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Season 3, Episode 16: How To Achieve Rest and Digest Mode with Dr. Stephanie Canestraro

By Jodi Cohen

Vagus means “wandering” in latin – which makes sense considering the vagus nerve has a long, winding path from the brain to your digestive system. But not only is it the longest cranial nerve, it’s also in charge of the parasympathetic nervous system – meaning it plays a key role in many of your body’s functions including your body’s ability to achieve rest and digest mode.

In this episode of Essential Alchemy Jodi welcomes Dr. Stephanie Canestraro, chiropractor and soft tissue specialist, for a deep-rooted discussion on the vagus nerve. Dr. Stephanie is certified in functional medicine and a fellow vagus nerve expert who works with many elite athletes to help support performance optimization.

Tune in to learn more about:

  • [01:25] – Dr. Stephanie’s story
  • [05:36] – The vagus nerve explained
  • [11:43] – How to enhance vagus nerve function
  • [24:05] – The impact of stagnant lymph

About Dr. Stephanie Canestraro

Dr. Stephanie Canestraro’s journey into Functional Medicine and specializing in the Vagus Nerve started with a painful personal history that ultimately gave her the determination to innovate her field and help others. Persevering through the agony of her health issues, Dr. Canestraro applied what she learned from the top functional medicine professionals to her own symptoms and finally overcame her condition. Whether she’s helping an athlete deal with pressure, recommending a nutrient and supplement regime, or applying one of the numerous treatment methods she’s educated in, Dr. Canestraro is pioneering an overlooked field of Functional Medicine while helping the world’s top sports stars optimize every aspect of their bodies.

For more information from Dr. Stephanie Canestraro visit her website: | Instagram: @vagusclinic and @dr.scanestraro

If you’re enjoying the Essential Alchemy podcast, please leave Jodi a review on iTunes.

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Jodi: Hi, I am Jodi Cohen, your host, and I’m so [00:01:00] excited to be joined by my friend Dr. Stephanie Canestraro, a fellow vagus nerve expert. Uh, Dr. Stephanie is a chiropractor and soft tissue specialist, also certified and functional medicine who works mostly with elite athletes to support performance optimization.

Stephanie: Welcome. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to be 

Jodi: here. I know this is gonna be really fun. Can you share a little bit more about your story and how you became, uh, the vagus nerve expert that you are today? 

Stephanie: Yeah, so I mean like a lot of people in the health field, it was through my own health struggles that I ended up being so interested in the vagus nerve and kind of like the gut brain connection because I had such a destroyed gut, like I was.

It’s embarrassing, but I share my story and that’s how I started sharing it with athletes. And they started being more vulnerable, but it was almost to the point of like bowel [00:02:00] incontinence. So like you can imagine how embarrassing that could be. Um, and it led to like this spiral of anxiety and, uh, a lot of sickness that turned into like systemic sickness, not just my gut, where all these.

Self infections came up. I eventually learned it was Lyme and all these co-infections that had pretty much, I say hijacked my vagus nerve because I went from a person who. I feel like, so everyone can have a little bit of anxiety based on, you know, what’s going on with their life situational anxiety. But this was like rumination to the max.

This was panic. This was sitting there being fine into, spiraled into like what people would call a panic attack. But I now call a toxicity attack and I think it’s toxins reaching the vagus nerve. And I’ve actually tested that O on myself and then on my other, Clients, patients, friends, and I am just convinced a lot of these [00:03:00] so-called panic attacks when people are not.

Like something isn’t inciting, the panic is actually a toxicity attack and these toxins reach the vagus nerve and it’s your body going into this fight or flight response because it feels like it’s being attacked. And it is. It’s, but it’s a war inside you. Right. And the world just has been getting more toxic and toxic and toxic that, you know, I’m working with elite athletes that are having these full blown.

Immune system dysregulation like cardiovascular events, um, you know, gut issues. All of these things that I was not seeing previous to the past three years. And I think it’s become even more important. Um, the vagus nerve and, you know, a lot of post covid or post covid vaccine things that I’ve been seeing.

