Vagus Nerve Stimulation


The Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) consists of the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord. PNS is part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles. The parasympathetic nervous system, together with the sympathetic nervous system, constitutes the autonomic nervous system.

PNS allows the body to function in a “rest and digest” state. Consequently, when the parasympathetic system dominates the body, there are increases in salivation and activities in digestion, while heart rate and other sympathetic response decrease. This healing part of our autonomic nervous system and the “breaks” of the body.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Essentials

Vagal tone (HF) high-frequency is the main indicator of parasympathetic vagal nerve activity and vagal tone health. HF refers to the activity of the vagal nerve, the 10th cranial nerve and a key component of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. The vagus nerve initiates 80% of your body relaxation mode. When the sympathetic nervous system goes into over-drive survival mode with fight, flight, and freeze, it signals the HPA axis to release stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline into your body. Through internal support, the vagus nerve puts the brakes and says “Chill Out!”. People who have a stronger vagal tone can rest, recover, and restore much more quickly.

The vagus nerve is called the “wandering nerve” as the longest nerve in the body that travels down through the front of the body innervating vital organs for health and controls 80% of our parasympathetic response. As the “brakes” of the autonomic nervous system, the vagus nerve normalizes an elevated HPA axis, reducing the killer stress hormone cortisol and subsequent inflammation.

Decreased vagal activity or tone is associated with increased stress vulnerability and poor health.

Low values suggest sympathetic system predominance and a possibility of prolonged stress or physical activity. High-frequency parasympathetic health has an inverse relationship with a sympathetic stress..


Health benefits of enhanced vagal tone

  • Decreasing inflammation: The vagus nerve sends an anti-inflammatory signal to other parts of the body.
  • Reduced muscle tone: activating vagal tone reduces muscle tension and trigger point tenderness.
  • Improved circulation and lymph flow: The vagus nerve sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to dealing with stress, anxiety, and fear – hence the saying, “gut feeling.” These signals help a person to recover from stressful and scary situations.
  • Reduced pain: Reducing stress reduces pain, pretty simple.

Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Simulation

The concept of passive or active electrically stimulating the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN) is now gaining recognition in literature. (Barone L et al; 2007, De Couck M et al; 2012). Called - non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) - VNS has been reported to improve HRV (Constantinescu V et al., 2019, Levin C et al.) , activate the parasympathetic system, (Clancy JA et al., 2014) to reduce inflammation (Kaniusas et al., 2019), respiratory dysfunction (Tracey, 2007), and the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Tracey, 2007; Stavrakis et al., 2015),

Dolphin Vagus Nerve Stimulation activates Vagal Tone

Dolphin Vagal Nerve Stimulation has been proven in science to activate the parasympathetic system (Armstrong 2019), which reduces lung inflammation (Kaniusas 2019), and pro-inflammatory cytokines to improve respiratory dysfunction (Tracey, 2007).

Dolphin Vagal Stimulator Clinic Scenarios

  • PRE-MANUAL RELAXATION: Dolphin VNS may be applied pre-manual therapy to relax muscle tone & increase circulation.
  • PAIN THERAPY: Dolphin VNS can reduce both stress and pain in any hospital or clinical setting (applied in under 15 min/patient)
  • STRESS DE-ACTIVATION: Dolphin may be applied to or by front line worker preventatively to reduce stress and improve immunity and reduce COVID-19 infections risk

Dolphin VNS is a safe clinical procedure and could be an effective treatment for stress reduction & vagal tone enhancement.

Learn more about vagus nerve stimulation



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