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Your Body’s Self-Healing Design

sound healing vagus nerve Apr 21, 2021

It’s easy to take for granted what a remarkable “machine” your body is.

But every second of every day, it does incredible things. Cells continually regenerate, your lungs filter the air you breathe, your immune system destroys intruders, and your heart pumps blood through your entire body.

All of these processes happen automatically, without you ever having to think about them.

Of course, you need those basic functions in order to survive.

But to truly thrive, your body needs to be able to heal—especially from the continual “wear and tear” of life.

Today you’ll learn how sound can help you reach an optimal healing state by turning on your body’s built-in healing systems. I'll also teach you three effective techniques to supercharge these systems, enabling you to feel better, faster.

First and foremost, eliminate stress

One of the major ways sound helps put your body in its optimal healing state is by alleviating stress.

Stress activates your body’s natural “fight or flight” response (the sympathetic nervous system), putting the body on “high alert.”  

When this happens, your immune system becomes overrun and cortisol (“the stress hormone”) starts to build up. Over time, this excess cortisol wreaks havoc in your body by breaking down organ tissue and killing off brain cells.

What’s even worse is that, at this point, your body is in no shape to properly heal itself from all that damage.

That’s because the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms only fully function when your body is calm and relaxed. And this can only happen with the other part of your nervous system—your parasympathetic system—is activated.

This is where sound comes in. There are two major sound-based approaches you can take to activate your parasympathetic system and bring your body back into a state of calm:

  • Passive sound healing: This involves an approach focused on listening, where sound does all the work. Passive sound healing typically includes exercises like listening to relaxing music or nature sounds, as I recently detailed in this research: 
  • Active sound healing: For this approach, you generate sounds that activate your parasympathetic system. One of my favorites is called “Brain Humming.” I wrote about a 2016 study showing how active sound healing helped participants turn off their “fight or flight” system in this article: 

The wonders of vagus nerve stimulation 

Active sound healing is my preferred method of sound healing and the cornerstone of my teachings. Not only have I found it to be most effective for me personally, but there’s also a wealth of research confirming its health benefits.

It’s based on the concept of vagus nerve stimulation. Self-generated sounds like singing, humming, and chanting all stimulate your vagus nerve—the longest nerve in your body. (You can find a great daily exercise to stimulate your vagus nerve here.)

This approach effectively brings the entire body into a state of equilibrium. And when your body is balanced, it’s calm. And when it’s calm, it can properly heal.

Strengthen your vagal tone

My last go-to method for entering an optimal healing state is to strengthen vagal tone.

Vagal tone is a measure of how well your body bounces back after experiencing stress.

The stronger your vagal tone is, the easier it is for your parasympathetic nervous system to return your body to a state of calm.

In other words, the higher your vagal tone, the better your body is at getting back to your optimal healing state.

Stimulating your vagus nerve with deep slow breaths, balancing your gut microbiome, and using self-generated sound all help to improve this key measure of health.

Healing yourself 

Focusing on your health is one of the best investments you will ever make. Plain and simple. Life is so much more enjoyable when you feel great.

Fortunately, you were born with the abilities and built-in systems to do just that.

By using sound to help tame stress, stimulate your vagus nerve, and improve vagal tone, you can help your body heal.

  


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SOURCES:

Carreno, F., and Frazer, A. (2017). Vagal Nerve Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression. Neurotherapeutics. 14(3): pp. 716 – 727. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5509631/

Effects of Bhramari Pranayama on health – A systematic review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 8(10): pp. 11 – 16. Retrieved from: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017300172

Fallis, J. (2017). How to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve for Better Mental Health. University of Ottawa. Retrieved from: sass.uottawa.ca/sites/sass.uottawa.ca/files/how_to_stimulate_your_vagus_nerve_for_better_mental_health_1.pdf

Innes K.E., Selfe T.K., Khalsa D.S., Kandati S. (2017). Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28106552

Inned K.E. et al. (2018). Effects of Meditation and Music-Listening on Blood Biomarkers of Cellular Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: An Exploratory Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30320574

Kuppusamy, M., Kamaldeen, D., Pitani, R., and Amaldas, J. (2016). Immediate effects of Bhramari Pranayama on resting cardiovascular parameters in healthy adolescents. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 10(5): pp. CC17–CC19. Retrieved from: jcdr.net/article_fulltext.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2016&volume=10&issue=5&page=CC17&issn=0973-709x&id=7894

Rankin, L. (2013). Mind Over Medicine: How to Help Your Body Heal Itself. Next Avenue. Retrieved from: nextavenue.org/mind-over-medicine-how-help-your-body-heal-itself/

Stress Weakens the Immune System (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from: apa.org/research/action/immune

Yamamoto, T. (2015). Vagus nerve stimulation therapy: Indications, programming, and outcomes. Neurologica medico-chirurgica. 55(5): pp. 407-415. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25925759

The material provided on this site is for educational purposes only and any recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of your physician. You are encouraged to seek advice from a competent medical professional regarding the applicability of any recommendations with regard to your symptoms or condition.

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