“The vagus nerve stems from the brain and connects to the heart, lungs, and the gut,” explains integrative and functional dietitian Nour Zibdeh, M.S., RDN in a recent Instagram post. “It’s responsible for sending messages from the brain to these organs and also receiving messages from the gut back to the brain.”
When your vagus nerve messages are suboptimal, you may experience gut issues–more specifically, gas and bloating alongside a range of other side effects.
“It’s very important because it turns on the parasympathetic nervous system or our rest and digest response,” explains Zibdeh. “And without that we cannot digest, we cannot produce enzymes and the muscles in the small intestine don’t contract properly.”
But just because your gut is unhappy right now doesn’t mean you’re stuck in that feeling, and there are several natural, at home methods you can employ to stimulate your vagus nerve and effectively soothe your belly. Zibdeh lays out her top 10 tips within her Instagram caption, but here are our four favorites: