Gentle Massage with Diaphragmatic breathing can indirectly stimulate your vagus nerve and help to relieve anxiety. Your vagus nerve is part of your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as “rest and digest” and can help you to feel more calm and relaxed if you are experiencing stress.
Your vagus nerve innervates several organs of your body, including your heart, lungs, diaphragm and digestive system. When you stimulate your vagus nerve, it can help to activate a relaxation response, slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure and leave you feeling more calm.
When we take slow, deep gentle breaths, and offer our heart a soft and soothing massage, this can help to stimulate your vagus nerve indirectly and activate your body’s relaxation response. Activating your vagus nerve and stimulating your parasympathetic response counteracts the sympathetic nervous system stress response, promotes relaxation and a more peaceful state, and regulates your emotions.