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Vivifying the Vagus Nerve

2 hours CPD/ CPE

This online course offers an in-depth look at how indirectly stimulating the vagus nerve with common acupuncture points, with or without electro, can help to relieve local and systemic conditions such as digestive disorders, stress and anxiety, inflammatory conditions etc. Looking at current scientific studies of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in Western medicine, we explore how this technique can be replicated through the use of acupuncture. Modern research is compared to the actions and indications of classical acupuncture points to understand how the vagus nerve plays an important role in acupuncture mechanisms.

course outcomes

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After having completed this course, participants will gain:

  • an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the vagus nerve

  • knowledge of the different acupuncture points that have been found to stimulate the vagus nerve

  • knowledge of various systemic conditions that may be treated by VNS

  • knowledge of an acupuncture treatment protocol for VNS

  • detailed illustrations for clinical use

Course Outline


  1. Detailed Outline of Vagus Nerve Anatomy & Function
    The anatomical location and function of the vagus nerve are explained in detail including its role in the regulation of the autonomic nervous system, heart and respiration rate, digestion, inflammation etc. The path of the vagus nerve throughout the body and related internal organs are described.


  2. Vagus Nerve Stimulation
    Recent studies about VNS are presented to highlight the importance of this nerve in human physiology.


  3. Acupuncture for Vagus Nerve Stimulation
    Based on current research, comparisons are drawn for the use of acupuncture to stimulate the vagus nerve with the use of electro stimulation. Classical acupuncture points such as ST36 and auricular points are presented that indirectly stimulate the vagus nerve, providing solid foundations for acupuncture mechanisms. Other potential pathways related to the vagus nerve are offered as a basis for why a number of acupuncture points have such a strong systemic effect.


  4. Practical Demonstration
    Based on clinical research of both acupuncture and VNS, an acupuncture treatment protocol is presented for VNS.

***This course content is advised to be applied to clinical practice only by registered acupuncturists or students and practitioners with a level of skills competency required to perform these needling techniques. For practitioners and students of all other modalities, this information is considered for general educational purposes only.***

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