Stimulating The Vagus Nerve With Reflexology

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The vagus nerve is a nerve that many people don’t realise they have and if you are in that scenario, you certainly are not alone. However, it is the longest nerve in the body and originates in the brain, travelling down from the neck from where it passes around the digestive system, heart, lungs, spleen, liver and pancreas. It is important that this nerve is stimulated in order to tone and strengthen it, as this will ultimately improve a person’s health and wellbeing.

In the latest blog from Calm Therapy, based in Eastbourne in East Sussex, we look at how working on the pressure points associated with the vagus nerve during reflexology may help with digestive issues, stress and anxiety and bring a sense of calm, as well as giving pain relief, although it must be stressed that reflexology is not a cure for any disorder and it cannot be used in the diagnosis of any physical issues.

What Is The Vagus Nerve?

First things first, just a little more detail about the vagus nerve. It is the body’s major parasympathetic nerve and is a bundle of motor and sensory fibres that link the brain stem to the heart, gut and lungs. Vagus is actually Latin for “wandering” and as the nerve wanders through your system, it sends out fibres from your brain stem to your organs interacting with the liver, spleen, gall bladder, ureter, female fertility organs, neck, ears, tongue and kidneys.

This certainly adds up to it being an extremely important nerve, which controls unconscious functions of the body as well as aiding food digestion, keeping the heart rate steady and supporting breathing and sweating. That’s quite impressive so far, and the list goes on to include regulating blood pressure and blood glucose balance, helping the kidneys to function as well as being important in fertility issues. It is therefore quite clear that the vagus nerve is critical for optimal health irrespective of your issues.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Help With:

  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Heart conditions
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Tinnitus
  • Migraines

Looking After Your Vagus Nerve With Reflexology

There are many techniques used to stimulate the vagus nerve including positive social relationships, laughing, yoga, meditation, exercise, breathing slowly and deeply, massage and reflexology. The vagus nerve is directly affected during a reflexology session, which is not surprising as there are more nerves in the feet per square inch than any other part of the body. Reflexology will help to slow the heart rate, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and promote relaxation. The feet have various vagus nerve reflexes and reflexology stimulates these areas, thus increasing the nerve’s activity. Oxytocin is released promoting relaxation, healthy digestion and also a sense of wellbeing.

Conclusion

Lack of stimulation of the vagus nerve can impact on your health and when it is not working optimally, problems such as anxiety, tinnitus, depression, weight gain, and irritable bowel syndrome may occur. Hands-on healing can help to stimulate the vagus nerve including massage, particularly reflexology.

What To Do Next

Jane from Calm Therapy belongs to the Association Of Reflexologists and the Federation Of Holistic Therapists and adheres to their strict standards to provide professional treatments. If you are interested in reflexology sessions to stimulate your vagus nerve in order to help with digestion, stress and anxiety, please call Jane on 07734 695964 for a without obligation chat. Jane is a fully qualified therapist, experienced at stimulating the vagus nerve with this safe treatment.

Image above is copyrighted by TouchPoint DK 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflexology During Pregnancy – A Therapist’s View

CT - Jane's Story

2 Babies – 2 Very Different Scenarios

Jane Long has been practising reflexology since 2003 and now has her own successful business, Calm Therapy in Eastbourne, East Sussex. This wonderful seaside town is where Jane grew up although she did spend 23 years in London prior to returning in 2014. She has 2 children, Dylan 12 and Mia who is 10 and home is shared with 2 gorgeous female guinea pigs, Lemon and Peanut. In London she worked in retail before moving into the music industry. At one point she was working, training to be a reflexologist as well as trying for a baby. This was certainly a stressful time and she found that reflexology was a treatment that helped her relax and unwind. She didn’t see the music business as a long-term career and made the decision that she wanted her own reflexology business and you could say, the rest is history!

Writing and Blogging was delighted to be invited to interview “the boss” to find out more about the differences between her two pregnancies and the impact that reflexology had.

During your first pregnancy, you had reflexology – can you tell us more?

Basically, I had reflexology throughout my first pregnancy, which I found very supportive and calming. Initially the sessions were every 2 weeks and then weekly, the closer it came to my due date. However I did experience a lot of discomfort, as I had a big baby weighing in at 9½ pounds. I also had morning sickness and found that the reflexology had a really calming effect; it did seem to sedate those hormone surges, which made me nauseous. Towards the end of the pregnancy, my hips ached a lot due to the pressure of the big baby I was carrying, but again the aches subsided after a reflexology treatment. Dylan arrived bang on his due date without any “priming for labour” techniques.