You know, they’re getting told you have vagal nerve dysfunction, you have vagal nerve dysfunction, but no one knows how to. Sort out what that even [00:04:00] means. They’re just told that and they’re left. And so vagus nerve starts trending and our clinic’s called the Vagus Clinic and then all of a sudden we’re getting all these hits of people that are just told they have pots and it’s from vagal nerve dysfunction, but no one knows how to dig deeper and resolve it.

Right. So, you know, through my own story, that’s how I kind of got really interested in the vagus nerve and specifically with athletes for concussions. So Right. What I observed, um, because I was doing functional medicine tests on them, and I, I ended up doing a test on one player and he was perfectly healthy.

You know, nothing really came up in his gut test. And then he got, A hit to the head and he was so sick and his gut turned and he had diarrhea and he had liver pain and all this stuff after a hit to the head and we tested his, you know, his gut, his leaky gut markers, his leaky brain markers, and it was just like insane.

So this hit to the head just sp triggered this whole spiral of. [00:05:00] Of digestive system effects of releasing, of different stealth infections. Uh, his immune system was dysregulated, so like that really like, was like an aha moment for me even more than already kind of being interested in that kind of gut brain connection.

It’s so 

Jodi: funny, like so many of the things that you said resonated. You know, like after my son died, I was having crazy anxiety attacks and I would notice every time I would like regularly activate my vagus nerve. I’m like, that seems to help. And I didn’t, I didn’t connect the toxicity. I wanna unpack this a lot cuz you’ve said so many amazing things.

Just to start, for anyone who’s listening, who’s not, you know, completely aware of the vagus nerve and what it does, could you explain that? 

Stephanie: Oh yeah, for sure. So our vagus nerve is our 10th cranial nerve. So we have 12 nerves that come off, either our brain stem or our brain. And the vagus nerve is cranial nerve 10.

And it is also the vagus nerve means the wandering nerve because it’s the longest of [00:06:00] the, um, cranial nerve. So, you know, vagus nerve, like Vega bond, like just. You know, it travels all the way down to your digestive system. So, and it’s in charge of your parasympathetic nervous system. Like, other than a little bit of input from cranial nerve three, um, cranial nerve nine and cranial nerve 11 and 12, it is the main.

Parasympathetic nerve. And then we’ve got two or three nerves in our sacrum that take care of what the vagus nerve does, not innervate as far as parasympathetics. So what are parasympathetics? So. It’s easiest to explain parasympathetic as the rest and digest side of our nervous system, which a lot of people are becoming aware of.

And the sympathetic, which is the opposite. That’s our fight or flight. And just like anything else, like we’re, we are supposed to be imbalanced, like we need our sympathetic nervous system. It, it has a role. We need our, our parasympathetic, but we’re the only [00:07:00] mammals that, through our thoughts alone, can put ourself into fight or flight or that.

Sympathetic nervous system. So any other animal, they get chased by a bear. They get away within moments, they’re back into their rest and digest. They’re grazing. They don’t even, they’re not thinking back about, oh, I almost got chased, or they don’t replay it in their mind. Right. We’re the only ones that are living almost our whole lives in the sympathetic state.

Right. And. Even news is always bad, like on the, like watching a show, you know, even the music they play on these like, These horror movies or these thrillers, like I can’t watch them. Netflix movie.

Jodi: I know. It’s terrifying. 

Stephanie: It’s like stimulating your vagus nerve. Like, I mean, your, your sympathetic nervous system, like even they know it too, like the music that they use, like, because sounds can affect your, either your vagus nerve or your sympathetic, and they’re like, even the TV we watch is [00:08:00] throwing us into the, the sympathetic state or the fight or flight kind of.

Response, right where we’re, we’re on high alert and all of our blood, all of our blood flow leaves our digestive. System and it’s going to our legs cuz we wanna get away so we’re not digesting well anymore. You know, we’re not, blood flow’s not going to like it. It is not going to our organs. It’s going to all of the things to get away.

So yes, yes. No wonder we’re not doing great, you know? Yes. 

Jodi: And I love what you were talking about with, um, vagus nerve toxicity and toxins, because I think most people think it’s either physical, the lion chasing you, emotional, you’re worried about something. Yeah. Yeah. But I don’t think people realize that the toxicity, toxic load.

Mm-hmm. Can you talk about that a bit? 

