Vagus Nerve Acupuncture for Dysautonomia / POTS Relief
The Vagus nerve point is one of the most potent acupuncture points to use when treating people who have the challenge of managing dysautonomia and is therefore included in our acupuncture POTS protocol. The Vagus nerve is the longest, cranial “wandering” nerve that covers the heart and innervates most major organs, impacting the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, respiratory, and digestive systems. The Vagus nerve also impacts the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
In the case of dysautonomia, a few of the major complications are gastroparesis accompanied by intense pain and vomiting, bradycardia, syncope or fainting, and inability to sweat. Gastroparesis is the result of underactive vagus nerve activity, with delayed gastric emptying and inhibited peristalsis – or the inability to digest food and its’ nutrients, necessary to live. At the same time, an overactive vagus nerve can cause an abnormally low heart rate and fainting, or vasovagal syncope due to a sudden drop in cardiac output.
Whether the vagus nerve is hypo or hyper aroused, both in the case of dysautonomia, treating the vagus nerve acupuncture point encourages the body toward homeostasis and efficient function. Since the body has a natural tendency toward maintaining homeostasis and optimal functioning for survival, vagal nerve stimulation, via acupuncture, communicates the appropriate need for increasing or subduing vagal nerve function.
The Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture, in particular, reminds the body how to heal itself. Acupuncture is clinical medicine that treats illness, disease, pain and inflammation and it encourages the maintenance of our homeostasis or balance. For example, the same acupoint can be treated for either high or low blood pressure and the body will adjust accordingly to establish that happy 120/80 range. Same with a fever or a hot flash – treating a certain acupuncture point can drop body temperature in order to recuperate our perfect 98.6-degree F.
Summary About the Vagus Nerve
Acupuncture can help to establish proper Vagal tone, which seems imperative when managing dysautonomia, POTS, and many of the debilitating side effects of the disease. People with dysautonomia have common symptoms from the disease, yet, are also navigating very individual complications. The beauty of acupuncture is that it is a catalyst for the body to do what it needs to do, according to each individual’s necessary health requirements. Including the Vagus nerve acupuncture point in a patient’s customized acupuncture treatment plan, should be of serious consideration - for the benefit of a person’s quality of life… Isn’t that the Point?:)
Sarah Newman Kalb, Acupuncture physician, MAOM @ Vitality Acupuncture LLC in Gulf Breeze, FL
For me, it made the colors brighter. I stepped outside into a gray & wintery day in Vermont, and the colors were bright.
I had just had my very first acupuncture treatment, (actually, to treat some pretty bad asthma from bronchitis that I’d had for months), and it was already coloring my world.
Being a 3000 year old medicine, acupuncture has helped many people with many different conditions. It is well known to be effective for pain alleviation, less well known, yet just as effective at treating chronic diseases and symptoms, and the most studied and applied efficient medical treatment focusing on how women’s bodies function and flourish. The reason for Chinese medicine being credited for treating women so effectively goes back in history to the desire for Chinese people to have sons born into the family, in order to run their farmland. The Chinese studied women’s health; the reproductive cycles, their hormones, what altered their hormones, the mind-body-spiritual & emotional connection, at all stages of each woman’s lifetime.
Throughout my years of acupuncture practice, I can honestly say that acupuncture makes people feel better. It helps people to get healthier, and it strengthens from the inside out. Often, people feel a bit different after their very first treatment – more relaxed, usually. After a few consecutive acupuncture treatments, people notice a slight difference in the way they perceive things and react to people or situations – a slight internal shift is noticed. And, as the acupuncture treatments build on one another, a gradual strength builds within and people start feeling more accepting of them self, behave kinder toward them self, and they make better choices for themselves. Acupuncture helps to bring balance to the person on physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual levels.
And I have noticed what acupuncture has done for the people who have invested in their health with regular treatments: acupuncture nourishes confidence.
People usually seek acupuncture for a specific health problem (as I had with my asthma), and because acupuncture treats thewhole person, it is therefore, very effective at allowing the body to provide what the person is in need of. Whether it be pain relief, hormone balance, less stress & anxiety, and even brighter colors in their world.
Oh – and that first treatment for that debilitating (kind that takes a 4 mile a day runner at the age of 20, and makes her pause to grab the stair rail just to suck wind) asthma? Well, by the time I had walked to my car across the road, I noticed I was breathing 80% better than in when I had walked in to the acupuncture office.
Sarah practices Vitality Acupuncture at Signature Wellness, and is an advocate for gentle, natural, and whole healing for each individual to experience their best self and a better life. Sarah holds a dual master’s in Acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture in Boston. Get in touch with Vitality @ (850)736-4325 or email: Sarah@VitalityAcupuncture.Net