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 (Acupuncturist) is the only Japanese Acupuncturist in Australia who is also trained in non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Camilla has undertaken over 5000 Japanese Acupuncture combined with non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation (nVNS) treatments.
Every treatment Camilla conducts combines Vagus Nerve Stimulation with Japanese Acupuncture unless this is contraindicated (for example, patients with a Pacemaker cannot receive VNS).
What is the Vagus Nerve?
The Vagus Nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and longest nerve in the body. It contains both motor and sensory functions. Vagus is the latin word for wandering. The Vagus Nerve wanders throughout your body, connecting the brainstem to many organ systems and regions of the body including:
- large intestine
- small intestine
- gall bladder
The Vagus Nerve is the link between the gut and the brain in the ‘gut-brain-connection’.
How the vagus nerve can lose ‘tone’ and therefore cause a multitude of health issues:
For such an important nerve, the Vagus Nerve is quite sensitive. Many influences can negatively impact its function. In some cases, these influences can eventually or suddenly lead to Vagus Nerve Dysfunction. Such influences include:
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Significant emotional trauma
- Significant physical trauma
- Some surgeries
- Negative reaction to medication/s
Symptoms of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction
The presentation of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction is broad and diverse and effects individuals in varying ways. Medical research surrounding the symptoms of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction continue to increase, currently the studies are small and do not meet the standards to demonstrate proof.
Symptoms that may involve dysfunction of the Vagus Nerve, but have yet to be proven through in-depth research studies, may include the following:
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of gag reflex
- Overactive gag reflex
- Low blood pressure
- Slow heart rate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Acid reflux
- Poor blood sugar regulation
- Chronic inflammation
- Loss of appetite
How non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation works:
At Happy Healthy Clinic we utilise the transcutaneous auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation (taVNS) method to stimulate the Vagus Nerve non-invasively.
- Transcutaneous = passing, entering or made by penetration through the skin. In the case of taVNS clips are placed on the ear that then stimulated through a TENS machine. The TENS provides a very small electrical current, this electrical current is considered to be ‘penetrating’ the skin.
- Auricular = relating to the ear
- Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) = refers to any technique that stimulates the vagus nerve, including manual or electrical stimulation
At Happy Healthy Clinic we effectively stimulate and tone the VN through the use of a TENS machine
- Two ear clips are placed in each ear, on high Vagus Nerve innervation points.
- The clips are then attached to a TENS machine which delivers a mild electrical current to these points. This mild electrical current provides stimulation to the nerve which helps to ‘tonify’ or re-invigorate the dysfunctional Vagus Nerve.
- The sensation of the TENS machine is similar to a pleasant tapping sensation. Different settings provide different sensations. Some settings are a more definite tap, while others can feel more like a tingling or fast tapping sensation.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation should always feel pleasant
Preliminary taVNS data:
Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (taVNS) has rapidly gained interest as a treatment for a variety of disorders.
Medical research continues to increase, currently the studies are small and do not meet the standards to demonstrate proof. Many pilot, or small scale studies have been undertaken, as well as meta-analysis reviews. As these studies do not meet the AHPRA standard of proof, we cannot publish these on this website. However, many studies can be found using google and pubmed search engines.
|Health fund code
|Initial | VNS + Acupuncture
|Follow-up | VNS + Acupuncture
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