Author Topic: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!  (Read 15836 times)

Quantum

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 10:53:01 PM »
Quantum,

I really do need to understand this more.

About 15 years ago, at one of the worst phases in my POIS (although did not know about POIS name or fellow travellers at that time). I obviously did not know either about vagal tones or anything of that nature (still a struggle to understand this in fact).  At that time, I committed to a financial investment in a thing called Holosync meditation (thinking it would help me).

I committed to using it (the binaural beats tracks with alpha/beta/theta waves etc, and it's "supposed" very deep meditation effects). I used spend an hour a day faithfully in hope of improved health, and for months used it, thinking it would ultimately work and support me to break through whatever blocks (I assumed emotional ones) that I had.  However, I just kept feeling worse and having worse headaches. I had to give the practice up and revert to just normal meditation. 

Based on what you are discussing here and vagal tones, I think I now can understand why this was the case. Wish I had known back then !

Hi Colm,

I certainly relate to your experience with Holosync meditation.  Everyone that has been living for a long time with a condition like POIS has been willing to try anything that could help, in particular when conventional science and mainstream medicine had nothing to offer.

All those, like you and me, that have been plagued with POIS for a long time, even before there was any forum about POIS, and even before the acronym POIS has been created, have for sure tried many techniques, and at one point, have invested money in some internet miracle marketing.  I sure had my days of experimentations, and I got at some point caught in New Age style "propaganda", and been paying for very well marketed 'energy treatments', that are, usually, quite costly, and always come in series...hehehe...  I have since self-coached myself through a "New Age desintox" phase, and I am at peace with all that, now  :-)  It just have added to my life experience ;-)

I am glad that my comments have shed some light on what went wrong in your experience with binaural beats.  I doubt that a one-size-fits-all solution is possible with binaural beats.  I have always preferred to create my own tracks, using softwares like BrainWave Generator (BW Gen - site is now down, I think)  or Gnaural, a freeware still available.  I have put countless hours in doing so, but it has been quite interesting to create something that really feels good to me. Furthermore, having chosen myself the parameters and setting in the tracks I use, there are no risk of surprise or unknown features. 

But in the end, it just plain, simple, normal meditation, as you said, Colm, that is the best.  Just breathing calmly, here, now, no technique, no binaural, no nothing, just nourishing silence, even if the mind is not completely silent itself, which is rarely the case... but the silence is there, always, beyond what's left of the mind chatter :-)    And, that, this calmness, this quantum void ( pun intended....!) is really good for the vagal tone, and all of the nervous system, and for the whole body as well.


You are 100% responsible for what you do with anything I post on this forum and of any consequence it could have for you.  Forum rule: ""Do not use POISCenter as a substitute for, or to give, medical advice" Read the remaining part at http://poiscenter.com/forums/index.php?topic=1.msg10259#msg10259

poisioq

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2015, 05:23:52 AM »
How do you understand whether you have a low or high vagal tone?

tired=high vagal stone
speed, energy, strss= low vagal stone

am i good ?

Not really, it is more complex than that. The vagus nerve and all of the parasympathetic system it belongs to has many effects, everywhere in the body.

Here is an overview:

signs/effect of a high vagal tone: 
slower and weaker heartbeat, stimulating effect on bowel movement , facilitate urination, cause bronchoconstriction, cause hypotension, high production of tears, of saliva, of gastro-intestinal mucus, of sweat, of nasal mucosa.

Signs of very high/too high vagal tone: 
nausea, dizziness, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, racing thoughts, frequent urination,  severe hypotension ( extreme manifestation leads to fainting, and is called a vasovagal syncope, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_response ), control freak behaviors, mental hyperactivity, tinnitus, tremor, stomach acidity


The signs for a low vagal tone are in the opposite direction:
Dry eyes, dry nose, low intestinal mucus production, constipation, urinary retention, low level of sweat production, bronchodilatation, lower mental activity,

Signs of very low vagal tone: bowel obstruction,  slow digestion, low stomach acidity, drowsiness, brain fog, memory problems, lack of organization, lack of interest, confusion, torpor  ( As you may have noticed, stimulation of the vagus nerve / raising of the vagal tone, in theory, should help those who have POIS cognitive symptoms - brain fog, memory problems, etc )

If you want more information, start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasympathetic_nervous_system .


