Stimulating The Vagus Nerve With Reflexology

Image-1

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”