I’ve been reading on the Vagus nerve lately looking to confirm a hunch. In context: The vagus nerve (aka cranial nerve X) is usually described as being largely responsible for the mind-body connection since it goes to all the major organs.
For what I am interested in, the Vagus nerve is the body’s major parasympathetic nerve = every time you relax and/or feel good that guy – actually those twins – is/are involved.
What I found confirms what I thought: 80% of vagal nerve fibers are afferent (body to brain), while the remainder are efferent (brain to body). Said differently, most of the communication traveling through the vagus nerve is body-mind, not mind-body.
Essentially, the Vagus nerve reverses the flow of information — rather than orders flowing from your brain to your body, the nerve is instead taking some very strong suggestions from the body back to the brain.
Maybe I and many others like me are jumping to conclusion too quickly, but doesn’t this hint rather heavily at the mechanics of why it’s what we do that’s really important in terms of its physical impact, not what we think?
What we do with our bodies does matter, greatly, so why not choose to celebrate life daily and fill it with smiles, laughter, play, singing, dancing and many more creative expressions of aliveness just because we can?
- Why deep breathing matters, activates vagus nerve
- From decapitation to positive psychology: how one nerve connects body, brain and mind