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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

Deep Breathing and the Vagus Nerve

The diaphragm is out main breathing muscle, but it also is a major player when it comes to stabilizing our trunks. It shares connection with muscles in the low back, core and hips.

Pressure is controlled by the diaphragm working together with the pelvic floor. The diaphragm also is made up of 2 lobes, right and left, each wither different attachments so breath work can be used to focus on one side. Why are we talking so much about the diaphragm?

It influences the vagus nerve

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the autonomic nervous system. It is the controller of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract (specifically the parasympathetic controller-rest and digest).

When you are having difficulty being in the parasympathetic system, you can have issues with worsened sleep, sluggish digestion, and low sex drive. Especially in modern life, we tend to live in the sympatyhic system, better know as fight or flight. When we are here we tend to breathe more with the chest, in a shallow pattern.

To switch to the parasympathetic system, deep breathing can help us. We used the diaphragm which helps trigger the vagus nerve, and stimulate that rest and digest place so we can heal!

Sometimes we can have difficulty connecting to our diaphragm and enjoying being in the parasympathetic state, talk to your provider for more tips on how to encourage your body to rest and heal.

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