Stephanie: Yeah, so I mean there’s like the physical toxic load. So meaning, you know, your, your, your vagus nerve exits if you follow down your neck, it goes kind of in behind your bone right here in behind [00:09:00] your, your clavicle. Your sternum. Um, And that’s also where all of our lymph clears.

So all of the waste that your body is clearing, it has to come through your collarbone, right? So even pressure that builds when lymph isn’t clearing properly or your body has too many toxins and all those toxins can build, in my opinion, it’s causing a lot of thyroid problems for people. And a lot of the vagus nerve, it’s all in that vicinity, right?

Um, And you can even see when someone’s lymph is, is really jammed. Their voice changes, that gets more hoarse, like that’s the vagus nerve being compressed. So there’s some physical. There can be physical stress on it, lymph building up, and then the toxins, but then it can actually be infected with certain viruses.

With certain bacteria like Lyme with the viruses like HHV six and HHV seven. There was just a huge study that came out on those herpes viruses. Um, there’s the toxins from your actual gut that can hitch your ride up the [00:10:00] vagus nerve because the gut is becoming leaky and we have all these toxins in it and you know, there’s even.

Like lots of studies on, on certain gut infections that can put people into panic, right? So Campylobacter is one of them. So that toxic load in your body, and like, like I said, it’s literally like a war is going on in your body. So even if you’re not having mental stressors or watching like the actual stress going on in your body, because your body is.

Not in a arrested state. It’s, it’s fighting, it’s fighting at a cellular level to kill off these toxins, to lower the toxic load. So, um, you know, that’s why when people are having panic attacks, I tell them to not grab an anti-anxiety, but grab a binder and see if, If a binder lowers your anxiety within 20 minutes, because it often does.

Or when people wake up in the night anxious, I’m like, instead of taking like, melatonin helps a ton too. But I’m talking about like, I had one patient she was reaching for like [00:11:00] passion flour and these, those things are great, but I’m like, try a binder, and it just, she was able to go straight back to sleep because we start detoxing in the middle of the night as well.

Right. So, In those hours when our glymphatic system’s turned on, like where our brain’s trying to drain. But we have this clogging, people can wake up with anxiety. So you gotta start to show people, look, when you take a binder, you’re temporarily lowering your toxic load. Do you feel better? Yes. Well, is it an anxiety problem or is it a toxic load problem?

So that’s kind of how I. Started to try and explain it to people. I 

Jodi: absolutely love that. Thank you for putting that out there. That’s, we will continue to unpack that one. I am really curious, as someone who works with elite athletes, like the best of the best, how do you see the vagus nerve kind of.

Impacting their performance. You know, you mentioned concussions. I’m curious what else, you know, it, it regulates where blood flow is allocated. How are you kind of working [00:12:00] with professional athletes to enhance vagus nerve function and 

Stephanie: enhance performance? Yeah, well, I mean, going back to the toxic load thing, we lower their toxic load first of all, uh, as one of the things.

Um, and we’re doing manual treatment too to help clear those areas that I was even like people’s arms over their liver, all of these detox organs, right? Like getting stuff flushing out of the body. Um, they don’t need help sweating. Most of them sweat a lot, so, you know, but are you doing 

Jodi: facia or limp or Tell me what you’re doing with the manual 

Stephanie: therapy.

So we kind of. We call it specialized soft tissue, but it includes lymphatics, uh, fascia, um, acupuncture, um, manipulation, um, at times. But, um, we’re, we’re just trying to, um, fix fluid mechanics throughout the body, right? And. Like when you’re, even in your fascia, when your fascia has to be detoxed, right? Like it needs to [00:13:00] be kind of cleaned out.

Well after that’s, you work on someone’s fascia, we’re making sure the lymph is getting where it should be so it can get outta the body. So through the lymphatic ducts, like, you know, we see athletes and they’re like, oh, they only ever treat my hips when I see people. Like we’re doing, we’re like the head, face, neck.

Arms, um, a lot of like needling the points that help turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, like the homeostatic regulatory points, like points in your ear. Points in your face, points in your sternum, like over the emotional heart, all of that, and just like flushing out the system. But, um, we’ve seen guys with their H R V, which is like, um, uh, one of the ways to kind of measure the, um, heart rate variability, heart rate variability for, um, the vagus nerve because the vagus nerve innervates the heart, um, and heart rate variability the higher it is.

