Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg


FOTCM Member
Rosenberg states in his book that according to his experience, headaches and migraines come in 4 basic patterns. Below are the maps for the headaches as well as the trigger points to massage after doing the basic exercises already discussed.

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Headache 1

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Headache 2.

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Headache 3

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Headache 4


If the relationship between the head and the body were the same as when crawling on all fours, the head would be rotated ninety degrees, with the face looking straight up towards the sky. However, when standing, the head rotates to face forward. Therefore, the upper trapezius has much less tension in a standing position compared with lying on the stomach or crawling on all fours. A forward head posture comes from an upper trapezius that is not too tight but too flaccid. As years pass, the upper trapezius becomes even more and more slack, and the head slides increasingly forward on C1. The Twist and Turn trapezius exercise in Part Two of this book helps to bring the head back into better alignment because it stimulates all three parts of the muscle.

Based on years of experience in my private clinic, and contrary to widely accepted medical practice, I believe that dysfunction of CN XI, which innervates the trapezius and SCM muscles, is involved in migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are tension headaches, and there are four kinds, each caused by a different pattern of tension in either the sternocleidomastoid or trapezius muscles. If you are having a migraine, look at the four drawings and see if you recognize which pattern of pain (in red) has been plaguing you. Because these parts of the muscles are innervated by CN XI, the first step in treatment of migraines is to establish proper function of CN XI using the Basic Exercise (see Part Two). Then find the appropriate trigger points (TP), each marked by an X, and massage these for a few minutes until you feel relief.

The twist and turn exercise he is referring to is shown in the second video below, though note that she doesn't hold her head up facing forward while on hands and knees in the video as suggested by Rosenberg to exercise the upper trapezius. That is done separate to the twist and turn exercise on all fours.

Here's a video on the uvula connection to give an idea of what to look for during the vagal test:

Its connection with the axis vertebra is also mentioned. The basic exercise helps correct that.

And another demonstration of some of the exercises:

I've also found it helpful while down on all fours to relax my shoulders instead of bracing them to support the weight of my upper body - kind of let the upper body weight just sling off loose shoulder joints if that makes sense, while my elbows are locked - and then to let my head hang loose between my arms. Seems to help stretch out any tension in the upper neck/occipital area.
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