I love working with the Vagus Nerve. It is a core part of how chiropractic supports healing in your body. There is SO much we can do to help calm our own body, which in turn helps healing in all ways. Check out the video I made for you on this. Below you will find the written directions, if that helps you break down these exercises. Take what works for you and leave the rest! I LOVE the humming and breath work to calm me anytime anywhere. My other go-to is Befriending the Heart.
Polyvagal Self Stimulation
- Singing, Humming, Chanting, Gargling
- Valsalva Maneuver
- OculoCardiac Response
- Cold Exposure
Applied Polyvagal “Basic Exercise”
- Lying comfortably on your back with fingers interlaced.
- Place your hands behind your head and let the weight of your head rest comfortably on your interwoven fingers.
- Keeping your head in place, look to the RIGHT, moving only your eyes, as far as you comfortably can.
- After about 30-60 seconds, you will yawn, swallow, or sigh. This is ANS relaxation. Then bring your eyes back to looking straight ahead.
- REPEAT to the LEFT.
Polyvagal Stretching – Pediatric Version
- Place your hands on your forehead with the fingertips of the hands facing one another. Gently move hands OUTward to stretch the skin away from the midline.
- Place your hands on your cheeks next to your nose. Gently move hands outward to stretch the skin away from the midline.
- Place your hands on your cheeks over the jaw. Gently move hands outward to stretch the skin away from the midline.
- Place your hands over your heart area with the fingertips of the hands facing one another. Gently move hands outward to stretch the skin away from the midline.
- Extend arms out from the body 90degrees with the LEFT palm facing UP and the RIGHT palm facing DOWN.
- Use the 4-7-8 breath (4 counts INHALE, 7 counts HOLD, 8 counts EXHALE slowly), repeat several times over time working up to 10 petitions.
- Extend the arms above the head with the same hand position and do one 4-7-8 breath.
- Repeat the process with the RIGHT palm UP, and LEFT palm facing DOWN.
Applied Polyvagal 4-7-8 Breath – Befriending the Heart
- Place your heads over your heart area.
- Find the direction of ease, left or right, up or down, clockwise or counterclockwise.
- Where is the place of safety for the heart?
- Hold this position with the 4-7-8 breath.