Blog: Chef Jemichel ~ The Chef-Doctor
by chef jem

Essential Physiology For These Extreme Times!

Given the extent of stress that people live with these days you may want to know how to better manage your stress!

Date:   12/26/2019 12:00:06 AM   ( 10 mon ) ... viewed 240 times

Christmas 2019 - "Chill"! -

"... heightened vagal activity counteracts the stress response, which involves the sympathetic nervous system. 'The sympathetic nervous system is fight or flight, while the parasympathetic nervous system is more chill out,' says Stephen Silberstein, MD, a professor of neurology and director of the Headache Center at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

Silberstein co-wrote a comprehensive 2016 review of the research on the vagus nerve. He says that heightened vagal activity slows heart rate and also switches off inflammation, in part by triggering the release of immune system calming chemicals. There’s also evidence that activating the vagus nerve through electronic stimulation can produce a range of health benefits. 'Depending on the frequency of the stimulation, we know it can turn off an asthma attack or an epileptic seizure,' Silberstein says. 'It can turn off a migraine or cluster headache, and it can decrease the perception of acid reflux.'

Pick almost any common medical condition that’s made worse by stress or inflammation — everything from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease — and there’s research showing that vagus nerve stimulation can help treat it or relieve its symptoms.

In the past, this stimulation required a surgical implant in the chest that transmits electrical pulses directly into the vagus nerve. But some newer, noninvasive devices — including one that has FDA approval for the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches — are capable of stimulating the vagus nerve when pressed against the skin of the neck. Silberstein says doctors are exploring the use of vagus nerve stimulation for a wide range of diseases and disorders, including afflictions of the mind.

'More and more, we’re learning how critical vagal activity is to attention and mood,' says Field. Already, there’s evidence that stimulating the vagus nerve may improve working memory or help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And since the early 2000s, the FDA has approved vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of some forms of depression.

While electronic stimulation holds promise — and, in some cases, is already providing relief — for people with a range of ailments, Field says there are plenty of ways to stimulate vagal activity without a device or implant. 'We know that massage and yoga promote parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is vagal activity,' she says."

"A Strong Hug or a Handshake Promote Parasympathetic Activity." -

Her research has shown that these and many related activities increase vagal activity via pressure receptors buried beneath the surface of the skin — receptors located throughout the body, and ones that only firm pressure or a deep stretch can reach. She points out that light touching or stroking is arousing, while a bear hug or powerful handshake are inherently soothing. 'A strong hug or a handshake promote parasympathetic activity,' she says."[1]
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Comment:

Wow (in regards to the powerful effect of "A strong hug or a handshake")!

The mention of "massage and yoga" in the above inspired this Blog-writer to post this as he has a friend who could probably benefit now with some additional yoga and massage.
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Notes:

[1] https://elemental.medium.com/science-confirms-that-the-vagus-nerve-is-key-to-well-being-c23fab90e211
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