However, you chose not to have reflexology during your second pregnancy. Was there any particular reason for that?

It was really due to a lack of support. I fell pregnant forthe second time really quickly and with the problems I had had conceiving Dylan, I wasn’t expecting that. I was now pregnant again, was working and also had a 1 year old with little help with childcare. There really was little time for me!

So, no reflexology, what was the outcome?

Consequently, without the reflexology, I had a very uncomfortable, unsettled time throughout my whole pregnancy. My sickness continued for 5 months, which was extremely exhausting.The pregnancy was also very uncomfortable. My baby wriggled endlessly and the pressure on my digestive system and lower regions made me very miserable.

You were told to expect a big baby?

Towards the end of my second pregnancy, I was told by the midwives to expect a big baby as they thought that my baby was 7½ pounds at 36 weeks. This filled me with dread and bought back memories of the birth of my first child. As I said, Dylan was 9½ pounds and he arrived on his due date and I listened with a sense of dread as the midwives suggested that I would have a 10lb baby!

What did you do?

Due to my discomfort and desire not to deliver a huge baby, I decided that after I passed 37 weeks, I would apply the “Priming for labour” techniques to myself seeing as I am trained in Maternity Reflexology. So I sat on the couch and on and off over two or three days I worked specific reflex points and sure enough I went into labour at 37 weeks and 5 days.

How did this make you feel?

After delivering Mia I was overjoyed and relieved not to be pregnant any more. This was only because I had been so uncomfortable throughout my pregnancy.

Were there any negatives?

The real negative was that my baby did not look very happy at all when she arrived. She looked very red for the first few days and slept nearly all the time for the first couple of weeks after birth. Also for the first year of her life she never ever smiled! I can really describe her as a “grumpy” baby. Looking back on this experience, I may have been more than ready to deliver my baby, but my baby wasn’t ready to come into the world, even though she was very big in size.

With hindsight, what would you have done differently?

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing! What I should have done is have regular reflexology sessions throughout my second pregnancy to support and relax me and to keep me calm through my various uncomfortable times. Consequently, I may have been more comfortable towards the end of the pregnancy and been able to wait a little longer before feeling the need to deliver. I also think I would have had a clearer mind and have been able to make better decisions.

Why do you think it’s important to tell your story?

I do tell my personal story to my clients who are pregnant, as I hope it will make them think twice about what they are asking for. I try to make them aware that even though reflexology can be a powerful treatment during pregnancy, it is always best to wait for the right time for your baby to arrive. Even if it seems the right time for mum, baby may not be ready and sometimes, as long as your care team are happy, it may be the right thing to let your pregnancy go over 40 weeks.

Also I can vouch from personal experience the supportive benefits you gain from receiving reflexology throughout pregnancy. My 2 pregnancies really highlight this. If you are suffering with nausea, backache or SPD like I was, weekly treatments will support you until you feel better and more balanced. If you are having a glowing pregnancy, it’s not necessaryto come every week, but just as and when it fits into your life style. I would recommend 4 – 6 weekly sessions as you approach your due date. This is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and prepare you for birth.

Thank you Jane for the interview.

What To Do Next

If you would like to learn more about how reflexology can help you through your pregnancy, call Calm Therapy on 07734 695964. Jane is a fully qualified therapist, experienced at helping expectant mums with this safe treatment.You may want to read our interviews with 2 expectant mums Emily and Sarah, who Calm Therapy helped through their pregnancies.
Continue reading “Reflexology During Pregnancy – A Therapist’s View”

Reflexology Leads To A Comfortable Birth

Emily is 37 and married to Mark, a telephone engineer and they live in Eastbourne with Ruben aged 5, baby Olive, just 10 weeks old and their cat, Honey. Emily works as a receptionist at a local garage and has always been involved with administrative and front of house duties. Her first baby had to be induced and she was keen to avoid this with her second child. She carried out some research and discovered that reflexology treatments might be the answer to avoiding this scenario again.  

Why were you looking for reflexology? 

Well, I wasn’t looking for reflexology in particular, but for alternative therapies as my first baby was induced at 42 weeks and this was something I desperately wanted to try and avoid. By searching the web I read that reflexology could help and although I was massively sceptical of alternative therapies I really was prepared to try anything. I had also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

 Can you tell us more about gestational diabetes?

It’s actually high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth and in fact 1 in 20 pregnant women will develop this.

 How did you find Calm Therapy?

