Vagus Nerve Exercises:
Use these daily practices to stimulate your vagus nerve
- Stretch your eyes by keeping your head facing forward and moving your eyes as far to the sides
and up and down as you can. Hold each position until you feel release and let yourself yawn.
- Put your shower temperature on cold for as long as you can tolerate, let it hit you
in the back of the neck and face. Ideally, cold therapy should be done for about 4 minutes.
Alternately, immerse your face in a bowl of ice water in intervals up to 4 minutes.
- Gentle tug on your ears to stretch the muscles in your inner ear. Massage the skin and cartilage all
around your ears.
- Massage your face and ears gently each day, and around the eyes and jaw.
- Make exaggerated facial expressions at your self in the mirror. Exaggerate “vocal prosody” by
making your voice be “sing-song” in tone and go up and down in pitch with each sentence.
- Sing, hum or chant for 5-10 minutes. Direct the vibration to your throat, neck, and spine.
- Expand and stretch your diaphragm by taking 10 deep belly breaths every day. Put your hand
on your ribcage to make sure you are expanding in the correct place. You should feel
your ribs move with your breathing. Take as big of breaths as you can tolerate and slowly
- Watch your posture. Practice sitting up straight with your collar bones spread and shoulders back.
Align your skull over your rib cage over your pelvis. Notice any tendencies to sit or stand with
your chest caved in and your chin jutted forward. Correct your posture as often as you can
throughout the day.
- Try to breathe in and out through your nose as opposed to your mouth throughout the day. Notice
any tendencies of “mouth breathing” If you “mouth breathe” at night (if you wake up with your
mouth open and dry) gently tape your mouth shut before bed.
- Gargle with water. Do this vigorously- your throat should feel slightly sore afterwards.
- Engage your gag reflex by putting a popsicle stick on your tongue. Make yourself gag several
times (not deep enough to induce vomiting but enough that your gag reflex responds significantly)
- Shake your limbs out vigorously “hokey pokey” style for 30 seconds each limb.