Take note that those signs and symptoms are not exclusive effects of the parasympathetic system, so some interpretation and medical supervision is needed.  For example, the sympathetic system always interact and counteract the parasympathetic, so you have to interpret the signs and symptoms correctly ( a car slowing down may be due to releasing of the gas pedal or due to pressure on the break pedal, or to both in different proportions, and may as well be due in part to compression when clutch is engaged....).  Having nausea and dizziness can comes from many possible causes, so it is not automatically a sign of high vagal tone.


In research, vagal tone is measured through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which is a naturally occurring variation in heart rate that occurs during a breathing cycle.  The Rutgers team will use devices that measure the RSA, in the on-going POIS study, obviously as a way of assessing one's vagal tone at a given moment.  RSA is a reliable way to measure the level of vagal tone and its variations in time.

As a side note, ten years ago, I bought one of the first software/device available on the market for measuring RSA.  It was called the Freeze-Framer, from the HeartMath Institute, and was the ancestor of the current  emWave products of HMI.  Those products can be used as biofeedback devices, in order to learn how to consciously work toward inner balance of your nervous system, and stay in "the zone".  If you are not fond of meditation, those are a more "technological" alternatives.

Thank you for you explanation.
As per the above list I have signs of both low and high vagal tone with prevalence of the ones related to low vagal tone: racing thoughts, hypotension, tinnitus (not often) , constipation, slow digestion, drowsiness, brain fog, memory problems, lack of organization, lack of interest, confusion.

So maybe both parasympathetic and sympathetic system are out of balance.

Colm

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Re: Vagus nerve & depression while on vacation?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2015, 01:29:05 PM »
Holiday depression & Vagus Nerve Connection?

Has anyone here a tendency to get increasingly depressed while on vacation?

Could it be linked to the Vagus Nerve theories? High or Low Vagal tones perhaps?

For some reason, which I am more now leaning toward a neurological  reason, since my teens and onset of POIS, I have always slid into a deeper state of depression, when I go on vacation. I now only ever plan short vacations because of this.

I am writing this 7 days into my annual vacation, but I am slipping into that heightened state but for no specific reasons, starting to feel really down.

When I am at home and working, it is keeping my mind/brain busy, and when away, without that work, something is slowing down in my brain OR my mind toward a depressed state, whether it be the low seretonin or dopamine or whatever else it is, it just kicks in no matter what nutritional or lifestyle approaches,  sustaining a good diet, no alcohol, taking my supplements etc.

I have now a year spent in commitment to a nutritional and supplements approach. My overall symptoms outside of POIS phase  are generally 20-30% better. Added to this, I can now more generally avoid the trigger factors at my age.

However, even on vacation, when I wake every morning, my neck and head specifically are in pain (is this also Vagal related), a headache that I can somewhat shake off (only if I get out of bed before 8 am, if I stay in bed later, I'm wrecked all day) through meditation, self neck massage, going for exercise, a run or a swim. Then a warm, followed by cold shower also helps reverse some symptoms.

SO My real question re; Vagus Nerve and this depression.
Anyone else out there find their POIS gets worse when on annual leave? I would sincerely appreciate any thought on how this could be related to the Vagus nerve theory.

I am looking forward to the ongoing results of this Dr.K & Dr. W's research.

Finally, good luck to the guys in the study, as things get to the business end of the research with heart monitors and FMRI.

Stef

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Re: Vagus nerve & depression while on vacation?
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2015, 06:13:26 PM »
Holiday depression & Vagus Nerve Connection?

Has anyone here a tendency to get increasingly depressed while on vacation?

Could it be linked to the Vagus Nerve theories? High or Low Vagal tones perhaps?

For some reason, which I am more now leaning toward a neurological  reason, since my teens and onset of POIS, I have always slid into a deeper state of depression, when I go on vacation. I now only ever plan short vacations because of this.

