Vagus Nerve Stimulators tVNS Stimulators
  • Vagus Nerve
  • /
  • What You Need to Know About Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator

What You Need to Know About Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator

Updated on January 24, 2023

Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an innovative therapy that has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its potential for treating a range of conditions and diseases. It involves stimulating the left vagus nerve and right vagus nerve with small electrical impulses, which can have numerous benefits on physical and mental health. VNS is considered safe and effective, but there are some important things you should know before deciding if it’s right for you.

In this article, we’ll explore what a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator is, how it works, its possible risks and side effects, as well as who may benefit from using it. We’ll also discuss the research behind this treatment and look at some of the most common uses of non-invasive VNS. With all these facts in mind, you can make an informed decision about whether or not VNS is suitable for your needs.

What is Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator?

The non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator is a device that delivers electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve. It’s a non-invasive therapy, meaning there is no surgery required and it can be used anywhere on the outside of the body. The device sends a mild electrical current through electrodes placed near the neck, stimulating the nerve and helping to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation.

While the exact mechanism of action is still being studied, it’s thought that VNS works by modulating the activity of certain brain regions involved in emotion and mood regulation. It may also have an effect on other bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and sleep cycles.

How Does It Work?

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation works by sending a low-level electrical current through electrodes placed on either side of the neck. The electrical stimulation causes an increase in the activity of the nerve, which can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Additionally, it may also decrease inflammation and improve cognitive functioning. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to VNS, some people may find the therapy useful in managing a variety of conditions. For example, it has been used to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and even chronic pain.

What are the Benefits of Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation?

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation has a number of potential benefits, including:

1. Decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety

In those with depression and anxiety, VNS may help reduce symptoms of these conditions. Studies have found that VNS can improve mood, reduce stress levels, and decrease feelings of hopelessness.

In addition, VNS has been shown to improve cognitive functioning, such as memory and concentration. Your doctor can help you determine if this treatment might be beneficial for your specific needs.

2. Reducing inflammation

One of the main benefits of VNS is its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. After testing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and primary physiological outcomes (GSR), studies have shown that VNS may be able to decrease inflammation associated with chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

While research is ongoing, VNS could provide a non-invasive way to manage inflammation and improve overall health. And since VNS is non-invasive, it can be used safely and comfortably by many people.

3. Improving sleep

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation has also been shown to improve sleep quality. Studies have found that patients who received VNS had fewer awakenings during the night, a longer time in deep sleep, and improved overall sleep quality compared to those who did not receive VNS.

This could be beneficial for those who have difficulty sleeping due to stress, insomnia, or other medical conditions. Plus, better sleep can lead to improved overall health, including mental and physical well-being.

4. Stabilizing brain activity

VNS can help regulate brain activity, which may improve cognitive functioning and reduce symptoms of certain neurological disorders. For instance, it has been used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and even Parkinson’s disease.

By stimulating the vagus nerve, VNS can help increase communication between different parts of the brain, leading to improved functioning and a better quality of life.

5. Enhancing heart health

VNS can also help improve heart health. Research has found that VNS may be able to reduce blood pressure, slow the heart rate, and improve overall cardiovascular function.

This could make it useful for those who suffer from high blood pressure or arrhythmia, as well as those with other conditions that affect heart health. As always, speak to your doctor to determine if VNS is a suitable treatment for your particular needs.

6. Improving quality of life

Finally, VNS has been found to improve the quality of life in those with various medical conditions. Studies have shown that VNS can reduce symptoms such as pain and fatigue associated with different disorders, leading to an overall better quality of life for patients. In addition, VNS may be beneficial for those who have difficulty managing their emotions, as it can help reduce anxiety and depression.

Possible Risks and Side Effects

Non-invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation is generally considered a safe and effective therapy for many conditions. However, there are some risks associated with it, including:

1. Skin irritation

When using a VNS device, the electrodes placed on either side of the neck can cause skin irritation. This is usually temporary and can be treated with topical creams or other measures. For those with sensitive skin, an adhesive patch may be used to protect the area.

2. Muscle twitching

In some cases, VNS can cause a mild muscle twitch in the neck and shoulders. This is usually temporary and resolves itself without any treatment. Even though this side effect is not considered serious, it’s important to report any unusual sensations to your doctor.

3. Infection

Using a VNS device carries a risk of infection in the area where the electrodes are placed. To avoid this, it’s important to keep the device and its components clean and sanitized properly. It’s also important to follow instructions for use and proper cleaning of the device.

