We all have 12 sets of cranial nerves, the longest is named the Vagus Nerve. The word vagus means “vagabond” in Latin, and perfectly illustrates the path of this nerve extending through various organs of the body.
The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic part of our nervous system; regulating our subconscious body functions, such as regulating our heart beat, our breathing, contracting and relaxing of the muscles. It also facilitates relaxation after a stressful experience or it indicates that we are in danger and we can’t let our guard down.
When we are in stressful situations, the sympathetic part of our nervous system is activated; the part that prepares us for action and stimulates the production of adrenaline and cortisol hormones. In practice, both systems work as opposites: Accelerator and decelarator.
Studies have shown that by tapping with a facilitator, the most advanced part of the vagus nerve is being stimulated, therefore the heart beat, the breathing, the relaxation of the muscles is being regulated. The client feels calm and relaxed while speaking or thinking about painful and stressful experiences.Tapping can be done alone or with a practitioner, but in cases of trauma it is better not to do it alone.
Friend or foe
Stephen Porges, Ph.d., in his scholarly work on the Polyvagal Theory shares with us how our brain utilizes “neuroception”: A sub-conscious mechanism of sensing safety or danger, friend or foe, based on another person’s facial expression, tone of voice and body movements.
When an effective tapping session is facilitated, it is important to consider the positive “social engagement” aspect that stimulates the most advanced part of our Vagus nerve, which helps us to feel calm, safe and balanced even when we are focusing on and talking about difficult subjects. A facilitator will sit across from her client, she will tap together with her client and will be using the sometimes very symbolic words the client is using when describing what happened to her, how she feels, how she responded in the particular situation.
Feeling a connection
Maybe for the first time in her life after the negative experience of the client, she feels understood by her facilitator.
Thanks to a caring person, the gift of EFT tapping and “neuroception”.