I just searched for reflexology in Eastbourne and found Calm Therapy and called their number. This proved to be my first chat with Jane who owns the company and she said that she would certainly be able to prepare my body for labour and would do everything to help, although of course she couldn’t guarantee that my second baby wouldn’t have to be induced. So, at 34 weeks, I booked my first ever reflexology session and I went along every week to Calm Therapy until Olive was born, in fact my last session was 2 days prior to the birth of my daughter.   

What happened at your reflexology sessions?

We initially talked about my situation and Jane took notes and did all the necessary paperwork. She asked about aches and pains that I had and I actually didn’t think I had any! However, Jane hit a couple of pressure points on my feet and asked if my hips had been hurting. I said that they had, but I thought that this was pretty normal considering my situation and I had got used to feeling stiff in that area of my body. I was waking up with pain in my hips, which didn’t go away until late morning, by which time I had had a chance to loosen up. I had wrongly assumed that it was all down to lying in one position! Jane then worked on a couple of pressure points and amazingly my hips were never painful again!

Did Jane help with any other aches and pains?

Well, yes! I had a stiff neck and I thought it was all down to falling asleep sitting up, as I was experiencing heartburn, but again Jane was able to relieve the pain. She also “fixed” my sciatica. Now that I think back, I find it quite amusing that we would play a little game of Jane trying to discover problematic areas. She would quite often ask if I was experiencing pain in a certain area and of course I was.

 How was the birth of your child?

I can only really describe it as a “discomfort free pregnancy”! And I really feel that this had a lot to do with the reflexology sessions.

 What would you say to anyone who is sceptical of reflexology treatments?

Jane never claimed that she could cure anything, but now that I have experienced reflexology, I would always make a visit to Calm Therapy my first port of call before taking any tablets for pain. I have nothing negative to say about Jane and if nothing else, you do get a heavenly foot massage for an hour. You can also have hand or facial reflexology if you don’t like your feet being touched.

 How would you describe Jane at Calm Therapy?

Jane is a lovely relaxed person and easy going. I think it’s important that you feel comfortable with someone who is touching your feet, as it’s quite personal. And she 100% knows her stuff.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

We love to do things as a family and enjoy spending time on the beach, which is close by and walking and playing with Ruben, who loves riding his bike. We went to Wales in February, which we really enjoyed.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Jane never makes any false promises and she is never pushy. I would certainly recommend reflexology to any pregnant ladies, as I’m sure it will make you a lot more comfortable. Oh, I’m also intending to resume my reflexology sessions soon.

Thank you Emily for the interview.

 What To Do Next 

If you would like to learn more about how reflexology can help you through your pregnancy and perhaps allow you to have that discomfort free birth, call Calm Therapy on 07734 695964. Jane is a fully qualified therapist, experienced at helping expectant mums with this safe treatment.

 

Fertility Issues? Why Not Try Reflexology?

Sarah is 31 years old and lives with her husband of 2 years in East Sussex. At the moment, home is shared with their pet cat and they spend many a weekend walking the family dog in the countryside. Sarah is a secondary school teacher and head of faculty at the school, which is a job that she really enjoys but it is not without its stressful times due to the heavy workload and the pressures associated with middle management.

The couple wanted to start a family but Sarah was having fertility issues, and so she started looking into alternative therapies.

 How did you hear about reflexology at Calm Therapy?

It was my mum actually who shared a link to the CalmTherapy website. It was at a time when I was looking for alternative therapies to support poor sleep, stress and fertility difficulties. My mum came across this when she was researching ways to help me with these issues. I decided to get in touch with Jane at Calm Therapy and give it a go.

 Can you tell us more about the issues you were experiencing?

Yes. I have had thyroid and hormone balance problems and at that time my periods were very irregular and sometimes I could go for 6 months between cycles. For a long time, I have also struggled with getting a good night’s sleep, as there is always a lot on my mind and of course the stress of my job was contributing to this.

 Had you tried reflexology before?

No. I booked in with Jane and it was my very first experience of reflexology and I have to say I was completely hooked after my very first treatment.

What initially happened at your reflexology sessions?

At each session, Jane would discuss where I was within my menstrual cycle and would avoid certain pressure points and would consequently work on others. Jane also applied pressure on points linked to the thyroid and did hormone-balancing treatments. After each treatment she would discuss things she had noticed, which I found really interesting and quite often she could spot how I was feeling.

How did reflexology make you feel?

