Vagus Nerve Stimulation by Leonie Blackwell

As therapists we are all looking for explanations for the emotional and mental state our clients find themselves in. Our modalities work perfectly for the majority. But then every so often we find someone who is ‘treatment resistant.’ They want to improve or stay improved but they just don’t respond as we are used to or the shift doesn’t last.

There is a possibility that the state of their vagus nerve could be culprit.

The vagus or vagal nerve is our parasympathetic nervous system. Its job is to bring our mind and body back into balance after the sympathetic nervous system as stimulated it into action. If we have experienced stress, bacterial infections or being exposed to viruses such as Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), chicken pox or herpes or suffer from insomnia then the vagus nerve function will have been depleted.

A suppressed vagus nerve results in a body and mind that can’t find or maintain balance.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation uses a TENS machine associated more often with physiotherapy to stimulate the vagus nerve assisting it to function again and restore balance. It is not a replacement for other modalities or nutritional supplementation but can help those clients who aren’t getting the results we normally associate with our therapies.

There are over 9,000 articles written on using a TENS machine for vagus nerve stimulation and the results are impressive.

What health conditions can stimulating the vagus nerve improve?

  • Irritable bowel
  • Food allergies
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Migraine
  • Acute and Chronic pain
  • Headache
  • Inflammation
  • Brain fog
  • Asthma
  • Yeast and bacterial overgrowth
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Epilepsy
  • Tinnitus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-stroke
  • Chronic Fatigue

The effective functioning of the vagus nerve is vital for what is called ‘tight junctions,’ the spaces in between cells of the gut, lung, brain and skin. If these junctions don’t close properly they remain slightly open allowing the movement of particles that would not normally pass through these linings. It is known as the Leaky Syndromes – Leaky Gut, Leaky Lungs, Leaky Brain and Leaky Skin. Stimulating the vagus nerve activates the effective functioning of the nerve restoring its ability to close these tight junctions and stop all manner of disorders, syndromes and diseases.

We are facing enormous numbers of people experiencing depression and anxiety who often face a paradigm that says they will be on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication for the rest of their lives. We are also facing stress and trauma beyond what many can manage. Understanding that the vagus nerve will be inhibited each time we experience stress or trauma, and that an under-functioning vagus nerve is present in those with depression and anxiety, Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a blessing to any therapist. It can be administrated during any talk-therapy or consultation and teaching clients to use the machine at home could be of great benefit for major illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.

There are three conditions where you need to either check with a doctor before using the VNS technique or choose not to use it at all with a client. They are an active cancer patient, someone who has a pacemaker or anyone with a current infection.

If you would like to learn how to use the VNS process in your practice or just on yourself I am offering two different training sessions times, each for one hour on Zoom and can be claimed as Professional Development hours with the AHHCA. The Saturday morning session will be held on October 27 at 10am. The Tuesday night session will be held on October 30 at 7.30pm. Sessions will be recorded.

To obtain information on where to purchase a suitable TENS machine and earlobe clips text me on 0438254466 and please include which session you wish to attend and your email address so I can send you the Zoom link before the class. To pay for the class to here:

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