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Have you heard of the Vagus Nerve? For such an important nerve, it is only starting to receive the acknowledgement it deserves.

Dr Camilla Cameron is the only Japanese Acupuncturist in Australia who is also trained in Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Camilla has undertaken 1000’s of treatments combining the power of Japanese Acupuncture and Vagus Nerve Stimulation. She has found such incredible success with this combination, that all of Camilla’s treatments now involve the combination of these powerful modalities.

An overview of the Vagus Nerve:

  • 10th cranial nerve and longest nerve in the body.
  • Connects the brain stem to many organs of the body, including heart, lungs, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, uterus, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, liver, ears and tongue.

How the vagus nerve can lose ‘tone’ and therefore cause a multitude of health issues:

The vagus nerve is negatively impacted by significant physical or emotional trauma and/or viral and bacterial infections. As you can imagine, many, many people have impaired vagus nerve function.

How Transcutaneous Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation works:

Transcutaneous = passing, entering, or made by penetration through the skin.
Auricular = of or relating to the ear.

The Vagus Nerve is stimulated by placing TENS machine clips on specific points within the ear that demonstrate Vagus Nerve innervation. Various settings can be used as diagnosed by a trained practitioner. These settings include:

  • Reduction in inflammatory response – used to reduce all symptoms of conditions associated with inflammation.
  • Regulation of intestinal tight junctions – used to to heal Leaky Gut, Crohn’s Disease and most other digestive conditions.
  • Reduction of neural inflammation – used to treat Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimer’s, Depression and Anxiety.
  • Regulation of Atrial Fibriallation

The TENS machine provides a gentle tapping sensation which is utilised for between 10-30mins. An experienced practitioner will find a pateint’s ‘sweet spot’ ie. the right setting or combinations of settings, for the correct amount of time. As with all treatments, every patient is different.

Health conditions Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation may help improve or resolve:

  • Depression + anxiety
  • Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • All digestive issues – including SIBO, Leaky gut, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin Resistance, general digestive issues, food intolerances
  • Chronic constipation
  • All types of inflammation, including:
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Headache
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Fertility delay
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • Painful periods
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Post-stroke
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia

Camilla’s Clinical Experience:

Over the last 20 years I have trained in so many different modalities but absolutely nothing compares to the benefits witnessed (personally and professionally) from the combination of Acupuncture + Vagus Nerve Stimulation. It is mind blowing and I could seriously bore you with the benefits.

My decision to study Vagus Nerve Stimulation began after experiencing its profound health benefits. In 2017 I contracted a serious case of Influenza A that my body could just not shake. Eighteen months on and my health was irreparably changed, no matter how much treatment I received, I never felt like ‘me’ again. Enter Vagus Nerve Stimulation. From the 2nd day after my first treatment I finally felt like myself again. It was from this point that training in Vagus Nerve Stimulation seemed an essential skills I needed to obtain. Having utilised this combination on almost all of my patients since, I have witnessed profound health improvements including:

  • Remission of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Remission of severe Ulcerative Colitis.
  • MANY successful pregnancies that appeared unlikely to occur naturally.
  • Significant reduction in many cases of chronic pain.
  • Reduced or eliminated Atrial Fibrillation.
  • Complete reduction in pain associated with endometriosis.
  • Reduction of Anxiety and Depression.
  • Significant reduction of IBS symptoms.
  • Complete reduction of heartburn and reflux.
  • Significant reduction in sinus and allergic rhinitis.
  • Reduction in asthma and eczema.
  • Significant general health improvements.

If you, or anyone else you know, is not seeing the changes they would like to see in their health, I cannot recommend this combination highly enough.

Research

Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (taVNS) has rapidly gained interest as a treatment for a variety of disorders. Medical research continues to increase, below are some of the medical research and findings to date. 

Depression & mental health research:

  • A nonrandomized controlled study conducted in 2016 concluded that: ‘Our results suggest that taVNS is a promising, safe, and cost-effective therapeutic method for mild and moderate MDD (Major depressive disorder)’. More information on this study.
  • In 2018 the data of four different studies was analysed and the following was concluded. ‘The results of the analysis preliminarily demonstrated that taVNS therapy can effectively ameliorate the symptoms of major depressive disorder, providing an alternative technique for addressing depression.’ More information on this data analysis.
  • In 2018 an article in the Front Psychiatry journal summarised the results of several clinical studies on the treatment effect of taVNS on depression and concluded: ‘In summary, taVNS can significantly reduce anxiety, sleep disturbance, and hopelessness symptoms in patients with depression. Current literature suggests that it may relieve the symptoms of MDD through multiple mechanisms.’ More information on this summary.
  • A European study conducted in 2008 concluded that ‘VNS therapy was effective in reducing severity of depression; efficacy increased over time.’ More information on this study.
  • A study conducted on primary insomnia in 2017 concluded: “The taVNS could not only relieve PI symptoms, but also improve the depressive and anxiety symptoms, in addition, it may have positive long-term efficacy and safety.’ More information on this study.