4. Interference with other medical devices

In some cases, the electrical stimulation from a VNS device can interfere with certain medical devices such as pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. It’s important to discuss any potential risks and side effects with your doctor before beginning treatment.

The Science Behind Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a therapy that uses electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve. The aim of this therapy is to reduce symptoms associated with a range of conditions, including depression, chronic pain, and epilepsy.

This therapy works by sending electrical pulses to the vagus nerve through electrodes placed in the ear. These pulses stimulate the nerve, which then sends signals to the brain, resulting in a positive response such as relief from pain or improvement of mood.

Research has found that non-invasive VNS can be effective in treating certain conditions and symptoms, including depression, epilepsy, and tinnitus. It has even been found to reduce inflammation in certain conditions.

Although VNS is generally considered safe, there are potential risks associated with the treatment. These include dizziness or nausea during brain stimulation, as well as a possible increase in heart rate. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to speak to your doctor before starting VNS therapy.

Common Uses of a Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulator

Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation has been studied and used in a variety of ways. People might use it to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, epilepsy, chronic pain, cluster headache, tinnitus, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), migraines, and more. A non-invasive VNS may also be used to treat cardiovascular issues, including high blood pressure and a slow heart rate. There is even some evidence that stimulating the vagus nerve can improve sleep quality by increasing melatonin production.

Non-invasive VNS works in different ways depending on the condition being treated. Generally speaking, it sends electrical signals to the brain, which can alter nerve pathways and other physiological processes. For example, it may increase serotonin levels in people with depression or decrease the frequency of epileptic seizures.

It’s important to note that not all conditions respond equally well to non-invasive VNS. Research is still ongoing, so it’s best to talk to your doctor before trying VNS. They can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you and will provide guidance on how to use the device safely and effectively.

How to Effective Use a NIVNS

Using a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator (NIVNS) is an effective way to help manage symptoms of chronic illnesses and health conditions. It is important to understand how to use the device properly in order to reap its full potential benefits.

Before you begin, it’s important to discuss your symptoms and health history with a qualified physician. That way, you can make sure the device is right for you and get advice on how to use it correctly.

Once you have the go-ahead from your doctor, there are a few steps to take in order to effectively use a NIVNS:

1) Make sure the device is properly positioned. NIVNS should be placed just below your left ear, close to the vagus nerve. This makes sure that the noninvasive vagal nerve stimulation reaches the targeted areas of your body.

2) Set up a routine and stick with it. It’s important to use the device regularly in order to get lasting results.

3) Using stimulation parameters, increase the intensity of your sham stimulation gradually. Start out with low levels and work your way up over time until you find a level that’s comfortable for you.

4) Keep track of your symptoms and progress. Monitor how you feel before and after using the device in order to see if it’s working for you.

By following these steps, you should be able to effectively use a NIVNS and start seeing positive results. Always follow the instructions provided by your doctor or the device manufacturer in order to get the best results and stay safe.


What is non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation?

Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) is a type of therapy that sends signals to the brain through the vagus nerve. It's typically done by using a handheld device that delivers electrical signals via electrodes placed on your skin. This can help regulate your nervous system and improve mood, sleep, digestion, and more.

Do external vagus nerve stimulators work?

Yes, studies have shown that non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation can be effective in treating certain medical conditions. It is often used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders as well as chronic pain, epilepsy, and headaches. nVNS has also been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits to improve heart rate, and blood pressure, and even reduce inflammation.

Is vagus nerve stimulation invasive?

No, non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation is a safe and painless procedure. It does not require any surgery or anesthesia. The device emits low-frequency electrical pulses that are transmitted through the skin and into the vagus nerve. This can help regulate the nervous system and improve your overall health and well-being.

Can non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation be used on children?

Yes, non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation can be used in children. However, it is important to make sure that the device is appropriate for your child's age and that you have consulted with your doctor first. nVNS has been approved by the FDA for use in adults, but it is still being studied in children and should be used with caution.

Are there any side effects from vagus nerve stimulation?

Most people do not experience any side effects from non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation. However, some people may experience mild discomfort or tingle at the site of the electrodes. If you experience any severe side effects such as dizziness, nausea, or changes in your heart rate or breathing, stop the treatment and consult with your doctor immediately.


Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a safe and effective therapy for treating various forms of depression, including major depressive disorder. It has been shown to be more effective than traditional antidepressant medications in some cases, with fewer side effects.

The exact mechanism of action is not yet known, but it is thought to act by modulating the body’s stress response and increasing the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. It also has a positive effect on brain plasticity, allowing for better communication between different areas of the brain. VNS is safe and well tolerated in both short-term and long-term usage.

Try VagusNet
printer linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram