Modius: How it works

Have you ever thought about the link between balancing on one foot and the risk for diabetes or obesity?

If you’re like most people, probably not.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to lose weight even when you’re trying your best? If you’re like most people, probably so.

There’s a connection between these two questions, and in that connection may lie the answer to why it’s hard to lose weight.

Modern science shows us how the different systems of the body connect and affect one another. In this case, we’re talking about the connection between the Vestibular System, which helps us balance, and the Endocrine System, the system that controls our appetite.

Let’s take a quick look at how the human body is wired:

We have the neurovestibular system, the brain, & the endocrine system (metabolism).portable-network-graphics-image-84bc4e669f73-1

When you activate the vestibular (balance) system, the hypothalamus receives a signal. This signal is used in multiple ways, one of which is to communicate with the endocrine system, the system that controls your metabolism through the balance or imbalance of hormones like insulin and leptin.

Often times our hormones aren’t properly signaling because they’ve become either too sensitive or not sensitive enough. This could be for multiple reasons: lifestyle choices, genetics, an unfortunate accident, depression. This imbalance & insensitivity of hormones is a factor that leads to diabetes and obesity.

So how can we break the the chain of hormone imbalance? Especially for those who are already diabetic or obese? The scientists at Neurovalens say: stimulate the vestibular nerve.

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Dr. Paul McGeoch and Dr. Jason McKeown at the University of California, San Diego, did just that in a study using Vestibular Nerve Stimulation or VeNS. Here is what they found:

When using VeNS, participants lost an average of 8.3% in truncal (abdominal) fat!

How? Here’s the breakdown:

You stimulate the mastoid process, the bone that sits behind and below your ear. An electrical current passes through your vestibular system and into the inner ear where the otolith organs reside. The otolith organs sense the angle of your head relative to the ground, helping you keep your balance. These otolith organs send the current from the inner ear to the brain, primarily to the part of the hypothalamus that control appetite.

vestibular-2As a result, the hypothalamus, which plays a role in hormone release, becomes more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that absorbs glucose and gives it to the rest of the body to use as energy. The increased sensitivity to insulin helps you use and burn sugar.fullsizerender-2-copy-2endocrine

A similar thing happens with another hormone called Leptin, the hormone that tells your body when it’s full. Leptin lives and releases from adipose tissue, AKA fat. When there is excess fat in the body, the leptin count becomes so high that the body becomes insensitive to the hormone and the “I’m full” signal no longer gets through. Vestibular stimulation increases the sensitivity to leptin, making it easier for you to detect when you’re stomach has had enough food.

adiposeIn diabetes and obesity, there is an insensitivity to insulin which can lead to an insensitivity in leptin, meaning that the connection between the endocrine system and the brain is not in balance. The hormones have been exhausted or ignored, and as a result, the efficiency of the metabolism is compromised.

Not only does this affect the weight that you gain in your body, but it affects how your brain functions. Insulin insensitivity has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Life is all about balance. Without balance, things begin to break down, wear out,  and stop functioning properly.

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What we offer with VeNS is an invitation to the body to come back into balance and to exist in a healthy, homeostatic state.

For more information about VeNS and the study conducted at UCSD, click here.

We hope you find balance in your day.

Hannah Heimer
Hannah Heimer

I’m a brain enthusiast and yoga fanatic. I work as a researcher at the University of California, San Diego while also running a yoga business on the side.

I use brain research and yoga as a springboard to blog about lifestyle, health, happiness, and how it all relates to your brain.

Just like the nerve cells in our brains, I love making new connections. So, feel free to reach out. For more info on yoga and the brain, take some time to explore neuroyogini.com.