I am writing this 7 days into my annual vacation, but I am slipping into that heightened state but for no specific reasons, starting to feel really down.

When I am at home and working, it is keeping my mind/brain busy, and when away, without that work, something is slowing down in my brain OR my mind toward a depressed state, whether it be the low seretonin or dopamine or whatever else it is, it just kicks in no matter what nutritional or lifestyle approaches,  sustaining a good diet, no alcohol, taking my supplements etc.

I have now a year spent in commitment to a nutritional and supplements approach. My overall symptoms outside of POIS phase  are generally 20-30% better. Added to this, I can now more generally avoid the trigger factors at my age.

However, even on vacation, when I wake every morning, my neck and head specifically are in pain (is this also Vagal related), a headache that I can somewhat shake off (only if I get out of bed before 8 am, if I stay in bed later, I'm wrecked all day) through meditation, self neck massage, going for exercise, a run or a swim. Then a warm, followed by cold shower also helps reverse some symptoms.

SO My real question re; Vagus Nerve and this depression.
Anyone else out there find their POIS gets worse when on annual leave? I would sincerely appreciate any thought on how this could be related to the Vagus nerve theory.

I am looking forward to the ongoing results of this Dr.K & Dr. W's research.

Finally, good luck to the guys in the study, as things get to the business end of the research with heart monitors and FMRI.

Hi Colm,

First, I hope you're starting to feel better by now!

You're probably most interested in hearing back from your fellow POIS sufferers on this issue of vacation/depression/possible vagus nerve connection. 

While I can't offer any insights from a personal POIS perspective, I did have an immediate thought when I first read your post a few days ago. Am hoping that this doesn't sound really ridiculous. Here goes...

Could it be that the types of annual vacations you take aren't the right type for YOU?

If I had to spend a week (or more) at a beach, as just an example, I'd get pretty miserable, pretty quickly. First I'd get bored -- very fast (despite the pina coladas). Then I'd become irritable because of the boredom, and would soon start complaining about having to repeatedly slather on sun protection. Then I'd feel guilty because I've ruined my husband's vacation by complaining and not being fun to be around. I'd also be afraid of possible sharks in the water. (When we were in Mexico there were barracudas right where we were supposed to be swimming!)

I can't say that I'd slide into a full-blown depression. But if I kept doing that type of thing for every annual vacation -- I definitely wouldn't be happy.

(The beach scenario has happened more than once -- so we no longer take beach/Caribbean Island vacations.)

As an aside, it's pretty much an established scientific fact that the vagus nerve can be directly involved in some cases of depression. But where or how that fits in to your own situation is a mystery for me.

Wishing you the best,
Stef

« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 07:48:38 PM by Stef »

Outsider

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2015, 06:16:46 AM »
"When we were in Mexico there were barracudas right where we were supposed to be swimming"

It sounds pretty good for me !!
that s exactly the kind of vacation i need.

The next you come in paris, i go to mexico !!!!
36 years old, very strong physical symptoms past my 33 years,
symp psycho, neuro and physical

Colm

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2015, 01:14:05 AM »
Hi Stef,

Thanks for your reply.

I think your ideas above are very true and are definitely one element of why depression has kicked in at extreme levels on "some" vacations.

I'm also a long time married and am lucky to have two healthy children, now in their teens.

Without doubt, some of the holidays (such as you describe), like hot sunshine destinations (while other family like them) cause me a lot of problems due to sun aggravated dematitis and heightened sensitivity to sunlight.  So, while there are types of vacations I have been on that don't elicit as much depression, as quickly, I think there is perhaps a vagal or neurological element to this, or dopamine/seretonin elements. I haven't taken any meds over decades for this, as am choosing a balanced lifestyle, nutritional, exercise, mind/body approach to wellness.

I do think that on this occasion, due to nutritional strategy for the last year, that this year was actually 20/30 PC better (less speedy descent into a depressed state).

Appreciate your honest sharing and maybe Iceland or Greenland are our best destinations for R&R!

