Can Neck Stimulation Make You Smarter?

I received this cool article from a friend of mine who will graduate this summer with a PhD in neuroanatomy.

It’s about a research project underway at DARPA (a top-secret organization known for creating military technology). They’re experimenting with electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, and how it can be used to help soldiers rapidly learn foreign languages.

Sounds pretty neat, but there are still a lot of questions that the project must answer. For example, should the nerve be “zapped” before learning something, during a study session, or after? What strength should the electrical impulse be, and what other parts of the body are affected by this type of stimulus?

It’s some intriguing research that will begin human trials later this year.

Why is a Neuroanatomy Researcher Sharing This Type of Research With a Chiropractor?

As an expert on neurological structures, he’s keenly aware of how specific adjustments to the upper neck can impact the nervous system, and in this case, the vagus nerve.

Every patient who receives care in my office has heard the following explanation before their first atlas adjustment:

“You might feel a bit of warmth behind the ear, or some gurgling sounds in your stomach as if you’re hungry. You may also notice yourself taking deeper breaths.”

These are common sensations that patients can experience after the procedure. They’re noticeable indicators of vagus nerve stimulation.

Now, if government scientists are intrigued by what the vagus nerve can do when amplified with electricity, what effects could it have when it’s more passively stimulated during a chiropractic adjustment? Could it improve one’s mood, focus, or general disposition?

According to this study, vagal nerve stimulus has been researched for the past 25 years. Studies have demonstrated positive changes in cognition amongst those with Alzheimer’s, as well as those suffering from epilepsy and depression… So it’s not impossible to reason that chiropractic adjustments could lead to favorable changes in overall brain function.

If/when DARPA publishes their research results, I look forward to the reading their findings. In the mean time, I encourage you to experience for yourself the benefits of chiropractic care.

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