I found the sessions so relaxing and peaceful that I booked regularly and I started to look forward to them each week. Following each session, I felt a lot calmer and often I had an improved night’s sleep. Jane also used a few firm movements on certain pressure points that worked a couple of times to bring on my cycle. As I said before, I was actually having fertility issues and was hoping reflexology would help. I am delighted to say I am currently 8 months pregnant.

 Have you continued with reflexology during your pregnancy?

Yes, I have and I have had a treatment almost every week. In a busy week, it gives me the chance to take an hour for myself to unwind and I come away feeling lighter and more relaxed.

Are the reflexology sessions adapted because of your pregnancy?

There are again certain points Jane works on and others she avoids due to the pregnancy, although she still continues with the hormone balance work and relaxation treatment. As I now have some water retention due to spending a lot of time on my feet and the heat, she has also been able to work on lymphatic draining around my ankles. As my bump has grown, Jane has accommodated this by changing the therapy table positions and getting a large V shaped cushion to make me more comfortable. I find the treatments blissful!

Some people are a bit sceptical about alternative therapies such as reflexology. Is there anything you could say to put their minds at ease?

Fopeople who are sceptical and unsure about reflexology, I can only talk about it from my own personal point of view, but I believe it has had a very positive affect on my wellbeing and hey, you have nothing to lose in giving it a go!

People might be interested to know that I struggle to stay awake during treatments now as I relax so much, which is pretty unheard of for me! Jane begins by talking me into a session using breathing techniques, which continues through the relaxation phase. I now use these techniques at home to help me to stay calm.

How do you find Jane as a therapist?

She is very knowledgeable, supportive and friendly. She takes a genuine interest in how things are going in my day-to-day life and she is very easy to talk to.

What do you think of Calm Therapy’s website?

It’s really informative and easy to navigate. It has all of Jane’s contact details and when I did get in touch, she was quick to respond. I actually talked to her on the phone about how the therapy could support the areas I wanted to focus on. It wasn’t pushy and there was no hard sell to make me make an appointment!

 Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just to say, I would highly recommend reflexology treatments to anyone, perhaps if people are having any fertility issues or are feeling uncomfortable during their pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed my therapy sessions so much that I have convinced my mum to go along to Calm Therapy regularly now too!

 Thank you Sarah for the interview.

Pregnancy Reflexology – Don’t Leave It Until The Baby Is Almost Due

There are many women, when baby is overdue who will literally resort to anything to induce the baby and looking at complimentary therapies seems to be an option. As a reflexologist with over 15 years of experience, I know that many babies have been born within hours following one of my Pregnancy Reflexology sessions. Mums are naturally overjoyed that their baby has finally arrived and although I share their delight, it always crosses my mind that reflexology is a therapy that these expectant mums could have been enjoying throughout the whole term of their pregnancy as a preparation for the birth.

Natural Solutions To Help Physical, Emotional and Mental Changes

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life with the anticipation of the impending joy that the birth will bring, but the emotional, physical and mental changes can be tough on women and many experience uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms including fatigue, cramping, constipation and water retention. Many women turn to natural solutions including reflexology to help alleviate some of the symptoms, as few would resort to medication, which could be harmful to the growing foetus.

Reflexology – Helping Expectant Mothers Adjust To Hormonal Changes

Reflexology aims at bringing balance and harmony to the body and can help your body adjust to the major hormonal changes that it is experiencing, being one of the most relaxing therapies you can have during pregnancy. It is completely safe and uses various manual techniques to access and affect the whole body through the feet and regular treatments will provide you with the physical, emotional and mental support you need.

Benefits of Reflexology During Pregnancy

  • Provides deep relaxation
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Relieves constipation
  • Reduces bloating
  • Relieves muscle aches and pains
  • Reduce swelling in legs and ankles

Reflexology Is Beneficial Throughout Pregnancy

So, don’t just wait for the reflex on the foot to be pressed to start labour, as baby will only arrive when it is ready and feels it is safe to do so. Think of yourself and your baby and enjoy reflexology throughout your pregnancy so that you are more relaxed and less anxious for when this very special moment of your life arrives. Regular reflexology could make you feel better and happier and will provide a nurturing and comforting environment for not only you as a mother, but your baby too.

What To Do Next

Jane from Calm Therapy is a mother of 2 children and belongs to the Association Of Reflexologists and Federation Of Holistic Therapists and adheres to their strict standards to provide treatments and a professional service. If you are interested in reflexology sessions during your pregnancy, call Jane on 07734 695964 for a without obligation chat. She will ask about your health and your pregnancy so that any sessions can be adapted to your situation and symptoms. Jane is a fully qualified therapist, experienced at helping expectant mums with this safe treatment.