assessments as simple as asking them to open their mouths and say “Ah” while checking for asymmetrical lifting of the uvula and soft tissue arches present at either side of it.
The Benefits of Rosenberg’s Basic Exercise: Activating the Ventral Vagus Nerve and More
Rosenberg’s Basic Exercise is an incredibly simple two-minute exercise that activates the ventral vagus nerve – and it’s easy for anyone to try.
All you have to do is lie down on your back with your hands behind your head, with the weight of your head resting comfortably on your fingers.
Next, move your eyes to the right and then to the left without turning your head.
When done correctly, this movement should activate the eight small muscles located at the base of the skull – identified by a slight movement when you place a finger across the back of your head just under the lower edge of your skull.
This relaxation in the neck muscles will help to relieve pressure on cranial nerves, while also improving blood flow to their origin point in the brain stem.
It has even been known to improve mobility in both in neck and spine areas!
Just be sure to test it by rotating your head to each side before and after so you can measure its impact.
The Basic Exercise Could Help Treat Symptoms of Severe Physical Disorders, Such as COPD
The Basic Exercise developed by Rosenberg can be helpful for those dealing with severe physical disorders.
His results have been seen in COPD patients, where he has seen dramatic improvements with this exercise.
One patient who had previously been active and healthy was debilitated after suddenly being unable to climb one flight of stairs without stopping to catch his breath.
After going through the Basic Exercise, the man was breathing more easily and after adjusting a stomach issue, he even managed to climb four flights of stairs without needing to stop!
Tests later confirmed that his lung function had improved from 70% to 102%.
Rosenberg’s techniques are helping many people experiencing both physical and psychological disorders.
The Basic Exercise could be beneficial for treating symptoms of severe physical disorders and it is worth considering trying it as an alternative therapy.
How Body Therapies Can Help People With Autism-Spectrum Disorders and Beyond
Ventral vagus activation has been shown to have a positive effect on people with psychological disorders, including autism-spectrum disorders.
Dr Steven Rosenberg’s book ‘Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve’ talks about how ventral vagus activation can be beneficial for those struggling with mental health issues.
Rosenberg is careful to note that he’s not qualified to treat psychological problems, but his years of clinical experience and practice as a body therapist show that this technique has helped many people.
He cites the example of a young adult named William who was diagnosed with autism as an infant, who after receiving ventral vagus activation therapy became outgoing and communicative years later.
These results are remarkable and life-changing, showing how something as simple as cranial manipulation or Neuro-Fascial Release Technique can have a huge impact on a person’s life.
And even if you don’t have an autism diagnosis, giving this type of therapy a try could still benefit your mental health in some way.
The final takeaway of Stanley Rosenberg’s book Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve, is that we have the power to heal ourselves with simple exercises using our own natural healing capacities.
By activating the ventral vagus nerve, you can relieve anxiety, stress and pain without having to resort to pharmaceuticals or surgery.
The book offers a simple two-minute exercise called the Basic Exercise which anyone can do at home to help activate their ventral vagus nerve and bring about healing.
This exercise uses breathing, body awareness and meditation techniques all in one simple routine that anyone can use to access their own inner healing power.