Sometimes biologic drugs like Enbrel and Humira have little effect on patients. One of the reasons this might occur is when the patient has low vagus nerve activity. In this video Clint explains what this means and how you can correct it easily at home to improve your health and potentially the effectiveness of your biologic treatment.

  • The structure of our nervous system and how it can influence RA symptoms
  • Vagus nerve activity and response to biologic drugs like Humira and Enbrel
  • How deep breaths can positively influence vagus nerve activity
  • Wim Hof breathing
  • Effects on inflammation
  • Put it all together with the ultimate system for Rheumatoid Arthritis here

Hey, it’s Clint here. Super excited to talk with you today about biologic drug treatment, specifically Anti-TNF Alpha. That’s like the Enbrel, HUMIRA, and whether or not they are effective based on certain physiological conditions of you, the host, when you take these drugs. In other words, will a biologic drug work for you? And if you’ve been through biologic drugs in the past and found that some don’t work, or if you’re thinking about going on to a biologic drug and wondering how effective it will be, then this video is for you.

What we’re going to talk about specifically is a study that I’d like to acknowledge that I got from rheumatologist Dr. Nisha Manek, who was talking about this study. I have picked it up and I want to share it with you because it’s kind of been buried. I haven’t seen this before, and no one else except Nisha was talking about this and I thought this needs to be shared. The study was called Heart Rate Variability Predicts Anti-tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy Response for Inflammatory Arthritis. Let me take a step back and explain some of the terms before we get into the study. We obviously have a nervous system, Okay. And let’s just break down the components before we then talk about how we can interpret this study effectively. First of all, our nervous system has a voluntary part and an automatic part or involuntary part. Now that top level means the voluntary part, like the way we can move our muscles and and create movement so on. And then the automatic or they call it the autonomic part because it works automatically are things like, making your heart beat and creating digestive juices and things that you don’t think about. Okay. Now within that part, the automatic part that’s call it, we have two components. So subcomponents of that are the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Now, this is where you have heard before things like the sympathetic nervous system is the fight or flight. That’s where we’re about to run from an attack, some dangerous situation. And then we have the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest state, the calm state. All right. So we’ve got those two things. Today, we’re going to speak mostly about the parasympathetic nervous system and specifically the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve comprises 70% of the rest and digest part of your nervous system. This is really important because what studies have shown is that people with rheumatoid arthritis have low expression of their vagal tone, in other words, low activity of the vagus nerve. This corresponds with extra inflammation, so if you’ve got low vagus nerve activity, then you have higher rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Okay. So this is already really important because obviously we’ve found something that we can influence that can affect joint pain. And anything that you can find that you can measure and influence that can affect joint pain should be of high attention to people with RA. Because if you can influence it, you can improve it.

With that as our starting background knowledge and let’s now take a look at this interesting study. In this study, again, Heart Rate Variability Predicts Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy Response for Inflammatory Arthritis. What they did is they measured the relationship or the association between Rheumatoid arthritis patients and their parasympathetic nervous system. Compared to their effectiveness response rate of TNF alpha drugs, including HUMIRA and Enbrel. What was found is that those people who had a lower amount of vagal tone, meaning low vagus nerve activity. Actually had the worst response to the biologic drug treatment. So the bottom line is, if your biologic drug isn’t working, it could very well be from the fact that you may have low vagal tone. How do we stimulate our vagus nerve? What we need to do primarily is to take deep breaths. Okay? It’s really simple. So why don’t we do this together? It doesn’t matter where you are in your car, walking, whatever. What you want to do is just take a deep breath in, and then hold, then exhale slowly. This activates the vagus nerve, and what’s often described in these sort of circles is that we want to stimulate the vagus nerve. I’ve always found that particular phrase to be counterintuitive because the word stimulation to then activate a nerve that is calming just seems a little bit of a poor use of words. However, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to engage, activate the part of our body that calms us down. And that is a highly effective way of doing it. Deep breaths. And the studies show they need to be slow and that the exhale needs to be the focal point. Okay. So we want to we want to go in, hold and very slow out.

Now, this is not necessarily something that’s revolutionary. I mean, if a child, bumps their foot, and starts crying, parents, without any knowledge of the details of this will say, take a deep breath, it’s okay. Take a deep breath and help them to try and calm down. So intuitively, we know this as human beings. But what we didn’t realize until these studies come out is that they have a direct impact on inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients and their response to biologic drug therapy. So it’s the sort of thing that I believe rheumatologists should know is that if you’re just guessing, trying this drug, then that drug and they’re not working. I think it’s imperative to also be aware that one of the reasons that the drugs might not be working is this person. Doesn’t deep breathe, doesn’t exercise, is stressed out of that tree or any of the above. Because stress puts us into remember earlier the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system taking us away from the parasympathetic nervous system activity.

It’s as simple as that. We need to take deep, slow breaths with long exhalations on a regular basis, and we can do that through a deep breathing exercise like I’ve just described. We can use Wim Hof breathing, which is also effective at parasympathetic nerve activation and vagal tone stimulation. And we can also do exercise at a rate that’s not excessive. So if you’re exercising at a rate of 60 to 70% exertion, then the body is still in a calm state when it’s being oxygenated through the exercise. And I am mindful when I exercise about using deep breaths between sets. So even if it’s a challenging workout, I will take very deep breaths, slow exhalations in between sets to optimize this aspect of health as well.

I think that’s all I wanted to cover in this video. We’ve got new workout guides inside the member’s area. If you’re not a member of Rheumatoid Solutions or Paddison Program, go join, that’s the place to be. If you’re serious about reversing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and living the healthiest possible life with the least possible symptoms. So make sure deep breaths when you’re exercising and make sure you’re exercising. If you’re highly inflamed, then keep exercise at sort of a 50% to 60% range and deep breaths between sets. As inflammation goes down, then you’ll be able to exercise at a more aggressive level because you have more vagus nerve activity and it’s not as crucial. All right. Take a deep breath. Oh Feels good. I hope you have a wonderful low-pain day. If you’re watching this on YouTube, give us a like. Make sure you subscribe and I’ll see you in the next video.


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