Osteopathy: vagus nerve

Stimulation the vagus function

Otto Loewi

Tip for stimulating vagus functions.

In 1921, a German physiologist named Otto Loewi discovered that stimulating the vagus nerve caused a reduction in heart rate by triggering the release of a substance he named Vagusstoff (German for “Vagus Substance”). The “vagus substance” was later identified as acetylcholine and became the first neurotransmitter ever identified by scientists.

Healthy vagal tone is indicated by a slight increase of heart rate when you inhale, and a decrease of heart rate when you exhale. Deep diaphragmatic breathing - with a long, slow exhale - is key to stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing heart rate and blood pressure, especially in times of performance anxiety.

Therefore we suggest that when you stimulate the vagus functions by working in the upper cervicals and throat area, you induce slow, deep in- and exhalation of the patient.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.