Digestion research:

  • An article published in 2019 summarised that: ‘Collectively, this highlights the potential of taVNS to modulate digestion by activating the dorsal vagal complex.’ More information on this article
  • A study of 36 patients in 2020 concluded that: ‘The noninvasive taVNS has a therapeutic potential for treating non-severe FD by improving gastric accommodation and gastric pace-making activity via enhancing vagal activity.’ FD = functional dyspepsia or recurring signs of indigestion. More information on this study.
  • A article published in 2016 found that: ‘These results provide the first evidence that VNS is feasible and appears as an effective tool in the treatment of active CD (Crohn’s disease). More information on this study.

Inflammatory disorder research:

  • A small study conducted in 2020 on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with musculoskeletal pain found that, ‘taVNS resulted in significantly reduced pain, fatigue and joint scores in SLE.’ More information on this study.
  • A 2021 study conducted on 70 migraine sufferers found that: ‘Of the 59 patients that finished the study, those in the taVNS group had significantly reduced number of migraine days, pain intensity and migraine attack times after 4 weeks of treatment compared with the sham taVNS.’ More information on this study.

Diabetes + pre-diabetic research:

  • In 2016 a study into the effectiveness of taVNS on improving glucose tolerance concluded the following impressive results: ‘Compared with sham taVNS, taVNS significantly reduced the two-hour glucose tolerance (F(2) = 5.79, p = 0.004). In addition, we found that taVNS significantly decreased (F(1) = 4.21, p = 0.044) systolic blood pressure over time compared with sham taVNS. Compared with the no-treatment control group, patients receiving taVNS significantly differed in measures of FPG (F(2) = 10.62, p < 0.001), 2hPG F(2) = 25.18, p < 0.001) and HbAlc (F(1) = 12.79, p = 0.001) over the course of the 12 week treatment period.’ More information on this study
  • A study conducted on rats in 2014 found ‘taVNS is antidiabetic and antidepressive.’ More information on this study.

Stroke research:

  • A study published in 2018 to investigate the effectiveness of taVNS in stroke recovery concluded the following: ‘This study revealed that taVNS appeared to be beneficial to the recovery of upper limb motor function in subacute ischemia stroke patients without obvious adverse effects.’ More information on this study.

Epilepsy research:

  • A study conducted in 2014 compared the benefits of taVNS vs surgically implanted VNS and concluded the following: ‘Similar to the therapeutic effect of VNS, ta-VNS can suppress epileptic seizures and is a safe, effective, economical, and widely applicable treatment option for drug-resistant epilepsy.’ More information on this study.
  • A 2013 study into the safety and efficacy of taVNS for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy recorded the following results: ‘The mean reduction in seizure frequency relative to baseline was 31.83% after week 8, 54.13% from week 9 to 16 and 54.21% from week 17 to the end of week 24. The responder rate was 28.57% after 8weeks, 53.85% from week 9 to 16 and 53.85% from week 17 to the end of week 24. No severe adverse events were reported during treatment.’ More information on this study
Treatment Time Cost Health fund code
Initial | VNS + Acupuncture 45 mins $150 103
Follow-up | VNS + Acupuncture 45 mins  $130 203

 

We are now offering at home Vagus Nerve stimulation.

Happy Healthy Clinic is proud to offer the world’s most comprehensive home self treatment option.  Our Vagus Nerve Stimulation pack contains everything you need to successfully treat your Vagus Nerve at home:

  A clear and concise guide to using your TENS machine, written by our founding Director, Dr Camilla Cameron | Japanese Acupuncturist & Vagus Nerve Stimulation clinician
  Fortress TENS machine
  The highest quality ear clips to ensure effective conductivity
  High quality ultrasound gel for effective, comfortable stimulation
  Your personal treatment protocol, written by Camilla
  Email support should you have any questions at all regarding your treatment

Treatment Time Cost Health fund code
New patients |  includes VNS machine   $495 possible rebate on TENS machine, please contact your health fund
Current patient | includes VNS machine   $250 as above
Follow up | Zoom consults 30 mins $150 n/a
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