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How can vagal maneuvers slow your heart rate?

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Simply put, vagal maneuvers affect the vagus nerve, a long nerve that runs from your brain to your belly. It sends signals to the atrioventricular node, a cluster of cells at the bottom of your heart’s upper right chamber that helps control your heartbeat. Think of it as an electrical relay station. It takes signals from the sinoatrial node and slows them down before passing them along to the lower chambers. The result: A slower heart rate.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: “Atrioventricular node,” “Tachycardia / Fast Heart Rate,” "Congenital Heart Defects and Physical Activity."

Mayo Clinic: "Tachycardia: Symptoms and Causes."

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions: "Ice Bucket Challenge -- For the Heart?"

Cleveland Clinic Wellness: "What Happens in Vagus."

UCSF Department of Surgery: "Arrhythmias."

Stanford Health Care: "Vagal Maneuver Treatment."

American Family Physician: “Management of Common Arrhythmias: Part I. Supraventricular Arrhythmias,” “Performing Carotid Sinus Massage in Elderly Patients.”

UpToDate: “Vagal maneuvers.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 09, 2018

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: “Atrioventricular node,” “Tachycardia / Fast Heart Rate,” "Congenital Heart Defects and Physical Activity."

Mayo Clinic: "Tachycardia: Symptoms and Causes."

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions: "Ice Bucket Challenge -- For the Heart?"

Cleveland Clinic Wellness: "What Happens in Vagus."

UCSF Department of Surgery: "Arrhythmias."

Stanford Health Care: "Vagal Maneuver Treatment."

American Family Physician: “Management of Common Arrhythmias: Part I. Supraventricular Arrhythmias,” “Performing Carotid Sinus Massage in Elderly Patients.”

UpToDate: “Vagal maneuvers.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 09, 2018

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