The vagus nerve, or the “wandering nerve,” is the primary nerve of your parasympathetic nervous system. This extraordinary nerve has a hand in controlling heart rate, digestion, and your immune system. These are autonomic functions, functions that occur voluntarily without conscious thought. The vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system run most if not all of your life support functions. As you can see from the image above, the vagus nerve wanders from your brain all the way down through your heart and into your gut.
It is the primary neural bridge between the brain and the gut. (Learn more about the Gut-Brain Axis here)
When the vagus nerve malfunctions diseases such as POTS, dysautonomia, and vasovagal syncope can occur.
An Atlas or C1 misalignment puts direct pressure on the vagus nerve and can significantly decrease vagal tone. This is one of the reasons why an Atlas correction isn’t just a structural neck adjustment but a neurological correction as well.
Keep your “wandering” nerve on track!