I remember the first time I learned of the vagus nerve’s ability to trigger the parasympathetic response and help the body modulate stress response, anti-inflame and heal. The Parasympathetic™ Blend can help your body heal back to the original state.
I was reading Mark Hyman’s The UltraMind Solution where he talked about activating the vagas nerve to balance the sympathetic nervous system and turn off and reset the body’s stress response.
At the time I was suffering from crazy blood sugar swings, intense brain fog and inflammation issues to the point where I was actually googling dementia symptoms concerned that I was early stage alzheimer’s. Hyman’s suggestion of stimulating the vagus nerve on a daily basis to reverse or stop the negative effects of stress on the body and brain made a profound impact.
Hyman helped me connect a lot of dots, noting that the vagus nerve releases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for memory and learning, as well as signaling the body to relax and calm down. “Stimulating the vagus nerve sends acetylcholine throughout the body, not only relaxing you, but also turning down the fires of inflammation (and regulating the immune system),” Mark Hyman.
The book also noted that stem cells are connected to the vagus nerve and stimulating the vagus nerve can stimulate stem cells to produce new cells and repair and rebuild our cells and organs.
I was sold and ready to sign up!
Hyman recommended a soft-belly breathing technique (which he positioned as preferable to having a pacemaker inserted in your neck), but with my failing memory, my compliance was marginal at best.
The universe kept trying to remind me of the vagus nerve and it’s need for stimulation. I vividly recall the day my favorite yoga instructor had us feel behind our earlobe on the mastoid bone as we practiced our deep breathing. She echoed Hyman’s theory that deep yoga breathing could stimulate the parasympathetic state and noted that we could actually feel it working by pressing our finger against the mastoid bone where the vagus nerve is closest to the skin’s surface.
As I continued to struggle with compliance, I intuitively knew that vagal stimulation was key to my recovery. So, I shamelessly began to research other, preferably more sustainable ways to stimulate the parasympathetic state. I tried them all, including humming, gargling, washing the face with cold water (brrrrrr), employing tongue depressors that made me gag and even coffee enemas.
None of these techniques really felt sustainable for me. Around that time, essential oils entered my life and I began aggressively researching all potential uses. In passing, a colleague mentioned that essential oils could be used to stimulate different parts of the brain.
The light bulb immediately went off! The question became not if oils could be used to stimulate a parasympathetic response, but what combination would best achieve the results I was looking for.
Parasympathetic Blend for Vagus Tone
Thus began the search for the perfect parasympathetic blend which included testing different stimulatory blends on the vagus nerve and evaluating the downstream impact on the different organs of digestion. To test the effectiveness of each blend, different neuro lymphatic points associated with the organs of digestion were palpated and the intensity of the palpation noted on a scale of 1 – 10. Different essential oil blends were then applied on the vagus nerve (behind the ear on the mastoid bone) and the points were re-palpated.
The current Parasympathetic™ formula of clove and lime consistently reduced the intensity of the palpations, in some cases from a level of 10 down to zero. The theory is that palpations are only painful when associated organs are out of balance. By balancing the organ with food, supplements or essential oils, the pain disappears. Building on this principal, the Parasympathetic™ oil helped to stimulating the parasympathetic response and balance all organs in the body.
I had long been playing with the clove and lime formulation for headaches. I was intuitively drawn to the smell and was intellectually excited about the potential of combining the stimulatory properties of the Clove with the uplifting qualities of the Lime. Out of all the blends tested, the current parasympathetic formula was the hands down winner for helping to drop the body in the optimal parasympathetic rest and digest state. After identifying the blend as a clear winner, great efforts were made to determine the optimal dilution ratio.
Recent research has validated this choice, including a 2015 study which demonstrates that eugenol, the chief component of Clove essential oil, assists the body in maintaining normal gastrointestinal motility even during times of stress.* The authors theorize that eugenol acts on stress-responsive regions of the brain, promoting balanced levels of stress-response hormones that are released throughout the body, which helps keep the gastrointestinal tract functioning properly.
We continue to get rave reviews for our Parasympathetic™ blend. Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit from a parasympathetic hack and feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!
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