We live today with some of the world's most advanced medical treatments. But a key element is missing from these treatment plans, and that missing piece is the Best Form of Medicine. It is far more straightforward, more accessible, and much less expensive. It is the natural medicine created by the activities we do. Activities that can prevent and cure the preventable disease and ailments that those advanced medical treatments are attempting to fix.
We nourish our bodies every day using the Best Form of Medicine. We do this through our preferred form of exercise or nutrition, the social aspect of friendships, or anything else we do to create balance in life and make us happy. It is the little things we can do that improve our mental health. Those little things boost our immune system, aid our bones normal functioning and protect us against osteoporosis. And can lower risks of high blood pressure and heart ailments. This list goes on.
Its definition can depend on where people are in life and applies to everyone. We are always taking moments to decide what part of our life needs to be increased, decreased, or focused on to provide that balance. Achieving balance can be the most important thing we do.
I have heard that laughing is at the top of that Best Form Of Medicine list. Laughing is a painkiller that reduces stress and anxiety and is one of the best exercises you can do. Laughing provides a natural workout giving your body a chance to exercise the diaphragm and facial, leg, back, and abdominal muscles.
And one of the essential parts of laughter is that the physical response manifests as an electrical current that runs through our central nervous system. This electrical current is critical to our lives and needs that exercise. We focus on strengthening our muscles, improving our diets, more radiant skin, or a brighter smile. And, of course, we are constantly working on our healthy hearts. But we overlook this electrical system, our cranial nerves. This a piece of our daily puzzle that, without which, the mystery of our lives may never be complete.
And I refer specifically to the Vagus nerve (like the city of Las Vegas). The Vagus nerve is the longest of the 12 cranial nerves involved with your sensory, motor, and autonomic functions. There are two branches of the cranial nerves, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The Vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The above hyperlinks explain the various nerve systems. Please take a minute to read them if you have the time. You will find that the Vagas nerve carries signals between your brain, heart, lungs, and digestive systems. It is referred to as your chill-out button and is responsible for strong social connections, positive emotions, and better physical health. It is responsible for that "gut feeling" we all get, and it can treat inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, without using pharmaceutical drugs. It keeps your heart ticking.
Of course, knowing how things work is always best. But we tend to exercise without knowing all the details. We know it is good for us, it feels good, and we do it. It would help if you exercised the Vagus nerve similarly. If you do not, the communication between your brain and the rest of your body may, at best, suffer. Today we can get transplants for most organs in our bodies, and we can always get an artificial limb. But our nervous systems are a one-off deal. Once gone, it's gone, and more than likely, so will you be.
Laughter strengthens our nervous systems and, in turn, adds to your long, healthy, happy life. But there are other exercises to strengthen the Vagus nerve as well. According to Jessica Migala with Parsley Health, here are a few you might add to your daily routine:
Practice deep breathing
Take time to smell the roses.
And you can always pass it on, or as we say, pay it forward!
And, when all else fails, go dancing! This past weekend I was exercising when I least expected it. I attended a Paul Taylor Dance Company performance at Lincoln Center in New York. Although not dancing, I got a fantastic workout sitting in my chair. I smiled, laughed, applauded, and gave a standing ovation; my visual and hearing senses were working overtime. And my Vagus nerve aged backward. I felt Young at Heart.
But it does not matter what Best Form Of Medicine you choose. What part of your body are you exercising (although laughing should always be part of what you do)? What matters is you are there, doing the work. If you show up committed, with a curious mind, an open heart, and an active imagination, the medicine you choose will do the rest for you.
Your friend and fellow Bluerisa traveler,