Yeah. And I haven’t seen it be too high. I’ve only seen people have like, [00:14:00] Benefits when it’s high. So one guy was like close to 200, which is high, like most people are functioning in like 30 to 70. And one guy, he went up from 80 to one 30. He goes like, Steph, I feel like I could literally do anything. Right now he’s having a record year.

He’s one of the older players on his team, like, you know, and he just like is doing the best ever. We lowered his overall pathogenic load. We treated all his face, neck, or like all opened up this area, his hips and everything as well. Obviously we have to clear all the lymph, but these guys are just used to only getting their hips treated right, because they’re skating.

Yeah. And everyone like zones in there. Um, so yeah, and then like, so that’s the biggest thing. It’s like fluid mechanic, like getting everything moving better. Like everything needs to be moving properly through your whole body, like you’re not just. Like it’s not like your arms don’t matter if they don’t move just because you’re playing [00:15:00] hockey and not using your arms as much or so just kind of stressing that for people.

But that’s the same for regular patients as well. Like I. We’re seeing these patterns where their whole right side is getting jammed and it’s all associated with a stagnant liver, like fatty liver, enlarged liver, which we’re seeing even in these players. And you get that flushing and their liver markers cuz they, I’ve never seen so many high liver markers in these like healthy, young players.

So they’re shoulder mechanics, it’s almost getting gelled and so, Releasing like the right side of the neck, the back of the arm and the quadrangular space is a big flush point. Um, you know, all in the pecs here, the inner arm, and making sure it all clears out and their livers are getting better. So like it’s, it’s helping the entire body.

And then, like I said, there are vagal nerve numbers after those treatments like go through the roof, like their sleep is better, everything. So [00:16:00] just hugely beneficial in general. 

Jodi: You’ve said so many things that I wanna unpack cuz they’re brilliant. First of all, for people who don’t know, lymph drains, um, primarily 75% on the left side, but then the right side is where the liver and the gallbladder are.

And that I’ve seen that too. That’s, you know, or like more women seem to have breast cancer in the right breast because if the armpit. Is congested, then the lymph can drain and all the toxins sit in the 

Stephanie: breasts. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And if you think about 75% goes here, and I’m saying I’ve seen this clogged a ton that’s on the left side.

But like think about if only like things are trickling, like 25% going through your arm, sometimes I find it’s getting more jam. More people are right hand dominant. Yeah. So that side’s getting more use and more jam. That’s just what I’ve been seeing and I don’t. You know, when I look at how they explain lymph drainage and you know, it’s mostly like the right arm and the head that’s going into the, to the right thoracic duct, [00:17:00] I kind of think they’re wrong.

And it’s the liver too that’s, that’s draining into there. And, and the gallbladder. Yeah. Liver, gallbladder. 

Jodi: Yeah. Have congested in the gallbladder or, I’ve noticed that every time I get like lymph work done, I’m super nauseous and I’m like, oh look, my gallbladder’s congested. So I, I take a ton of binders. I do cast, I do everything I can think of to support the gallbladder, but I, I think you’re right.

Mm-hmm. I’m, I’m curious, like why do you think the liver has suddenly become a, a thing? Is it because of covid and aftermath or what 

Stephanie: else could be So, I mean, I think. You know, along in. 2020. Another thing that got, um, like something that was new to the population in general was a whole new radio frequency, right?

Oh yeah. And I’ve been studying a lot about like 5G, E M F and what it does to your cells. And it causes a lot of d n a oxid oxidation. It causes, it causes [00:18:00] dysfunction of our voltage gated calcium channels. So what happens is, Calcium is the most regulated mineral in our body. Okay. It, it is, like it won’t go off.

Like even in, when you look at blood work and you look at the ranges that they consider normal, it’s always so wide for calcium. It’s like in Canadian it’s like a 2.25 to 2.65. Like it’s like tight, right? It’s like, I don’t know, nine to 10 or something. In, in the us whatever the, I can’t remember the.

Conversions, but um, So when calcium is dysregulated, which is happening, cuz what happens is the electricity hits the cell and activates the voltage gated calcium channel. We get an influx of too much calcium. It damages the cell cell membrane, begins to leak calcium leaks out of the cell. The body has to deal with the excess calcium.

