The vagus nerve, the 10th cranial nerve begins at the brain stem and wanders down to almost every organ system in the body as you can see pictured below. It also innervates the ear, throat, and thyroid and travels to the large intestine, not pictured. It is activated when we are operating in parasympathetic mode, or rest and digest mode. So many of us are functioning in the sympathetic mode or “fight or flight” mode meaning a untoned vagus nerve that is inactive when it should be turned out. Did you know that humming, singing, and the singing the “ooom” sound actually gets your vagus nerve ready to digest food? Wondering what other fun things you can do more of to get your gastric juices going? Moaning. Yep, let out a nice moan! How about a sigh? We hold on to so much in our bodies which converts into tension and stress. Let it out, let it go. Hum, sing, moan, sigh, and breathe. How about laughter? Sometimes I will make myself laugh at nothing just to bring myself into a happier state. Your body won’t know the difference. The “omm” sound especially when sung at low vibrations stimulates the back of the throat and activities the vagus nerve. Do you hum when you cook? If so keep it up! Stay tuned for more vagus nerve posts. I would also recommend sleeping on your side and not your back. Studies show sleeping on the right side in particular opens the airway and is best for vagus nerve activation. I hope you find these tips helpful. Comment, share, or like below!