Also, I reslize I'm lucky to go on vacation but do have the memory of many years I couldn't do anything, due to depths of POIS in my 20's particularly. Am sure there's loads of guys here who don't or can't go on vacation, cause they are struggling to hold down a job. I know of this phase too.

Nice one outsider on the Paris/Mexico swop btw LOL !
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 01:25:11 AM by Colm »

Outsider

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2015, 07:02:53 AM »
Hi Stef,

Thanks for your reply.

I think your ideas above are very true and are definitely one element of why depression has kicked in at extreme levels on "some" vacations.

I'm also a long time married and am lucky to have two healthy children, now in their teens.

Without doubt, some of the holidays (such as you describe), like hot sunshine destinations (while other family like them) cause me a lot of problems due to sun aggravated dematitis and heightened sensitivity to sunlight.  So, while there are types of vacations I have been on that don't elicit as much depression, as quickly, I think there is perhaps a vagal or neurological element to this, or dopamine/seretonin elements. I haven't taken any meds over decades for this, as am choosing a balanced lifestyle, nutritional, exercise, mind/body approach to wellness.

I do think that on this occasion, due to nutritional strategy for the last year, that this year was actually 20/30 PC better (less speedy descent into a depressed state).

Appreciate your honest sharing and maybe Iceland or Greenland are our best destinations for R&R!

Also, I reslize I'm lucky to go on vacation but do have the memory of many years I couldn't do anything, due to depths of POIS in my 20's particularly. Am sure there's loads of guys here who don't or can't go on vacation, cause they are struggling to hold down a job. I know of this phase too.

Nice one outsider on the Paris/Mexico swop btw LOL !

I had the same pb with sunlights all the summers
Buttons, excema, and urticaria
But with anti histaminic
I don't have them
It's a shame for me, i m from a hot country
Marocco..

36 years old, very strong physical symptoms past my 33 years,
symp psycho, neuro and physical

Stef

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2015, 07:22:20 AM »
"When we were in Mexico there were barracudas right where we were supposed to be swimming"

It sounds pretty good for me !!
that s exactly the kind of vacation i need.

The next you come in paris, i go to mexico !!!!

OK, Outsider. 

You take Mexico and the barracudas. We'll definitely take Paris! :-)

(Actually, Paris is on our list.)

Stef

Stef

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2015, 07:28:01 AM »

I had the same pb with sunlights all the summers
Buttons, excema, and urticaria
But with anti histaminic
I don't have them
It's a shame for me, i m from a hot country
Marocco..

Outsider, Morocco sounds like a GREAT place for a vacation. Exotic!

Please advise -- what antihistamine works for the skin problems you get from sunlight?

Stef

Stef

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 08:38:26 AM »
Hi Stef,

Thanks for your reply.

I think your ideas above are very true and are definitely one element of why depression has kicked in at extreme levels on "some" vacations.

I'm also a long time married and am lucky to have two healthy children, now in their teens.

Without doubt, some of the holidays (such as you describe), like hot sunshine destinations (while other family like them) cause me a lot of problems due to sun aggravated dematitis and heightened sensitivity to sunlight.  So, while there are types of vacations I have been on that don't elicit as much depression, as quickly, I think there is perhaps a vagal or neurological element to this, or dopamine/seretonin elements. I haven't taken any meds over decades for this, as am choosing a balanced lifestyle, nutritional, exercise, mind/body approach to wellness.

I do think that on this occasion, due to nutritional strategy for the last year, that this year was actually 20/30 PC better (less speedy descent into a depressed state).

Appreciate your honest sharing and maybe Iceland or Greenland are our best destinations for R&R!

Also, I reslize I'm lucky to go on vacation but do have the memory of many years I couldn't do anything, due to depths of POIS in my 20's particularly. Am sure there's loads of guys here who don't or can't go on vacation, cause they are struggling to hold down a job. I know of this phase too.

Nice one outsider on the Paris/Mexico swop btw LOL !


