What is the vagus nerve, and why it’s time to take care of it (part one)
The vagus nerve…nerves?
A good friend of mine who has been working with her own health issues over the last 10 years or so has regularly been talking with me over the phone about the importance of our vagus nerve/nerves, and how a number of factors can degenerate these nerves and cause us multiple health issues. As a reflexologist I’m interested in the nervous system, since part of my work involves ‘enervating’ or stimulating nerves and I know it helps people with relaxation and often as a side effect clears up health issues.
Wordnetweb.princeton.edu defines the vagus nerve as “a mixed nerve that supplies the pharynx and larynx and lungs and heart and esophagus and stomach and most of the abdominal viscera”.
Wikipedia defines the vagus nerve (aka the ‘wandering’ or ‘pneumogastric’ nerve) as
The vagus nerve supplies motor parasympathetic fibers to all the organs except the suprarenal (adrenal) glands, from the neck down to the second segment of the transverse colon. The vagus also controls a few skeletal muscles, including the larynx and tongue.
This means that the vagus nerve is responsible for such varied tasks as heart rate, gastrointestinal peristalsis, sweating, and quite a few muscle movements in the mouth, including speech (via the recurrent laryngeal nerve) and keeping the larynx open for breathing. It also has some afferent (carrying) fibers that innervate the inner (canal) portion of the outer ear, via the Auricular branch (also known as Alderman’s nerve) and part of the meninges (membrane around the brain and spinal cord). This explains why a person may cough when tickled on their ear (such as when trying to remove ear wax with a cotton swab).
That is one busy nerve. In fact, there are two, one for the right side of the body, one for the left, one being ‘afferent’ (carrying towards), the other ‘efferent'(carrying away from). If you’d like to see a diagram, click here to see a picture put online by the Cleveland Clinic, OH.
Dr Paul Yanick’s research – deaf at 20 and body systems declining
This is where Dr Paul Yanick comes in. I’d heard of him through my aforementioned friend Jodi Lucka (Certified Quorum Nutritional Consultant and CiHom) since she uses several of his health products for her health issues. Jodi’s journey is an interesting one also, and I’m hopeful that one day soon I may be able to help her tell her story for other people’s benefit. I know she’s reading this! :-)) In the meantime, back to Dr Paul Yanick Jr, PhD, ND, CNC, CQM.
Dr Yanick’s story is that for the first 20 years of his life he struggled with extreme sickness, asthma and allergies, and the depression and despair of being told by his doctors that he was dying. Once he went deaf, he not only suffered from maddening tinnitus (inner ear noise) but also fibromyalgia, headaches, anxiety and vertigo.
His research shows that some prescription drugs and bad diet can degenerate/damage the vagus nerves
In desperation he started to keep a journal of all his symptoms and what helped him feel better, or worse. Over years of study and progressive self-healing, he realized that his tinnitus and vertigo were a direct result of degeneration of the vagus nerves. He came to the conclusion that, in his case, the use of prescription drugs (antibiotics and cortizone) and an unconscious diet had resulted in his illness.
How could drugs or diet damage these nerves?
What Paul Yanick realized was that in order for his neurons (nerves) to become damaged and die, his body’s microbiotica (organisms in the gut which help digestion) were wiped out from taking the pharmaceuticals. He also puts forward the idea that many modern processed foods contain toxic molds, effectively neurotoxins, which over time can eat away at our nervous systems. It’s a worrying thought, but many of us know that fast foods and processed food do not give us the same energy levels and immunity to disease that result from eating fresh cooked or raw foods.
What Dr Paul Yanick did was discover a system which helped replace and rebalance our microbiotica and reverse the neurodegeneration of the vagus nerves. If you’d like to read more about his work, check out his website.
I have used one of his products after I discovered my younger daughter had a tree nut allergy (she ate a cashew nut and ended up in the ER with anaphylactic issues). It was a frightening time because she’d never reacted to peanuts before. Her stomach was badly out of balance for a few weeks afterwards, so I gave her one of Dr Yanick’s products on my friends’ advice for a few weeks to help rebalance things.
There’s so much more to discuss…
I’m planning more posts on this subject and hope this will generate interest and discussions from readers. This book is interesting, enlightening and may give you another way to stay in healthy balance. Dr Yanick believes we all have an ‘inner healer’ and that he was able to engage his own inner healer to help with his recovery and also many others.
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