Things start to calcify, right? Liver gallstones, all of that. What else happens? Our body increases the amount of [00:19:00] L Z L cholesterol to bind onto it. We get increased albumin, albumin to bind onto the calcium. We increase, um, you know, our kidney, um, function in order to flush more so. Um, what you’re, what what also happens with that is it’s, it stresses your liver.

Part of it is the sluggishness. Again, I’m always going back to fluid mechanics. People are less fluid. Everyone needs systemic enzymes. Right now. Everyone needs chunk of Pedro, which is a stone breaker. Like everyone’s, everything is turning to gel, you know? So, um, Like that, I think is a big thing that’s being overlooked even for causes of cardiovascular.

Because if you think of calcium channel blockers, that’s what people do when they’re trying to control heart rate after, um, heart attacks, all of that, people are on calcium channel blockers. Well now our calcium channels are. Through the roof being overactivated, that has a huge [00:20:00] downfall in all of our mineral regulation as well.

I’m seeing lots of dysfunction and electrolytes and stuff I’ve never seen before. Um, and these athletes, they get their blood done twice a year. So I see it twice a year on a regular basis. It’s easy for me to go back and look and have never seen these trends before. So, um, I think that that’s part of it.

Um, and then when the liver gets stressed, You know, liver enzymes go higher. We get bile backflow. We get all of this stuff that can lead to these even vagal nerve kind of. Changes. Right. 

Jodi: That’s what I was thinking. Like, it, it’s so interesting cuz the, the, the vagus nerve, you know, it’s gut brain, brain, gut.

And so if the liver is dysfunctional, it’s throwing off the vagus nerve. Like it’s, there’s so many more things that can kind of challenge the vagus nerve. But one way I think to fix that is to fix the vagus nerve and then that somehow sends things Yeah. 

Stephanie: Exactly cuz there’s, there’s input both ways. [00:21:00] So yeah, even, even, um, you know, there’s studies with the vagal nerve stem where they actually, like, they used to have to implant it on the actual vagus nerve and you could use like a button to electrically stem your vagus nerve.

And they were reversing autoimmune diseases, like, you know, pretty advanced autoimmune, like taking people’s pain away, stopping seizures immediately, like. Like that with this vagal nerve stem. And so we know that the, the input from there, you can do it both ways, right? Like one is like eradicating the bugs, like blah, blah, blah.

But like, yeah, if you can activate the vagus nerve, then you can give the body the help it needs to regulate all the stressors that are coming at us. So there’s, if you go at it both ways, where you’re lowering the toxic load, like we were talking about with binders, or you’re supporting the liver or you’re lowering like infections or parasitic load or you know, helping balance the immune system.

Like you give it help like from an external internal, and then you can do it like also through [00:22:00] like manual stimulation, your essential oils, which I do use on players. So, There’s a lot of research showing that before performance, the more you activate the vagus nerve, the better your performance is. And like that’s been shown time and time again.

And it’s like they’re switching into sympathetic to go onto the ice. But the more you’re in the opposite going on there, the better people perform. Yeah. So, so, you know, That’s been shown time and time again. Um, and so we use some oils before the game to be more into the parasympathetic and activate the vagus nerve, and then during the game ones that are more stimulating.

Yeah. And then after the game unwinding again with the, um, with ones that activate the vagus nerve. So, you know, any ways that you can stimulate sounds. Like I said, like when you’re watching. Thrillers and they have like, they know the music that stresses you [00:23:00] out, right? Yeah. Well the opposite is true too.

There’s lots of sounds that are very healing to the vagus nerve. So, um, 528 Hertz, um, you know, it’s easy enough to go on YouTube and listen to that. Buy Noal beats. Um, there’s all types of different frequencies that you can search. Humming yourself too. Of course. Yeah. 

Jodi: We went, um, friends of mine went on a hike with me and it was a lot of switchbacks over a river where you either to walk on rocks or like logs and I, I have good balance.

They don’t, but I’m like, here’s what I do. I think of my favorite song and I hum it when I’m walking and there’s something about humming it that puts me in flow and it’s easier to not 

Stephanie: slip. Yeah, I totally, a hundred percent. You’re just, cuz think about you’re fumbling around when you’re in a stressed out situation.

