NOURISH. RESTORE. TRAIN.
THE VAGUS PROTOCOL, DEVELOPED BY DR. SASHA HOPE AND DR. MIKE LYNCH, COMBINES THE MOST INTEGRATIVE HEALTH APPROACHES TO SUPPORTING THE VAGUS NERVE VIA THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION.
Our society is incredibly overstimulated. This means that our sympathetic nervous system is keeping us in “fight or flight” instead of allowing our parasympathetic nervous system to transition back into our natural “rest and digest” state. In “rest and digest”, our parasympathetic nervous system stimulates the proper functioning of all of our organs.
The protocol is divided into three critical pillars:
The nutrition component of this protocol includes the most nutrient dense foods and critical supplements to help support proper brain function and stimulate the vagus nerve.
This pillar includes the relaxation and alternative care practices that have been proven to support the parasympathetic nervous system and functioning of the vagus nerve.
The exercise pillar of this protocol includes the workouts best known to support balance of brain chemistry and of the nervous system for proper vagus nerve function.
THE TRUE ROOT CAUSE
Understanding fight or flight versus rest and digest.
Historically, when we humans were being hunted by a predator, our fight or flight response triggered the sympathetic nervous system, which decreased the functioning of our organs so that blood flow and function only increased in the muscles, allowing us to run away more effectively from that which threatened us. However, in our modern society, our chronic stressors, though they may no longer be a predator, trigger this same response in the body, decreasing all the body’s major functions from digestion to hormone production to cardiovascular function. So, when we live in this chronic fight or flight response, our bodies are never functioning optimally.
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The ADRENAL RESPONSE
The adrenal glads are responsible for pumping out cortisol in response to stress.
However, the adrenals are like “the little engine that could… that can’t any longer”. In cases of chronic stress or anxiety, such as vagal nerve dysfunction with the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive for an extended period of time, the adrenals lose their ability to produce cortisol. This causes adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion in many individuals, which typically results in chronic fatigue and sleep disturbances, such as insomnia.
THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION
Understanding how the vagus nerve relates to the microbiome.
The vagus nerve, also known as cranial nerve X, is the main nerve of your sympathetic nervous system and is the longest nerve in the body. This nerve connects your brain stem with the viscera of your intestines, functioning like a communication superhighway between your gut and your brain. So, not only does the vagus nerve allow the brain to send signals down to the gastrointestinal tract, but it also allows the commensal bacteria of the microbiome to send chemical signals back up to the brain, including the “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin. This contributes to why so many individuals with vagus nerve dysfunction experience mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, along with disruptions in gastrointestinal function.