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Vagus Nerve, Vagal Tone and Your Chakra System

The health of your vagus nerve is key to your physical and mental resilience. The vagus nerve loses its resilience when we become stuck in the emotions of an experience (Dr. Stephen Porges). The problem isn’t the actual events, but how we hold the emotional residue in our bodies, in our chakra centres and in particular, in the vagus nerve. When your chakras are blocked, your vagal tone is unhealthy. Your elegant chakra system provides a clear map to where you are blocked.

Your chakra system and vagus nerve are in the same channel. Nature is smart and organized, and so are you. Being taught that we are not part of nature, and that we need something outside of us to fix us; has limited our understanding of how we can change. You don’t have to be controlled by your body and mind. You have the power to tell them what you want to do. The vagus nerve plays a central role in both emotional and physical health, beginning its reach between the first and second chakras. There are seven main chakras, and they all correspond physiologically to the human nervous system along the vagus nerve as well as the location of our glands and our seven main nerve ganglia of the spinal column. Keeping your chakra system healthy keeps your vagus nerve healthy.

The way energy is flowing (or not) through your chakra system impacts every area of your life. Your lower three chakras hold the key to your emotions. When you clear your chakras, you release the patterns that keep you stuck, helping you reconnect with the wisdom of your body so you can feel your instincts and your intuition, and update your emotional intelligence and vagal health.

If you have negative patterns that weave in and out of your life: negativity, family, money issues, weight issues or eating disorders you may be stuck in your ROOT CHAKRA. The family you were raised in deeply affect this chakra. Emotions about finances, family, and food are all held in this chakra.

If you hold a lot of secret rage, depression, moodiness, exhaustion or if you have trouble speaking up for yourself, you may be stuck in your SACRAL CHAKRA. This feminine energy centre is your emotional and pleasure centre. Negative past sexual or childbirth experiences can inhibit this powerful energy centre.

If you have difficulty with self-confidence, self-esteem and personal power, you may be stuck in your SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA. If you feel you need to control situations or people, or you’re fearful (especially if the fear releases as anger) this can block your instincts and ability to take the action you know you need to take.

If you are a shallow breather, your vagal tone is LOW. Deep slow breathing is the single most important thing you can change to have healthy vagus nerve tone.

The important thing to remember is to do more of what creates a positive vagal tone. The best way of measuring vagal tone is with a Heart Rate Variability (HRV) test. This isn’t the same as heart rate. HRV measures the time between consecutive heartbeats (in milliseconds). While resting heart rate is best when it’s low (fifty to seventy beats per minute), you want your HRV to be high. A high HRV indicates more adaptability.

When you stimulate the vagus nerve, you’re sending a message to your body that it’s time to relax and de-stress. This, in turn, leads to long-term improvements in mood, well-being, and resilience. Yes, you can train your vagus nerve!

Here are twenty activities that positively stimulate your vagus nerve:

Secret Squeeze

Deep breathing

Calming breath





Splashing cold water on your face

Cold showers

Cleansing breath


Positive social connection

Twenty-second hugs

Laughter (full belly laughter!)

Spoken prayer

Neck massages


Tai Chi


Power breath

The vagus nerve is your longest cranial nerve. It is bi-directional, extending to and from the brainstem into your stomach and intestines, innervating many organs including your heart and lungs, as well as your throat and facial muscles. It is involved in speech, swallowing, eye contact, and facial expressions. It affects everything you do. Ninety percent of the vagus nerve is dedicated to sending gut information to your brain. Think about the stress you feel in your gut when something upsetting occurs. That’s the vagus nerve at work.

In 1921, German-born pharmacologist and psychobiologist Otto Loewi discovered the vagus nerve released a calming, tranquillizer-like substance directly into the cardiac muscle cell synapses, which slowed the heart rate. This is acetylcholine, the first neurotransmitter ever discovered. Habitual, shallow breathing weakens the vagus nerve. A healthy vagus nerve will speed up your heart when you sense danger, shaking it off when danger is no longer present.

The elegant chakra system provides a clear map to getting unstuck from the emotions that lower your vagal tone and harm your health. Mastering yourself is not achieved in isolated practices. The real magic happens when you understand yourself as a whole synergistic system: Your whole is greater than the sum of your parts.

If you want help to identify and release the areas where your chakras are blocked, click here! XO Celia


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