transcutaneous/ transauricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation tVNS / aVNS
tVNS is selective, non-invasive access to vagus nerve with a low risk profile. The Vagus nerve that supplies many vital organs innervates a small area of the conch of the outer ear. A gentle stimulation of that skin produces changes in the brain activity.
tVNS is used in many conditions such as:
Treatment and prevention of primary headaches
Anxiety- social anxiety, generalised anxiety
Stimulation of the skin of the conch of the ear causes the release of Serotonin (Calmness, confidence) and nor epinerphine ( alertness / energy). The emotional brain connectivity is lowered to get less stimuli leading to lowered anxiety and panic ( fight /flight response).
Vagus nerve is associated with creativity and divergent thinking and vagus nerve stimulation releases GABA ( a neuro transmitter) involved in creativity and divergent thinking ( lateral, out of box thinking, creative problem solving, idea selection task)
tVNS improves the functional connectivity within the brain leading to self awareness and a better self image .
tVNS improves Heart Rate Variablity (HRV) and reduces stress response ( adrenaline, fight or flight) and increases rest, calm, peaceful response ( rest, digest, attend and befriend).
Vagus activity is related to better health outcomes in many conditions including heart disease, high BP. The life becomes less stressful and more relaxed.