Meditation can heal our bodies and mind alike. It can restore the body back to its glory days with regular practice and required nourishment. Meditation is an ancient vedic practice that is getting recognized today in a big way. This recognition and acceptance of meditation in the mainstream society is being wholeheartedly celebrated by both regular people and science connoisseurs. Scientists are studying and understanding more about the practice of meditation and its effects on an individual’s well-being. Meditation can increase our mindfulness and concentration by stimulating the vagus nerve. Meditation enables people to deal with stress effectively by strengthening the vagus nerve. But, sometimes even meditation can fail at stimulating this nerve under special circumstances. This special circumstance is trauma. Trauma can leave a lasting impression on an individual’s psyche. And, science is trying hard to decode the mystery behind this.
Decoding The Vagus Nerve
Vagus nerve is the one of the twelve cranial nerves. This nerve originates from the brain and helps in transporting information between the brain and other parts of the body. But, this nerve primarily interacts with the head and the neck. It also communicates with other parts of the body. It is one of the longest nerves of the automatic nervous system. It interacts with most of the body parts like digestive system, spleen, liver, lungs etc. for relaying parasympathetic responses across.
According to the University of California professor Dacher Keltner, the vagus nerve is the one of the greatest and most important nexuses of the human body and mind. The vagus nerve serves a very unique purpose for the mammalian class. It has been closely linked with the body’s responsiveness to diseases and the overall immune system of the body. This nerve starts from the brain and runs all across through the spine ending in our muscles. Hence, the vagus nerve helps in all the main functions of our bodies like coordinating our heart beats with our breathing, our digestive processes. According to Prof. Keltner, “This is the love nerve of your body; it is the care-taking nerve in your body.”
Thus, when this nerve that takes care of our bodies from inside takes a hit after a trauma, the aftermath is expected to be huge. People who are generally mindful, start to get bothered by little changes in the physical stimuli surrounding them. Thus, mindful meditation can become a difficult task to take on after going through a trauma.
Fixing The Vagus Nerve
The process of damage can be short-term, but its effects can be long-lasting. So, patience with oneself is the biggest gift you can give yourself. You need to know that good things take time and practice, without ever doubting it. Modern science has been investing a lot of time and resources in discovering more about this nerve. And, it is believed that strengthening the vagus nerve can reduce the inflammatory reactions in our bodies and improve our immunity by a great extent. Researches have found that strengthening the vagus nerve can greatly decrease the chances of depression. Also, this can increase our brain activities and hike up our endurance levels. It has been found that strengthening the vagus nerve can enable us to better manage our stress levels and associated anxieties. Researches recommend the holistic approach for fixing an underactive as well as overactive vagus nerve. Nutritional assistance along with physical techniques like acupuncture, sotai, massage can help in reviving the vagus nerve. These treatments can be accompanied with mindfulness exercises to enhance the quality of the treatment. They can definitely help people heal and start over.
It is important to remember that help is just around the corner. So, don’t shy away from asking for help. It is alright to be broken sometimes. But, don’t give up on yourself easily. Once you have won the battle against yourself, you can triumph over anything in this world.