Dolphin Vagus Nerve Stimulation activates Vagal Tone

The vagus nerve is called the “wandering nerve.” It is the longest nerve in the body, and it travels from the brain to the vital organs, and controls 80% of our parasympathetic responses. It serves as “the brakes” of the autonomic nervous system, normalizes an elevated HPA axis, and reduces the killer stress hormones (ie. cortisol) and subsequent inflammation. Decreased vagal tone is associated with increased stress, vulnerability, and poor health.

The concept of passive or active electrical stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve (ABVN) is now gaining recognition in literature. (Barone L et al; 2007, De Couck M et al; 2012). Non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation has been reported to improve Heart Rate Variability (HRV) (Constantinescu V et al., 2019, Levin C et al.), activate the parasympathetic pathways, (Clancy JA et al., 2014) reduce inflammation (Kaniusas et al., 2019), improve respiratory dysfunction ((Tracey, 2007), and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines (Tracey, 2007; Stavrakis et al., 2015).

Use of the Dolphin VNS is a safe, clinical procedure, and could be an effective treatment for stress reduction and vagal tone enhancement.

Health benefits of enhanced vagal tone include:

  • Decreased inflammation: the vagus nerve sends an anti-inflammatory signal to other parts of the body.
  • Reduced muscle tone: activating vagal tone reduces muscle tension and trigger point tenderness.
  • Improved circulation and lymphatic flow: the vagus nerve sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to stress, anxiety, and fear (hence the saying, “gut feeling.”) These signals help to recover from stressful situations.
  • Reduced pain: reducing stress reduces pain.

Learn more about vagus nerve stimulation at