The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve, and it plays a critical role in regulating vital organs in the body, such as the heart, gut, brain, and lungs. It is known as one of the master regulators of the “rest and digest” part of your autonomic nervous system (ANS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). This section of the nervous system supports restoration and is responsible for subconscious functions, such as breathing. In contrast, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), is the “fight and flee” aspect of the ANS. It keeps your body on guard and ready to defend against threats.
The polyvagal theory is an innovative approach which is based on the vagus nerve’s functions. It is the study of the nervous system responses when there are threats, real or perceived. It also evaluates how a sense of safety enhances healing. In a state of calmness and security, the mind and body can retain PNS balance and support growth, health, and nourishing social connections.
Why is this important to know?
One can end up feeling defeated, threatened, and isolated when they are suffering with chronic diseases that often are misunderstood. These include tick-born illnesses, autoimmune disorders, and/or mold exposure. This constant state of feeling hopeless can put the nervous system into a state of trauma. This can perpetuate a state of imbalance and dis-ease.
For these individuals, it is hard to find a doctor that is not only compassionate, but competent and effective, in alleviating their suffering and helping them to heal.
On the latest episode of the Essential Oil Revolution, I am joined by an incredible physician that has not only been proficient in personally mastering his own journey with Lyme disease and Babesiosis, but is also currently supporting thousands of others to live their life optimally. Dr. Thomas Moorcroft is not just relieving suffering, he is helping others thrive.
Dr. Moorcroft is a sought-after global leader and presenter on the topics of tick-born infections, mold illness, mast cell activation syndrome, and children with infection-induced autoimmune encephalitis (PANS/PANDAS). He has a unique way of blending natural approaches with conventional ones while holding with reverence the healing journey of his patients and honoring their innate capacity to heal.
In the show, Dr. Moorcroft and I discuss the importance of a mindset of hope for healing, why feeling safe is necessary for a positive shift to occur, and important ways one can nurture their vagus nerve to optimize their health. Dr. Tom also provides us with some important tips to consider when one has tick-born infections and other chronic diagnoses.
Importantly, we also weave in how essential oils are vagal nerve modulators. Through various mechanisms, these plant secondary metabolites can enhance our brain health, mood, and calm our reactive nervous system down.
Dr. Tom was very generous in his time, and it was such an honor to have him on the Essential Oil Revolution.
Below is an overview of some of the key points in the interview.
Yet, you will want to gift yourself the pleasure of listening to the full episode, so you don’t miss anything!
- How Dr. Tom’s healing journey of recovery from Lyme Disease and Babesiosis led him to become an osteopathic doctor who embodies the belief that we have an innate capacity to heal and are not victims of our disease labels.
- Why we need to merge physical healing with mindset and spirituality/purpose.
- The three states of the nervous system (ventral, sympathetic, and dorsal).
- How being in a dorsal state can negatively impact the body, especially the immune system and brain.
- What is the polyvagal theory and why it’s so important to understand if one wants to heal.
- The concept of hormesis in healing.
- The top three essential oils for supporting the vagus nerve based on research and my clinical practice.
- Dr. Tom’s heart coherence and breathing practices for putting one into a ventral state.
- The importance of daily acknowledging small gains and gratitude to further influence the ventral state. This can be enhanced by incorporating essential oils.
- The physiological and psychological blocks to the ventral state.
- How ketamine, oxytocin, and essential oils may help someone who is having a hard time getting out of the dorsal state.
- The importance of finding what brings you joy and following your own truth on your healing path.
- Tom’s definition of meditation that exemplifies his approach of self-compassion and personal empowerment.
- An example of essential oils that can be found within a “gratitude essential oil blend.”
- What essential oils may help with Lyme disease support.
- When not to use essential oils in Lyme disease.
- Dr. Tom’s essential oil DIY.
- Closing questions: What Dr. Tom does every day for his self-care and what he feels we should ditch and replace with instead to be healthier and more nourished.
Click here to listen to the show and access the show notes.
Click here for my show summary and additional resources.
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Find out more about Dr. Tom at http://www.originsofhealth.com/.
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Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.