Vagus nerve stimulation is not new. It was identified back in the 1920’s as a nerve that can regulate the parasympathetic nervous system to release Acetylcholine neurotransmitter. In general, the autonomic nervous system is made up of these two opposing sides, kind of like a Ying and Yang:
There are several portable vagus nerve stimulators available. Medical grade vagus nerve stimulators will require a prescription and are typically more expensive than over the counter units. We leave the unit selection up to you.
Do NOT use if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, are pregnant, or have a sick heart.
With low intensity stimulation as suggested, its likely using both ears are safe. However, the left ear is less likely to cause bradycardia or slowing of your heart. Limit stimulation to 30 minutes until you know how the stimulation effects you.
This non-invasive electrical stimulation of the “somatic” (i.e., external ear) afferent branch of the vagus nerve activates both “visceral” and “somatic” vagal projections in the brain and increases activities on the parasympathetic nervous system as described above.
The main areas we want to target are the cymba conchae, cymba, and cavum. If you are not able to attach the electrode to these areas, use the tragus or the antihelix of the ear. Please only stimulate one ear at a time. Remember you must use 2 electrodes to complete the circuit. We recommend placing both electrodes on one ear. If you are not able to, you can place one pad on the neck or upper back area with a pad instead. Stimulation wont work with just one lead/electrode.
As it is currently thought that the main problem with anosmia, parosmia, and brain fog is a result of autonomic dysfunction, perhaps adding external vagus nerve stimulation may be beneficial together with an SGB. In summary, if we activate the parasympathetic nervous system while downregulating the sympathetic nervous system, this may yield better results compared to what we have been trying. We are not advocating any particular unit to use.