A close up of a husky looking at the camera with one ear up and one ear back.

Ah the Vagus Nerves

Last week my (rescue) dog Luna freaked out when the fireworks started. She’s a Husky German Shepard mix. And when she barks it’s loud. And even though I’m used to it, I still jumped. And my heart started beating fast and loud. And suddenly we were both on high alert, even though there really was no danger.

I switched into down regulation mode. I slowed my out breaths, I wiggled my toes and felt into my feet and lower legs. And then I tuned in to my Vagus nerves, and did my craniosacral thing to settle my body.

Down regulating the Vagus nerves and the nervous system helps my body and mind experience safety and release stress responses.

The Vagus nerves basically play a part in controlling heart rate, breathing, even sweating and gut movements.

When I work with clients I often tune in to the Vagus to help to down regulate their whole body. I access it through the ears, the neck and gut. And I work on myself all the time too, sometimes when I start to meditate or before bed. Not just in stressful situations.

In moments like when the fireworks kicked off I was able to slow myself down, and that helped Luna slow down too. As I worked on her, her nervous system was able to match mine. After a minute she yawned. And stretched. And settled down on her bed. And we both went on with our evening.

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