Swelling or Redness, which catches attention very easily helps us to locate any uneasiness or hidden trouble in our body. Swelling comes with an ache of that body part and if unnoticed it leads to the growth of other serious problems. Doctors suggest swelling can occur due to stress.To reduce that stress the body needs to relax so that it does not enter ‘fight or flight’ mode which would lead to swelling.
With each passing day due to numerous Researches we have medicine for almost every purpose and swelling counts under that category too. But another possible solution to fight swelling has been found out recently which indicates the involvement of vagus Nerve in it. With the inclusion of rumination in daily routine one can change the ‘vagal tone’ to fight swelling. Serious swelling pain also known as rheumatoid arthritis which can be cured by embedding a device for ‘Vagus Nerve Stimulation’.
Also known as the ‘migratory nerve’ vagus has its branches rooted all around our body starting from brain to lower abdomen and moving upwards to touch heart with other body organs. Otto Loewi, a German physiologist around 1921 found out that invigorating the vagus Nerve leads towards the release of vagus which lowers heart rate. This matter was actually acetylcholine, first discovered neurotransmitter.
Vagust works like a sedative which can be created in the body by inhaling deep breath and comparatively long exhales. It regulates the processes such as fight or flight, rest and digest; tend and befriend in body and maintains equilibrium.
Controlling the Gut Reactions
Change in the pattern of heartbeat while self invigorating acetylcholine is the symptom of a healthy vagal tone. Unhealthy or low vagal tone leads to serious problems of depression, sadness, low confidence, bad temper, heart related problems, swelling and stroke.
A report in ‘Psychological Science’ in the year 2010 reveals a study of vagus Nerve by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kok of University of North Carolinawhere they prove a two way reaction. A method known as Loving Kindness Meditation was used by them which helped the to bring about happy emotions and self confident attitude in the subjects which in turn improved vagal tone. Also improving positive relations with people around changed the vagal tone.
In ‘Psychology Today’ a report was published about how the negative emotions such as fear, danger alerts are sent to the brain. The study which was done in Switzerland revealed stress also affects other body functions which includes the production of cytokines, known as main agent to promote swelling. Cytokines according to laboratory reports promotes desolation nervousness, lack of enthusiasm.
Arthritis and its Relation with Vagus Nerve Stimulation:-
Rheumatoid Arthritis is one those common diseases that can be found among 1.3 billion people in United States. If the treatment cost is calculated, the number reaches not less than 10 billion dollars.
Neuro scientists made a research plan and located the Neuro circuitry that controls swelling. Through their research the found out the secretion of cytokines can be stopped by vagus Nerve actions. So according to the study if a device is embedded through surgery which invigorates the vagusNerve, would regulate and lower the cytokines level. Since there are other diseases related to swelling such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and Crohns, this small device may have involvement with their treatment too.
Conclusion: Solution with No Side Effects
Kevin J. Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research said that it is a significant progress which was unknown to scientists for so many years. Also he said that this process proves our nerves can build medicines to heal our body. VNS is a solution which is comparatively low cost with less side effects.