Poly-Vagal Nerve Theory

The Vagal Nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and the longest nerve in the body. It contains both motor and sensory functions. Vagus is the Latin word for wandering. The Vagus Nerve wanders throughout your body, connecting the brainstem to many organ systems and regions of the body. Is the link between the gut and the brain in the ‘gut-brain-connection’. 

With the foundation of polyvagal theory, we can demonstrate how life events and emotions affect every organ in the body. All responses and all emotions are expressed along and within the branches of this nerve response path. This is why stressful experiences can create symptoms anywhere and differently in different people.

Health and well-being are based on the integration of our manifestations of lifestyle including our environment, social interaction, occupation, sense of love and belonging, and mental and emotional well-being. It not only affects our physical body but is also a history of trauma.  

We hear the patient’s story and the paths that have brought them to the present.  We consider the historical symptoms that have lead them to our clinic.

We often work with patients whose lab work and imaging suggest they are just fine. Despite this, they are in poor physical health. We welcome these patients, as we believe we can uncover the underlying emotional causation that can be absent from standard diagnosis techniques. We often find trauma that may have significantly affected the physical body.

Studies have shown that negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, and anger increase the inflammatory response in the body. From this, we can infer a direct link between our emotions and health (Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. et al,2002)

In addition, studies have suggested that lifetime traumatic experiences in childhood can have long-term health effects (De Venter, M. et al,2013)( Gilbert, L. K. et al.2015).

In cases of trauma, individuals may endure long-term reactions such as unpredictable emotions, physical illness and flashbacks. In some cases, the underlying stress in a patient’s history can result in severe reactions to events, which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Stress and trauma have the ability to interfere with the communication in the endocrine and immune system. (Padgett, D.A. et al, 2003)


Aurora Sheehy uses traditional and somatic Acupuncture combined with non-invasive Vagal Nerve Stimulation (nVNS) treatments.

The treatment is applied once to twice a week depending on the severity of the stress or trauma. It is a gold standard effective treatment for resetting the Vagal Nerve.

Transcutaneous Auricular PolyVagal Stimulation

We effectively stimulate and tone the VN through the use of a TENS machine.

Two ear clips are placed in each ear, on high Vagal Nerve innervation points. The clips are then attached to a TENS machine which delivers a mild electrical current to these points. This mild electrical current provides stimulation to the nerve which helps to ‘tonify’ or re-invigorate the dysfunctional Vagus Nerve.
The sensation of the TENS machine is similar to a pleasant tapping sensation. Different settings provide different sensations. Some settings are more definite tap, while others can feel more like tingling or fast tapping sensation.

Vagal Nerve Stimulation should always feel pleasant.
The treatment is applied once to twice a week depending on the severity of the stress or trauma.
It is a gold standard effective treatment for resetting the Vagal Nerve.

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