Why Nerve 10?

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Where it began

It came to me in the middle of a session with my therapist in Montana. You know that feeling that you get that you absolutely, without a doubt, need to do something? It's a feeling or thought that completely resonates with who you are at your very core. That was the sudden jolt I felt while talking with my therapist about a year ago. I knew that when I started my website/blog that I would name it "Nerve 10."

I know, I know. That's wonderful, but you still haven't answered the question.

Getting to where I am

The author of Nerve 10, Jordan Brown, waiting for sunrise on a salt flat
The author of Nerve 10, Jordan Brown, waiting for sunrise on a salt flat

I will, but let me tell you a bit more about me. I'm currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree. Once I got accepted into the program, and before I could be officially admitted, I needed to complete two online courses to fulfill general-education requirements that I never met when I majored in finance in undergrad. (The jump from a degree in business to pursuing a career in the social work field is another post altogether) One of the courses I needed to take to fulfill my prerequisites for admission was anatomy. I soon found a reputable purveyor of online anatomy coursework, and I was off.

I love to learn, so the coursework of this online anatomy course was interesting to a certain extent. But it was also chock-full of mind-numbing memorization of terms and body parts, which I absolutely detest. I believe learning should be functional and invigorating; rote memorization has never been my thing, and  I believe it is the bane of many a high school student's existence in the United States.

Amidst the jumble of scientific terms and bodily functions was a term that stood out for me: "Nerve 10." One of the most important nerves of the human body. Also known as Cranial Nerve X, or the vagus nerve, nerve 10 runs all the way from the brain stem to the colon. That's a long way in human-body terms. Along the way down to the bathroom place, nerve 10 meets up with important organs like the heart, the lungs, and good chunk of the intestines, to name a few. We have a lot to learn from our friend the vagus nerve.

Nerve 10, the vagus nerve

Dr. Stephen Porges thinks so, too. He developed his polyvagal theory to explain the vitally important role the nerve plays in the human body. He argues that the vagus nerve is composed of two branches, and its functioning has much to teach us about our emotions, how we respond to stress, and how trauma impacts the body. I'll talk more about the vagus nerve in future posts.

The interconnectedness of it all

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I'm fascinated with cranial nerve 10 because of the multifaceted role it plays in our bodies. Nerve 10 connects some of the most important structures of the body and is proof of the inherent interconnectedness of life. A myopic view will never get us very far. It takes looking at things from a distance, as objectively as possible, to gain true understanding. And it is only by sifting through the connections that we come to understand the stuff of life.

That curiosity about what connects us is why I dubbed my website Nerve 10. Every individual is bound together by a mind-boggling array of moving parts, of emotions and ideas, of thoughts and worries, of seen and unseen body parts, all coming together to make up the uniqueness of every person on earth.

I plan to explore the amalgamation of what makes us whole. I plan to turn Nerve 10 into a community, a symbiosis of people joined together in the pursuit of meaningful lives. Thanks for joining me.

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