No, I’m not talking about Sin City. I’m talking about the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve might be the single most fascinating nerve in the human body. Greek for “wanderer.” the vagus nerve got its name due to being our longest nerve and the path it takes “wandering” around the body. The vagus nerve is the chief mediator of the visceral organs (heart, lungs, reproductive and digestive) and of the parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve’s main job is to send information to the brain about what is going on in the body; in fact 80-90% of this nerve is dedicated to this purpose. For numerous reasons the vagus nerve can start to function sub-optimally. Unfortunately, unlike the city, problems in vagus don’t stay in vagus, they affect the entire system. Inflammation in the gut leads to inflammation in the brain via the vagus nerve and vice versa. Misalignments or fixations (subluxations) in the spine irritating the vagus nerve can have widespread effects. You hear us talking a lot about how adjustments to certain areas of the spine can stimulate the vagus nerve to kick on the parasympathetic nerve system and break up our stressful “fight or flight” physiology. The vagus nerve is also the reason we believe many digestive, respiratory and cardiac issues get better as a byproduct of correcting subluxations. There is a major relay station in the upper neck called the “Nucleus Tractus Solitarius” (NTS) (use that at your next dinner party) that connects the positional sensors around the top bones of the neck to the vagus nerve and the visceral organs. By adjusting a subluxation in this area we can stimulate and “reset” the abnormally functioning nerve, so to speak. Pretty neat right?