Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg [Book Summary – Review]

Do you remember the most recent stressful moment of yours? Was it the previous week or month? Perhaps just a few hours ago today? Or perhaps, similar to most people, you are frequently worried and cannot figure out when you were relaxed without thinking about yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The expert craniosacral therapist Stanley Rosenberg grasps. At his office in Copenhagen, throughout the years, he has encountered numerous cases of chronic stress. Maybe you know the signs as well: insomnia, misery, worry, getting fat, losing fat, becoming anti-social, and bruxism.

Fortunately, Stanley observed these symptoms and found the root cause of them: the vagus nerve. Happy news? He figured out the method to cure them in the house.

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Chapter 1 – Well-functioning cranial nerves are very significant for good “social engagement”.

You likely remember your most recent stressful time. However, do you remember the most recent time you were not stressed out? Perhaps a time with a friend to have some drink and food together. Perhaps a time with your spouse or your family walking. Likely, you were not feeling any intimidation or hazard, and your body and soul were relaxed.

What is named “social engagement” by Stanley is exactly this condition. In this condition, our bodies and souls relax and heal. Furthermore, we appreciate the close relationships and develop sentimental bonds with our loved ones. How to reach this condition? It is all contingent on one very important part of our nerve structure: the cranial nerves.

A human has 12 cranial nerves that attach our organs and muscles with the brain via little gaps on the cranium. The most lengthy of our nerves is the vagus nerve.

Let’s look at the bigger picture before going through details about the vagus nerve. The main purpose of our nerve structure is very basic: retaining our body functioning. All of the 12 cranial nerves have a distinct function through this purpose. As one can reason, many of these nerves assist us to search, eat and digest what we eat. The number nine of these nerves, CN IX, is also among those that help this goal. The goal of this nerve is to sense the flavors and gulping down.

However, material necessities such as water and food do not meet all the essentials for us to be alive. We also need lively sentimental relationships, and we fulfill this with “social engagement”. Social engagement, alone, is attached to five very important cranial nerves. If there is malfunctioning in one of them, this prevents us from social affairs and blocks our developmental achievements.

To better exemplify this part, we should observe the spinal sympathetic nerve structure. This structure releases our “fight-or-flight” behavior when this pack of spinal and cranial nerves is switched on. If we encounter a lion that is just to attack, we can pay tribute to this structure since it enables us to prepare for running away or fighting. However, when the “fight-or-flight” behavior is released because of pressures at the workplace, we become anxious or offensive, and not preferred to interact with.

We explained some of the aspects of how cranial nerves manage our days. In the following section, we will talk about how they have evolved.

Chapter 2 – The Polyvagal Theory tells us that we have five viable arrangements for our nerve structures.

The cranial nerves are not the same as each other, for example, not when social engagement is considered. Considering sentimental bonds, a cranial nerve comes forward: the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve runs from the root of the brain downwards to the chest and all down to the abdomen. It is not weird for this nerve to have the Latin name “vagus”, which means “wanderer”.

Previously, we were believing that just two conditions existed for our nerve structure: stressed, or relaxed. This was caused by the thought that the vagus nerve was a sole unit. One theory from a psychiatrist altered our beliefs. The Polyvagal Theory of Cue Stephen Porges.

Porges, with this theory, make our grasp of the vagus nerve more complex. The hypothesis of him is that the vagus nerve is not a sole unit but has two ramifications: the dorsal/ rear, and the ventral/ front.

He explicates more: There are not only two conditions of the nerve structure, but there are five.

In the above lines, we have encountered the initial two of the nerve structures. Number one is social engagement’s condition of being comfortable in which our nerve structure does not sense any threat. The second condition is the “fight-or-flight” behavior which occurs at the times of activated spinal sympathetic structure. This is named “mobilization with fear”.

Number three is named “immobilization with fear”. When we cannot move to save our left assets because of seeing an ultra threat, this condition occurs naturally. In this condition, the blood pressure decreases, the rear (dorsal) vagus nerve starts to function, and muscles relax.

The number four condition happens when the two ramifications of the vagus nerve (dorsal and ventral vagus) are triggered at the same time. This condition is named “immobilization without fear”, it disseminates security and sincerity feelings and stimulates actions such as hugging.

