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Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor & Detroit / Wayne County Michigan

Tone Vagus Nerve to Aid Digestion

Dr. Kyle Waller, who specializes in functional neurology and chiropractic adjustments at the Michigan Family Wellness Clinic, promotes three ways to stimulate the vagus nerve and use functional neurology for improved digestion. The vagus nerve is responsible for controlling digestion and plays a significant role in our parasympathetic nervous system. He says, “In the same way you can exercise your skeletal muscles, you can also ‘exercise’ your vagus nerve to improve digestion and gut function.”

1. Fill an eight-ounce glass of water, take a sip, tilt the head back and gargle aggressively for 10 seconds. Spit the water out and repeat this process until the entire glass of water is empty. Repeat every day for several weeks.

2. The gag reflex is like doing push-ups for the vagus nerve. Don’t do this after a meal, but in-between. Take a spoon and lightly depress the back of the tongue to initiate the gag reflex. Repeat this four to six times. Like exercising skeletal muscles, repetition and consistency is key. Repeat every day for several weeks.

3. Chiropractic adjustments are beneficial for increasing vagal tone and parasympathetic function. The vagus nerve emerges from the mid-brain, so cervical (neck) spine adjustments are helpful and relaxing, which also helps the function of the vagus nerve.

Location: 2200 N. Canton Center Rd., Ste. 150. Canton. For appointments and more information, call 734-335-0533 or visit