Colm,

When our son was a teenager (a VERY SURLY teenager!) the longest we'd spend at the beach during summer vacations with him was a long weekend (four days). Between our son and The Sun -- a weekend (3-4 days) was my limit! It helped to remind myself that if I was unhappy it would rub off on my family and ruin everyone's good time. So we learned to plan other types of vacations...and to also bring a friend along for him so that they could be surly together instead of with us.

(The only thing worse than a beach vacation was camping out at some God-forsaken campground for a week. My unsolicited advice to everyone -- don't even consider it!)

Funny about Greenland or Iceland, Colm!  To tell the truth, I think they'd make really interesting vacations. You'd all have to read, "Smila's Sense of Snow" before embarking.

Here are my non-scientific and final thoughts on this subject. (I'm sure the "final" part will come as a relief to all forum members.) Yes, you're lucky to be able to take vacations. And it sounds like the kids enjoy being in the sun at a beach area. But -- if one of your children couldn't tolerate the sun, if one or all of them would feel miserable after a few days of too much sun -- I'm betting you and your wife would find some other GREAT place to spend that precious vacation time. Your comfort and happiness are as important as everyone else's in the family. There's no question that they would agree!

You may be right about there being vagal or serotonin activity involved that brings on the depression symptoms. And it might not only be the sunlight -- boredom might play a role. But there may be ways to avoid or minimize it by steering clear of the types of places that seem to bring them on.

Stef











Outsider

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Re: Vagus nerve & depression while on vacation?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2015, 01:49:03 PM »
Holiday depression & Vagus Nerve Connection?

Has anyone here a tendency to get increasingly depressed while on vacation?

Could it be linked to the Vagus Nerve theories? High or Low Vagal tones perhaps?

For some reason, which I am more now leaning toward a neurological  reason, since my teens and onset of POIS, I have always slid into a deeper state of depression, when I go on vacation. I now only ever plan short vacations because of this.

I am writing this 7 days into my annual vacation, but I am slipping into that heightened state but for no specific reasons, starting to feel really down.

When I am at home and working, it is keeping my mind/brain busy, and when away, without that work, something is slowing down in my brain OR my mind toward a depressed state, whether it be the low seretonin or dopamine or whatever else it is, it just kicks in no matter what nutritional or lifestyle approaches,  sustaining a good diet, no alcohol, taking my supplements etc.

I have now a year spent in commitment to a nutritional and supplements approach. My overall symptoms outside of POIS phase  are generally 20-30% better. Added to this, I can now more generally avoid the trigger factors at my age.

However, even on vacation, when I wake every morning, my neck and head specifically are in pain (is this also Vagal related), a headache that I can somewhat shake off (only if I get out of bed before 8 am, if I stay in bed later, I'm wrecked all day) through meditation, self neck massage, going for exercise, a run or a swim. Then a warm, followed by cold shower also helps reverse some symptoms.

SO My real question re; Vagus Nerve and this depression.
Anyone else out there find their POIS gets worse when on annual leave? I would sincerely appreciate any thought on how this could be related to the Vagus nerve theory.

I am looking forward to the ongoing results of this Dr.K & Dr. W's research.

Finally, good luck to the guys in the study, as things get to the business end of the research with heart monitors and FMRI.

Hi Colm,

First, I hope you're starting to feel better by now!

You're probably most interested in hearing back from your fellow POIS sufferers on this issue of vacation/depression/possible vagus nerve connection. 

While I can't offer any insights from a personal POIS perspective, I did have an immediate thought when I first read your post a few days ago. Am hoping that this doesn't sound really ridiculous. Here goes...

Could it be that the types of annual vacations you take aren't the right type for YOU?

If I had to spend a week (or more) at a beach, as just an example, I'd get pretty miserable, pretty quickly. First I'd get bored -- very fast (despite the pina coladas). Then I'd become irritable because of the boredom, and would soon start complaining about having to repeatedly slather on sun protection. Then I'd feel guilty because I've ruined my husband's vacation by complaining and not being fun to be around. I'd also be afraid of possible sharks in the water. (When we were in Mexico there were barracudas right where we were supposed to be swimming!)

