Vagal Tone and Your Eyes

I have been seeing a young man in his early 20’s who when he was younger had a diagnosis of leukemia. The method of treatment was a chemotherapeutic agent called methotrexate. It is the normal go-to drug for children with this form of cancer. Unfortunately, in this young boy’s situation it became very toxic and injurious to him. He lost his ability to walk and is now in a wheelchair. His muscles are extremely weak, even though his nerves can still fire.

Today was his second lesson and we focused on using his eyes in relation to turning his head. Why, you might ask? As I looked and studied him I could see he had areas of his body that showed low Vagal Tone. His voice is low and has a quiver to it. Not something you would expect hear in a 23 year old. I looked in his throat and could see in the back, one side was higher than the other. This can be one “top secret” indicator of vagal tone issues. This can happen to anyone, but from the sound of his voice and tone of his lips, I decided to look inside.

This was part of a FeldenkraisĀ® lesson I taught him that I use frequently to help tonify the whole Vagus nerve system. The Feldenkrais MethodĀ® looks at a person as a whole being. We look to improve the whole biological system. We are not fixers or healers. But, what is so amazing is that we can help turn these systems back on so to let them do what they do best, and that is to improve the cell functioning and nervous system re-organization. That is pretty amazing.

Listen to this short recap of the lesson I taught him today. This was the recording I made for him at the end of our lesson going over what I taught to him over a period of 30 mins, titrated down to this 3 min and 49 seconds.

Try it and see how you feel and what you notice in your ability to turn our head and to create a wiser and more bold nervous system response to life.

Vagal Tone Using Head Turning; Elinor Silverstein

Enjoy, Elinor Silverstein


  1. When you say “roll” your head to the left/right, do you mean just turning your head as though looking left or right? Or do you mean something else, like tilting your head to the left or right (rolling or tilting the head down towards one shoulder, then the other.) Thank you.

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