When can you find your words easier? Like when, when you’re in the Vegas, when you’re in the parasympathetic state, not when you’re like in fight or [00:24:00] flight. Like nothing works as smooth, right? Yes. Yes. Mm-hmm. 

Jodi: But I love the other thing that you brought up that like fluid movement, you know, like, can you talk a little bit about how, um, when the, the lymph is stagnant, it, it impacts the vagus nerve?

Like you kind of mentioned that it backs up a little bit into the neck. Is there more, um, that you’ve observed or you know, that you’ve read about? 

Stephanie: Well, I mean it’s just the, the toxic load, the toxins. Yeah. Like literally go up. Here and they are putting like, and then the ones that it’s, it’s like the, 

Jodi: um, the drain, the, the bathtub won’t drain.

So all the 

Stephanie: Exactly. Yeah. So intraoral stuff, because like you have to drain like sinuses, like I’m sounding stuffed up right now. I never feel as good when I’m stuffed up because you need to drain everything around the brain or else it affects. The whole body. And these are like, some stop points are tonsils sometimes for people.

Like, that’s why people, a lot of people get their tonsils injected and I’ve [00:25:00] been introducing some of the players to that because, you know, better airway, better vagus nerve function, better nasal breathing, better vagus nerve function, um, um, but yeah, like just opening these ducks and getting the toxins away from the vagus nerve is.

Is just priceless for your health. Um, I have a little toothpick technique. I’m a accu acupuncturist by trade. Like we, I took it after chiropractic college and um, you know, there’s points like in the ear that are innervated. But like the skin is actually innervated the inside of your ear. So tapping with a toothpick.

So toothpick has a small surface area, right? Like it’s a, it’s pointy, so it’s like, yes. Similar to getting acupuncture. It’s like pseudo acupuncture. And you know, I’ve had to use it in times where I was panicking and it would calm me down. So there’s a point in her ear. Can you demonstrate that on? Yeah. So you just [00:26:00] go into the ear right here and you tap.

Tap in here. And then the tragus of the ear too if you tap right here. Um, but there’s other points that are regulatory in the ear. So really just finding whatever calms you down scalp points. So taking this and finding tender points in your scalp and then focusing on those areas and tapping a little bit.

You’ll notice it calms you down, you know, tracking the vagus nerve downwards and even like, I’ve had it where I have visual, um, lymph stagnation because I got really sick actually after, um, COVID and um, I have a history of all the stealth infections and stuff, and I got the lymphedema where my breast was enlarged, like a double D compared to like my other side.

And so I was tapping all along the collarbone and I started to get heart pals as it started to like clear out the toxins. Um, as they came out of this stagnation all around my breast and I could [00:27:00] actually see. The physical blockage going up my neck and as I massaged it and used like the toothpick along it and the toothpick along my sternum, like I literally felt it starting to.

Dissipate. And so, um, neural therapy is something that’s activating for the vagus nerve. You’ve heard of neural therapy, right? Like it’s in it’s injections of, um, propane. So, you know, the tapping wasn’t enough. Like, so I had my colleague, he in injected me all along here and then, I’m not kidding, one heart palpitations after another, after another, after another.

And then a little bit of like breast massage and like massaging all these outlets like over your peck right here. At the top of your shoulder, which, um, the muscle here, like your trap, is innervated by a muscle that shares a, a tendon sh or a sheath with the, the vagus nerve. So, you know, often when people are in like a sympathetic state, [00:28:00] they have like such tight shoulders, right?

Yes. So when you can start to loosen that, you can affect the vagus nerve as well. Um, but. And then, you know, it all cleared out. And so that actual physical stagnation that you could see, like took away anxiety, took away like I could breathe. It was putting pressure on my lungs, it was putting pressure on my heart.

Right. So there’s this actual like physical blockage that like is not always so obvious as it was with me. Right? Yeah. And, and practitioners who like treat the fascia and who treat the soft tissue, they can feel. When it’s backed up like that. So, and people, when you start to teach them like how it’s supposed to feel under your collarbone, right?

Like it shouldn’t feel matted. It shouldn’t feel like, you know, it should like slide and glide and like, you know, at this exact moment, my right side slides and glides better than my left. But I was focusing more on this side cuz that side was stuck. So like we teach people a lot [00:29:00] to try to like, Honestly, even just what I did right now, it feels a little bit better.