I can't say that I'd slide into a full-blown depression. But if I kept doing that type of thing for every annual vacation -- I definitely wouldn't be happy.

(The beach scenario has happened more than once -- so we no longer take beach/Caribbean Island vacations.)

As an aside, it's pretty much an established scientific fact that the vagus nerve can be directly involved in some cases of depression. But where or how that fits in to your own situation is a mystery for me.

Wishing you the best,
Stef

I was in iceland a couple years back
it s pretty good island but in the summer there s no night, sun, and sun and sun again sometimes it s pretty hot.
This things without night seriously perturbed me.I was like a baby sleeping at 7 pm and waking up early at 5h am
36 years old, very strong physical symptoms past my 33 years,
symp psycho, neuro and physical

Outsider

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2015, 01:52:47 PM »

I had the same pb with sunlights all the summers
Buttons, excema, and urticaria
But with anti histaminic
I don't have them
It's a shame for me, i m from a hot country
Marocco..

Outsider, Morocco sounds like a GREAT place for a vacation. Exotic!

Please advise -- what antihistamine works for the skin problems you get from sunlight?

Stef

yes stef,
my anti histaminic works pretty good against my sunlight allergy
but it seems like, the sunlight  doesn t play on my neuro, psycho, physical symp
36 years old, very strong physical symptoms past my 33 years,
symp psycho, neuro and physical

Outsider

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2015, 02:03:38 PM »
"When we were in Mexico there were barracudas right where we were supposed to be swimming"

It sounds pretty good for me !!
that s exactly the kind of vacation i need.

The next you come in paris, i go to mexico !!!!

OK, Outsider. 


You take Mexico and the barracudas. We'll definitely take Paris! :-)

(Actually, Paris is on our list.)

Stef


If you want to past vacation in paris,  i can give you some informations about the city.
You have also some pretty good place outside paris
like the forest and fontainebleau castle, and near this place,  barbizon, a small village kown for his artist paint history
the castle of versaille of course, from the king louis xiv

And morocco, like you said pretty exotic country
a lot of mountains, wild,  it s a hot country, the stuff, the food, the life are completly differents than europe or america.
And of course, beautifull beachs, but without sharks, or barracudas, i know, it s shame !!!!
I forgot the moroco tea, the traditionnal drink
36 years old, very strong physical symptoms past my 33 years,
symp psycho, neuro and physical

BluesBrother

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2015, 03:26:29 PM »
I can add some techniques to your list, if stimulating the vagus nerve helps you, because I must avoid those....hehe.  For example, spinning on yourself is excellent to stimulate the vagus nerve, through inner ear stimulation.  Do only 5 to 6 spins, and be sure to decrease spinning speed slowly on the last 2 to 3 spins, in order to avoid dizziness.  You can also gently massage the temples, doing a slow rotation with your fingertips, up and in front of the tragus of the ear, just above the bony protuberance found there. If I massage there, I feel nausea and "vagal" within 30 seconds!

I have had reduced to no symptoms when I ejaculated after a night out of dancing and drinking. So far, I thought that the alcohol might have inhibited an immune response, but what you wrote made me think that the dancing could have stimulated the vagus nerve - and that this inhibited an immune response - or maybe it is a combination of the two.
Used to have brain fog, flue-like symptoms, un-refreshing sleep, extreme exhaustion, muscle and joint pain, digestive problems, social anxiety, urge to urinate frequently.
Used niacin in the past. Now using nanna1's maintenance stack. Exhaustion and brain fog now main problem. 3-day POIS cycle

CuriousCharacter

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Re: Easy ways to stimulate your vagus nerve!
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2018, 03:13:10 PM »
I have had reduced to no symptoms when I ejaculated after a night out of dancing and drinking. So far, I thought that the alcohol might have inhibited an immune response, but what you wrote made me think that the dancing could have stimulated the vagus nerve - and that this inhibited an immune response - or maybe it is a combination of the two.

Interesting. I attended a 10-day meditation retreat, yanked a couple times in the bathroom stall, and experienced no negative symptoms the whole time I was there. Never felt better. Vagus nerve activators help me tremendously.