Vagus Enhancing You: Article Sidebar

June 18, 2019 ~ Written by: W.B. “Bud” Kirchner

Approx. Read Time: 3 Minutes

Note: This post is an article sidebar to


Unrelated to business (directly) but this is not to be missed information.

While this last item falls more in the category of medical than business (I won’t state the obvious about good health/long career) and it could have been squeezed in the article. I found it fascinating and I chose to create a separate sidebar.

A mode of action analysis of how the vagus works suggests it works by reducing inflammation (a modern day culprit impacting performance via a number of health issues). (4 deep breathing tips that can change your life – Kavita Daswani)

The pioneering work I am referring to was done by Kevin Tracey of Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.  His focus was a new discipline called “bioelectronics” which (ignoring a lot of detail) involves stimulating the vagus nerve with an implanted device.

Two articles from the popular press sum it up nicely starting with the background as described by Behar: (1) The vagus nerve and its branches conduct nerve impulses — called action potentials — to every major organ. But communication between nerves and the immune system was considered impossible. (2) Conceptually, bioelectronics is straightforward: Get the nervous system to tell the body to heal itself.

Basically, the mode of action is that the vagus is stimulated and then it counters the cytokines that lead to inflammation. Possible applications are endless but here are some that have shown success to some degree:

  • Arthritis
  • Sepsis
  • Lupus
  • Crohn disease

About the Author: W.B. “Bud” Kirchner is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist with more than 50 years of business success. He is not a scientist or an academic but he does have a diversified exposure to neuroscience, psychology and related cognitive sciences. The ideas he expresses here are business-angled expansions of other people’s ideas, so when possible, he will link to the original reference.