Vagal Reset Exercise

by Nikki Jongedyk – Remedial Massage Therapist


This is a subtle exercise designed to stimulate your vagal tone and promote relaxation. Start this exercise by lying down so your body is more likely to relax. You can work towards performing the exercise seated as you become more familiar with the process.

With your head in a neutral position, turn your head 45 degrees to the left then look to the top left corner of the room. If your eyes are straining, shift your head up slightly with your gaze.

Keep your gaze there until you feel a cough, swallow, croak in the throat, etc. It’s different for each person what they feel and how long this takes (i.e., sometimes it can be 2 seconds, sometimes 20 minutes). Each time will vary depending on how your body is feeling at the time.

Once you feel the stimulation in your throat, move your head back to neutral and then change to the right side. Turn your head 45 degrees to the right, then look up to the top right corner of the room. If your eyes are straining too much, you can shift your head with the gaze of your eyes. Remember your gaze is vital for this exercise.

You can perform this exercise at any time when you feel you need a reset. Your vagal nerve may already be in the reset phase, so you may not feel the change in your body every time you do this exercise.



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