The number five and the last condition is named “mobilization without fear”. For this condition, the “fight-or-flight” response should be integrated with the pull of the ventral vagus, generally releasing a feeling of amicable rivalry.

Generally, people stick to the continuous conditions of “mobilization” or “immobilization with fear”. However, Rosenberg constructed an easy therapy for curing both continuous conditions. In the following, we will discover more.

Chapter 3 – To make your health better, your ventral vagus can be triggered.

When your nerve structure cannot move from the fear condition, it can damage the health of your body and soul.

Sometimes, the dorsal vagus nerve can be extremely active that it even responds to threats that are not existing. If this is the situation, people cannot move with fear. When this repeats frequently, people feel powerless, exhausted, and a heaviness.

We observe such issues also when the “fight-or-flight” condition is extremely active. The fight-or-flight response causes an extreme increase in blood pressure and heart rate. We get additional oxygen and your liver throws additional sugar into our blood for obtaining energy quickly. At that time, this may disturb us, and when it repeats, we feel tired.

The solution for fighting with these destructive continuous conditions? We should trigger our ventral vagus nerve, as Rosenberg states.

Initially starting as a body therapist, Stanley was craniosacral massaging his clients, a kind of cure that involves touching clients’ skulls lightly. The Polyvagal Theory approved lots of things he grasped throughout the years, encountering numerous cases in his Copenhagen health center. He started to create basic cures to govern clients’ nerve structures by utilizing the craniosacral massage together with this theory.

One cure he created is a basic procedure that can be done in two minutes, and one can learn and apply it quickly. By looking at the clients’ throughput, he discovered that this cure works in triggering the ventral vagus. Clients with diverse complaints have observed a discernable advancement in their well-being, professional lives, and affairs with other people.

In advance of applying this cure, he should diagnose a malfunctioning in the ventral vagus nerve. The basic check for the diagnosis will not be unknown to people who had ever seen a doctor. Opening up the mouth and saying “Ah” are the things he wants from the patients.

With this movement of clients, he looks at the uvula, the light bulb-shaped matter inside the mouth swinging down at the back, as well as the surroundings of this matter, the soft-tissue arches. The saying “Ah-ah-ah” should raise the arches. If it is raising asymmetrically, he understands that the ventral vagus nerve is malfunctioning. After seeing a malfunctioning, he decides to apply the easy, quick cure.

In the following, we will learn about this cure.

Chapter 4 – It is simple to apply Stanley’s “Basic Exercise” by oneself.

Let’s do it! We will discover Stanley’s basic, quick practice to trigger the ventral vagus nerve. This practice is named, simply, the “Basic Exercise”.

Do not underestimate it since it is basic, it truly triggers the ventral vagus nerve that boosts cordial relationships. Furthermore, this practice boosts movements in the neck and backbone and raises the running of blood to the root of the brain where the cranial nerves are based on.

To observe the influence, initial to and at the finish of the practice, turn the head and neck to the right-hand side and the left-hand side. An enhanced extent of motion will be observed.

The “Basic Exercise” is as follows: Initially, lay on your back. When you have mastered it, you can apply it without laying down; however, initiate by laying on your back. Put your fingers together before you. Put your hands to the back of your hand, give the weight of your skull to your hands. Sense your skull’s stiffness with your hand and on your head, sense your fingers.

Without moving your head, only with your eyes look at the right-hand side, to the furthest place you can. Hold your head still for certain. You will observe that you will gulp, yawn, or inhale deeply, when thirty or sixty seconds have passed. This is an indication of relief. Look to the middle, and move your eyes to the left-hand side. Keep it like this and finish when relief comes. 

Yes, this is how we apply the exercise!

What? How could this basic exercise work? Two main things cause this. Firstly, laying down and giving the head’s heaviness to the hands relieve the muscles in the neck sufficiently for aligning the two significant vertebrae, and this decreases the stress on the cranial nerves. Secondly, looking with only eyes to the left or right triggers the eight tiny muscles at the root of the cranium, named suboccipital muscles. These can be felt by putting your hand to the back of your neck, just below the bottom part of the cranium. Look around and you will feel a tiny motion below your hands.

Although it is very basic, with this practice, it is possible to cure several very complex diagnoses. In the following lines, we will discuss these.

Chapter 5 – Basic Exercise can be used to cure indications of extreme bodily impairments.

