6 Things To Know About Vagus Nerve Stimulation From Xen by Neuvana

Published On - 28 September, 2022By Alina Butunoi

The brain is a marvelous creation and one of science’s greatest mysteries. It controls the functions of the body from muscle movement to thought processing and even emotion So it makes sense that if a part of the brain is stimulated, it will affect all kinds of things in the body. 

If you’ve ever suffered from a neurological disorder, you know how complicated the brain is. Scientists have recently discovered that vagus nerve stimulation can play a key role in managing neurological disorders like epilepsy, depression, and even the deficits caused by a stroke.

By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will understand how the vagus nerve works and what can result from a vagus nerve stimulation treatment and unit.

1. The Vagus Nerve is Key

To understand what vagus nerve stimulation can do for neurological disorders or pain management, you need to understand what the vagus nerve does. 

The vagus nerve carries signals from the organs and digestive system to the brain and back. This critical nerve is one of ten cranial nerves extending from the brainstem and down the neck, through the thorax, to the abdomen. Because of its long path, scientists often refer to the vagus nerve as the wanderer nerve.

Because the wandering nerve travels to every major organ in the body, it controls a variety of functions and communicates sensory information between organs and the brain.

It helps your body relax and regulates tension. You can amplify the function of the vagus nerve and thus help an individual recover more quickly from a stressful event.

2. Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Be Non-Invasive

Vagus nerve stimulation means a physician uses a unit to stimulate the nerve with electrical impulses. Your body has two vagus nerves, one on each side of your body.

This is the conventional route when a surgeon implants the unit under your skin on the chest and then threads a wire under the skin to connect the device to your left vagus nerve. When an app activates the device, it sends electrical signals through the nerve to your brainstem. The brainstem sends these signals to specific areas of the brain.

Typically surgeons don’t use the right vagus nerve because this nerve carries fibers that supply heart nerves.

There are now new, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation techniques. These do not require surgery. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently approved the expanded use of a device that stimulates the vagus nerve.

This unit can treat epilepsy, depression, pain, and even cluster headaches. Thus, vagus nerve stimulation does not have to be an invasive treatment. 

3. Vagus Stimulation Promotes Balance

Your brain is responsible for many functions, including balance. It makes sense then that brain training uses a brain stimulation unit that can help you regain balance.

Xen by Neuvana, the physician-invented brain stimulation unit can help patients regain their balance. Studies have shown that non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation can improve a patient’s quality of life.

Individuals in the study who underwent more than four weeks of treatment reported less severe vertigo attacks and exacerbations. Furthermore, these same individuals also reported a decrease in their postural sway path after stimulation. In short, the non-invasive stimulation helped them regain their balance.

Xen by Neuvana uses a specially designed earbud to send a calming, gentle electrical signal to the vagus nerve located in the ear. This signal stimulates the nerve and gives patients a better sense of balance than before they had the therapy.

4. Brain Therapy Can Control Seizures

While vagus nerve stimulation does not cure epilepsy, designers created it to help control the seizures that epilepsy cause. This deep brain stimulation unit has been proven to decrease seizures by as much as 25 percent after the first 3 months of therapy.

The numbers only increase after more years of treatment have passed. Thus the more treatment a patient has over some time, the more they see their seizures decrease.

Additionally, vagus nerve stimulation therapy has shortened the recovery time after seizures, improved the quality of life for individuals with seizure disorders, and given people, in general, more hope. They have less fear and anxiety because this treatment has worked so well.

5. Vagus Nerve Stimulation Can Help You Breathe

Vagus nerve stimulation has also helped individuals breathe better. Those individuals with breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea have found relief with vagus nerve stimulation.

Individuals with VNS therapy have even experienced better deep sleep, thus waking up more refreshed and ready to live a better quality of life.

6. It Helps With Depression

Vagus nerve stimulation therapy has even found its place in helping individuals with depression. Studies have shown that vagus nerve stimulation therapy has its place specifically for individuals that have tried multiple other avenues to alleviate their depression.

It’s specifically helpful for patients with severe unipolar and bipolar affective disorders. Doctors look at VNS as a complement to psychotherapy and pharmaceutical methods of treatment. Ultimately, it gives patients with depression an additional option for this debilitating neurological disorder.

Qualifiers

Because vagus nerve stimulation is essentially a form of putting electricity into your brain, not everyone is the ideal candidate. There are a few conditions that could disqualify you from VNS:

  • Pregnancy
  • Active peptic ulcer disease
  • Having only one vagus nerve
  • Dysautonomias, or an abnormal automatic nervous system
  • Heart abnormalities
  • History of delusional disorders or schizophrenia

Furthermore, if you have ever had other forms of brain stimulation or have had surgery on a part of your neck involving your vagus nerve, you should not seek vagus nerve stimulation therapy.

Try Vagus Nerve Stimulation

If you’re suffering from balance problems, seizures, neurological disorders, or other brain issues, look into vagus nerve stimulation. This non-invasive treatment is showing promise. It has helped countless people with their problems for a fraction of the cost of other treatments that come with uncomfortable side effects.

Are you curious about vagus nerve stimulation? If so, contact us today and book an appointment. We can help you find a treatment that works for you.

About Author

Alina Butunoi

Alina Butunoi is one of Ottawa’s most respected massage therapists and exercise therapy coaches. A previous nominee for the Ottawa 40 Under 40 business leaders, she is also a certified Movement Neurology Specialist with Z-Health, a cutting-edge neuro-exercise system that helps improve health, alleviate pain and maximize athletic performance.

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