Vagal Nerve Toning (VNT) vs Vagal nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Vagal Nerve Toning (VNT) vs Vagal nerve Stimulation (VNS)

Posted on Jul 18, 2022


What’s the difference and which is right for me?

It’s easy to associate nerves with electric stimulation. Nerves conduct electrical impulses and are thought of as like wiring, so it’s an understandable connection. But what if we want to tone rather than stimulate the nervous system? The difference is that toning improves natural strength, like toning a muscle, compared to stimulation, with the potential for over-stimulation, like having too much caffeine.

It is proposed that acoustic energy offers the potential for toning as an alternative to electrical stimulation. Sound frequency range can be felt below 20 Hz and heard by the human ear up to 20,000 Hz. This range covers both tactile felt sound and audible music.

Music is universal more now than it has ever been in previous history. We have only been recording music for around 100 yrs, but animals have been making sound for eons, so tuning into nature sounds speaks directly to the primal nervous system,through a process known as biophilic sound. 

The bodymind responds to music when it does not respond to words. The whole body is a listening vessel - we absorb sound through the entire body via multiple senses and when we do this we harness this potent ability to shift more efficiently into optimal states.

Evolution of sound technology:

Mono 1D Sound > Stereo 2D Sound > Spatial 3D Sound > Sensate Somacoustics 4D Sound

I believe that half of sound is experienced as compressed airwaves by the ear and half through vibration receptors in the body, particularly the water-rich connective tissue fascia. My personal vision is to understand sound processing in the body, not just the ears.

Vagal nerve Stimulation (VNS)

VNS is a medical term referring to using electrical current applied directly to a part of the vagus nerve via a surgically implanted device similar to a pacemaker; indirectly to the vagus nerve over a skin area that connect to the vagus; or by using current at the left ear, where the vagus nerve comes close to the surface. The use of electrical stimulation has the potential to over-stimulate and cause adverse reactions and is generally perceived as unpleasant by the user.

Vagal Nerve Toning (VNT)

VNT describes the use of soundwaves to generate frequency vibration and create a passive biofeedback response within the Autonomic Nervous System, with particular attention to the vagus nerve. Soundwave toning is very safe, with statistically insignificant potential for adverse reaction. Toning has two main meanings - to increase strength of a physical structure (more commonly in relation to muscles) and the use of music or voice to create soundwaves.

Frequency vibration makes the world and (the universe actually) go round. Electricity is magic; an amazing force that can make many things happen. But it is not frequency vibration. We are so used to sound, it is so ubiquitous that we tend to take it for granted and forget how powerful sound is. Sound can move mountains and change minds. Indeed, we have an entire sense devoted to just the perception of sound; several senses in fact, as neurologists now feel we probably have over 30 senses, many more than Aristotle's suggested 5. There are 9 confirmed senses, 21 confirmed but less focused senses and 33 debatable human senses.

Many of these ‘ceptions’ are involved in perception of full frequency sound, including tactile physical perception of low frequency infrasound below normal human hearing range. On the other hand, humans do not have cells that are specifically evolved to sense electrical currents (some animals do). Electrical signals can stimulate nerve fibers to produce (mainly muscle) contraction, which is powerful stuff, but is not sensory perception.

Key points:

  • Tactile sound works by using our first sense, the sense of vibration, to guide people away from fear & towards freedom
  • Sound is universal, ubiquitous, profound
  • Sound is the only sense you can't turn off - we don't have ear lids
  • The bodymind responds to sound even when it does not respond to words
  • Human beings are the only animal that can keep a beat
  • Silence is the absence of noise not the absence of sound

How Sensate works

Sensate infrasound technology reproduces the profound physiological impact of certain exercises human beings have developed to leverage superpower-like abilities over hundreds of generations; versions of which can be observed in every culture on the planet. These are generally breathing, sounding, humming-like or singing sounds produced by the throat and amplified or manipulated by the chest and diaphragm, i.e. chanting, mantra, om-sounds, prayer, vocal sounding, etc.

These techniques have been shown to relax the parasympathetic nervous system, of which the vagus nerve is the largest branch. This system controls heart rate variability (HRV),  and resistance to stress and aging, increases stress resilience and benefits many of the systems associated with increased longevity.

Sensate has a granted patent, including intellectual property related to the overall system which is not yet for general release. Sensate is a ‘singing stone’ for the digital age. 

Sensate is an infrasound based technology that uses sound to create resonant frequency vibration within the human body, creating a biohacking meditation tool. Basically, we eliminated 99% of the hardware by turning the human body into the instrument. This is reported as being beneficial for anxiety, panic attacks, depression and other mental health issues related to stress.

At Sensate, we’re writing the book on the use of sound as a powerful and safe therapeutic tool. This wearable anxiety and stress relief device + App includes the benefits of Mindfulness, breathing techniques and calming relaxation. We are currently focused on consumer VNT not medical VNS.