Medicines and operations are substantial activities. This is clear when we think of the frequency of prescription and suggestion of these by Western doctors. Only in the USA, annually, 500,000 people need to have back surgery, although there is no evidence that these surgeries are influential over time.

If the effect of nerve structure, especially the vagus nerve, on the well-being of the body would be the focus of the doctors, this situation would be different. With his exercise, Rosenberg discovered that assisting the ventral vagus nerve to work well decreases the seriousness of illnesses, and the requirement of medicines and surgeries would drop with this. However, you should still ask your medical expert before quitting your prescribed drugs.

The bodily impairment that is one of the most exhaustive and seen most widely is COPD, in other words, “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. This influences 329 million, around five percent of the whole. In the world, COPD was the number three reason for death in 2012, following heart disease and cancer.

The most extreme issues that Rosenberg encountered were also suffering from COPD.

At his medical center in Copenhagen, one day, he observed that his following client was struggling to breathe properly at the time of deplaning. His clinic is just a flight above the bottom line. This client was at the age of 44 and was so exhausted from taking one step at a staircase without giving a break to breathe, although he had been exercising, and in good health before.

Finally, he could breathe properly so that Rosenberg could examine the client’s uvula to see how the ventral vagus nerve operates. He applied the Basic Exercise. Breathing was improved. In the end, he made little touches to the stomach and esophagus to improve the hernia he doubted and wanted the client to take the staircase.

Now, he could take four flights and land non-stop.

The client’s outputs before and after the practices of Rosenberg have been checked by hospitals. The check for activities of the lung (vital capacity) showed that there was an increase from 70 to 102 percent. He is, by then, thinking of going on a biking vacation with his sibling which he would not have imagined he could do anymore.

His methods have assisted lots of patients with bodily impairments. However, we will discover in the following lines that these methods were useful for people with psychological problems as well.

Chapter 6 – Triggering of the ventral vagus may assist people with psychological problems, involving autism spectrum problems.

Bodily issues may be caused by the stems of the mind. Besides, psychological issues may be dealt with by physical exercises.

Since Rosenberg is a physical cure expert, he does not fulfill the requirements of curing psychological issues and he tries to avoid such implications. However, he got the awareness from his patients that lots of psychological issues could be improved by triggering the ventral vagus nerve of these people. Even autism spectrum problems.

Autism-spectrum problems see the quickest spread within the developmental problems worldwide. The percentage of expansion is ten to seventeen percent annually, in the USA. This problem continues throughout life and requires approximately 2.4 million US dollars for each patient. The money does not involve the effect it has on loved ones.

The main understanding is that the trigger of the ventral vagus may assist patients with psychological problems such as autism spectrum.

Patients with autism frequently struggle with the continuous trigger of both the dorsal vagus nerve and the spinal sympathetic system. This causes alarmed and scared behaviors when there is no rationale and hypersensitivity to sentimental and outer stimulus such as any sound that one may not even give attention to.

Throughout time, Stanley has assisted lots of kids and teenagers with this problem. He made it with a basic cure, the bodily manipulation of the skull which frees limitation and allows normal working of cranial nerves. His learners learned these techniques as well and they went to utilize them well in their cures.

One time, a teenager, Thor, cured his sibling William who was seventeen years old with what is called the “Neuro-Fascial Release Technique”. His brother was found to have autism while he was a small baby, and had been unstable, quiet, and disturbed by eye contact all his life. However, the application of Stanley’s method by his brother in just a few seconds, he has changed to a talkative, extrovert, interested person. After some time, he is now occupied by a Danish computer organization as a voice drafter and able to travel himself for vacations with other adolescents who are found to have autism.

These outputs are groundbreaking. However, even though you are not found to have autism or COPD, Stanley’s methods may influence how you live as well. You can apply the “Basic Exercise”, and observe the changes.

Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve: Self-Help Exercises for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, and Autism by Stanley Rosenberg Book Review

The majority of people struggle with worry, stress, and grief every day and a lot of them take medicines or even go through surgeries. Craniosacral expert Stanley Rosenberg states that basic cures that trigger the ventral vagus nerve can lighten these problems without medicines or surgeries. The cure named the “Basic Exercise” that takes only two minutes is one of his cures, and it can be applied by oneself without the need for a fancy clinic.

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Download Pdf

Download Epub


Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile:

Recent Posts