Black woman with eczema on arm in lunge position holding arms about head with a pattern resembling nerves around her. Yoga, exercise, calming, unwind, unwinding, movement, yogic pose Female, adult, POC

How Working With the Vagus Nerve Helps My Eczema

Last updated: April 2023

Naturally, when we have any kind of health condition, at some point, we have to decide whether we want to fight for our health and take control, or simply leave it up to chance.

When we start learning about different natural healing modalities, it can understandably get quite overwhelming. There are so many different healing methods and new things to learn, especially when we start to work on both the internal and external.

One of the things that interested me when I started doing trauma work, especially, and what I kept hearing about was the vagus nerve. Of course, like most people, I really didn’t know much about it.

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It is responsible for many different bodily functions – mostly involuntary ones. Some of these include breathing, swallowing, gut health and digestion, and speaking.1

It is the largest cranial nerve and the main nerve in the sympathetic nervous system. It has an enormous and incredibly vital role in sending messages between the mind and the body.1

Why is stimulating the nerve important?

When the vagus nerve isn’t functioning properly, it can cause all kinds of disruptions to the body, potentially even leading to disease. When we look into the vagus nerve, it’s incredible how many functions in the body it is connected to.1,2

I believe working with this nerve can be incredibly helpful in conjunction with other healthcare methods. It has made quite a big difference for me personally. This is particularly true when I am dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety, which is typically my biggest trigger.

Learning how to manage stress better, especially as someone who has been in fight or flight mode for what seems like the majority of my life, is essential to my overall well-being. Of course, this includes preventing and managing TSW and eczema flare-ups.

How can you improve vagal tone?

There are many things we can do to stimulate the vagus nerve and improve vagal tone. Some of these include humming, singing, mindful breathing, meditation, as well as many different simple exercises.2

I personally learned most of these on YouTube on my own. But as with anything else, be mindful of your own condition and make sure you do what is right for you. Always consult with your doctor or team before trying anything new.

What do I do to reduce stress for my eczema?

For me personally, using different healing methods in combination has helped me a lot. Of course, the physical is incredibly important – especially avoiding allergens and triggers, managing diet, and such. However, I do believe we have to consider all aspects of the body.

I personally use therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation, EFT (tapping) sometimes, life coaching, yoga, and vagus exercises, among other things, to continue managing my stress. In turn, this helps reduce inflammation as well. All of this allows my body to heal quicker even when I do go through a flare-up.2

I am very much a “take what resonates and leave the rest” kind of person. So, I take bits from all these different methods that resonate with me personally and use them in tandem with each other. If something doesn’t feel right in my body, then I simply won’t use it. However, in this case, I do feel learning some exercises and methods of stimulating the vagus nerve has helped me in many ways.

How often do I do these exercises?

I don’t necessarily do these exercises regularly, if I'm completely honest. However, if nothing else, it is part of my ever-growing toolbox. And I do believe it’s important for all of us with eczema and other health conditions to have an extensive one.

After all, we know our bodies best, and by trying different things we learn what works for us and what doesn’t. And that in itself is priceless.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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