Like, yeah. And what I have to say is a lot of these like videos that I see on, um, Instagram and stuff, it’s always very light touch for the limp. But if you see me, I’m like pushing and I’m pumping because there’s deep limp too. It’s not enough right now when people are really congested to just do this feather light touch, it’ll get the superficial lymph, but, It’s not gonna get those d deeper lymphatic ducts.

Right. And then so you can massage and then you can like bring your arms up and like shake your arms, you know? You can, yeah. 

Jodi: Well, and I even, I like if it’s tender, if you’re kind of rubbing under her armpit and it’s tender, keep working on 

Stephanie: Exactly. Yeah. You can feel it. Yeah. So, so those are some things that.

Like I get people to work on themselves. But yeah, like I said, it’s way more obvious with some people than [00:30:00] others. But if you really start to practice, you’ll start to feel the difference. And whenever you’re working on lymph, to clear it, you’ve gotta start with the duct first. Yes. Open up here. Yes. Yeah.

Explain why. Because again, you don’t want it to block. You start to move it up, but then it has nowhere to go, and then you’re just gonna give yourself symptoms because you’re correct. Yeah. So 

Jodi: it’s like, what, you know, when I used to comb my daughter’s hair, I started at the bottom to work the tangles out.

It’s kinda the same thing you’re starting. Yeah, exactly. Um, I have one final question for you. Uh, you mentioned that some of your players like to use oils to enhance performance before their games. I’m just curious which ones are some of their favorites? 

Stephanie: Yeah, so I actually have sent them your links and they love it, but like anything, citrus, which citrus is in your, the parasympathetic and um, clothe.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Those are amazing. And then other things like bergamot, sometimes like, yeah, lavenders, like there’s, there’s a few that help [00:31:00] turn on the, the, the vagus nerve and like get into that rested state. Yeah. And 

Jodi: is there anything that we didn’t talk about that you wanted to share? 

Stephanie: Um, I kind of wanted to say, um, a a few little, um, vagal nerve activation tips that I, I showed the one with the toothpick, but one’s with your eyes cuz I mentioned there is like, um, cranial nerve three, that’s ocular motor.

So there’s an ocular motor o cardiac reflex. There’s a, a reflex between your eyes and your heart that tells your body that you’re feeling safe and one of them is like, honestly slight pressure on your eyeballs. So sometimes I get people to like, just like put their elbows down and put like just lean, like the weight of their head.

Yeah. And then you do extended box breathing. So instead of just like breathing in for six, hold for six, breathe out for six, you’re breathing in for six seconds. You hold it for six seconds and then [00:32:00] you’re breathing out for eight to 10 seconds while making a humming sound. So like six seconds in holding for six seconds.

Breathing out while humming, while having slight pressure on your eyes can be really calming if you’re in a, in a state of fight or flight that you kind of can’t get out of. Um, and then even far gazing, um, this, oh, When you’re, um, you gaze as far to one side, and I get people to do this at night when they can’t sleep cuz your eyes can be closed, but while they’re closed, you’re just gazing as far to one side, come back to center and gaze as far as you can to the other side, and you hold for like 15 to 30 seconds if you can.

And you don’t wanna strain your eyes too much, but you should feel like a relaxation. So just like easy things, like, like I said, exhales sounds like. You know, smiling. When you don’t feel like smiling, it changes the input onto your vagus nerve. So just find little things that [00:33:00] you can do to turn it on more, because most of the time we’re in like stressed state and our face is the same and like, you know, so just like move your face and massage your face, like puff your cheeks, stick out your tongue.

Yeah, all of those things help your vagus nerve. Amazing. How 

Jodi: can people find you? 

Stephanie: So on Instagram we have the Vegas clinic, Instagram, and then my personal one, which is dr dot s canister. Um, we post mostly on there. We have our blog and our store and all of our information on, um,, which.

Takes you all to the same page and yeah, we’re working on creating like a lot of content and just trying to, yeah, get all of the stuff that we’re talking out about on here into like little digestible bits of information. Well, this 

Jodi: was so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and [00:34:00] so, so much to ponder like 

Stephanie: that was amazing.

Thanks so much for having me.

About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.