Vagus Nerve

Information on the vagus nerve has been discussed often on this website and many websites offer information. I recently read this one and thought others could be interested. I suspect our heart issues may be influenced by other organs in ways doctors do not fully understand; and correcting these issues, might be more effective than attempting to fix the heart with medication or ablations. By trying various treatments available with the Scenar device that I purchased, I have noticed that I can positively influence the heart. One treatment on the stomach; that I tried, to my surprise immediately stopped an AF episode. Coincidence, or something more, I will learn should I be able to do it again. I have not had AF since to verify this. I have been doing the stomach treatment daily so maybe this is why AF has not reoccurred. One can always hope.

20 Replies

  • You always have the most interesting posts that prod us to think outside the (medical community) box. I'm often alarmed with all the newbies that come to this forum and they're already on all kinds of drugs -- doctors' specialty seems always to be prescribe daily drugs. Maybe I'm just lucky, but while my GP wanted me to take daily beta blockers (atenolol), my EP said it was okay to take only when in afib to reduce the heart rate. That has worked for me, but I realize it may not work for all. Some folks seem to be comforted by the fact that they're taking a daily drug -- but it really doesn't stop the afib, does it? I'm curious about the Scenar device and would like to learn more. Thanks for sharing this information!

  • I totally agree with you. Many things are a trigger & I feel reflux & indigestion can be one of them - when I have these my heart seems to react, so I try to keep my digestion under control by not eating things that set it off, or Imake sure I take something straight away before it takes hold.

    Best wishes Aly

  • Hello Engmac, looking forward to reading the link you provided, the Vagus Nerve with all its influences has been a big player for me. Over the last two years I think I have dealt with the Vagus Nerve triggers coming from the brain and am now focussed on the other end, triggers coming from the stomach; all hunches of course but you have to back yourself and so far I've been fine. Please post more on your experience with the Scenar device, great that it worked for you. Thank you!

  • Hi EngMac I agree - what I have discovered recently is that there are doctors and even cardiologists who specialize in autonomic arrhythmias - you will find a list of them on the PoTS site

    There is also a big link between autoimmune diseases and autonomic dysfunction which is currently being discovered. I recently asked the people I know with autoimmune diseases and without exception they all had some autonomic dysfunction. I am learning quite a lot about it and if you look on Facebook there is an international page with a lot people with PoTS + other diseases.

    Interestingly - ablation is not recommended for those with PoTS - finding that out now for me is a bit late.

    Glad you are having a positive result from the Scenar device, please do keep us updated.

  • G'day EngMac,

    Once again an interesting post .... thanks for that. I have quickly read the article and will read it all again more slowly. Its content adds to my own library of information on this little known item of healthcare. The Vagus Nerve. Diagnosed with AF in Jan 2010, around April 2010 realised the onset of an AF event was due to food, June 2010 consulted a Nutritionist (having had blood tests which cleared me of IBS and Coeliac Disease) who put me on a largish dose of Probiotics and suggested diet alternatives .... diet has been a constant work in progress and still is, however success has arrived and my last recorded AF event was in April 2015. So, no cardioversion, no ablation, yes - drugs, Warfarin and Bisoprolol are drugs of choice for my AF added to which are those I was already on prior to AF (Simvastatin, Ramipril and Felodopine).

    The diet is, as I said, a work in progress, there is always a challenge in the food department, recently my partner made a mistake in buying an Apple Pie, all to do with the pastry ! Within 6 hours my gut was going ballistic, I felt very ill, blood pressure soared, pressure around the chest made breathing harder, and feeling nauseous ..... took 5 days for me to return to normal. Fortunately no tripping into AF.

    As with 'heartmatters1' I believe that in my case for sure, keep the 'Vagus Nerve' calm and the heart stays calm.


  • Very interesting. Certainly my last two episodes of AF I believe were triggered by food. One involved drinking an iced coffee too quickly which was very uncomfortable (freeze burn?) and the last was after wolfing down some food (don't ask) and giving myself indigestion.

  • I will definitely follow this one up with interest. I'm convinced all my AF and 'attempted' AF episodes are down to the vagus nerve. Any unnatural body movement, such as tripping over the door sill, can get my stomach feeling like an AF episode wants to start. I always manage to control it by relaxing and employing deep breathing. The one thing guaranteed to bring on an episode is a cold sugary drink such as J2O late in the evening.

  • Hi engmac

    Am I glad to read your post. I have been thinking the same for many years now but never taken seriously . All my af attacks are felt in my stomach it's a horrible feeling . But still there talk of ablation the upper valves which to me is pointless . I am more than convinced that my problem and cure lies within my stomach . I have recently des covered I have h pylori which I am treating with mastic gum , liquorice. And honey .which is really helping me. I am also going for CBT counselling . The only downside is I am on flecainide twice a day which really is effecting my stomach and mood . At the moment I feel I am at the wrong end of the tunnel looking for that spark of light . Af in most cases I believe is a symptom not the cause

  • Very interesting responses -- all of these. I have after a year and a half from diagnosis discovered that ALL of my episodes seem to relate to digestion issues and the vagus nerve.

  • I do occasionally get ectopic beats but it's a totally different feeling to the one in my stomach that I take more seriously. With an ectopic I get that extra/skipped beat feeling in my chest that is gone as quickly as it comes. The feeling in my stomach (which is so difficult to describe) lingers until I calm it with deep breathing. I'm convinced I'd go into AF if I just ignored it once I get that feeling. My pulse does not go erratic or quicken when I get this feeling which is why it seems so strange to me.

  • Hi Alan

    I too get that feeling just can't describe it .just waiting for it to kick into af . Which thankfully it doesn't but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I am concern because there want to ablate my upper chamber where I never feel af . It's alway bottom of the heart /stomach . So I am at a loss which way to turn.

    All the best Alan


  • What type of sense device have you .

  • That should be scenar device.

  • Hi Azbycx. There are many Scenar devices which you can find by searching for Scenar. I purchased the Denas PCM6 from It seemed the best model for me. It is simple to use by a layperson, training is free, it does more than many other devices I read about and the price was more reasonable than what is charged for other makes. And it does what is advertised. In addition, I purchased the sticky pads, point probe to use on acupuncture points, the leads for the pads and the glasses for headaches.

  • Oh yes, it comes with a very good instruction book.

  • Hi Azbycx, if you purchase the device that I have, message me and I can give you some treatments for AF and insight into what I have learned. Not all devices work the same; so the treatments that I know about may not be available on all makes of devices. The device that my chiropractor has is very different from the one that I have. His is a professional model that requires in depth training to be able to use it effectively. The treatments are easy to do; but, if you are a person who won't take the time to do them, do not waste your money on a device. It takes a few weeks to get results. It seems that incremental improvement takes place over time.

    As my chiropractor says, "I am a test tube of one" so my "one of" experience is by no means a double blind study and my results may not be achieved by others. I am not on any drugs that could interfere with results. "You pays your money and you takes your chance." The device supposedly cannot hurt you and the other uses have made it worth the money. And I think my health insurance will pay 80% of the cost. This is still in limbo but I have sent the information requested for approval so hopefully it will happen.

    If you search massage, physio, and chiropractor practitioners in your area, you may find someone who has a Scenar. You can then ask if they treat AF. There is a chiropractor in Halifax and Toronto, Canada who have some experience treating AF. My experience is you still need your own device to do treatments more often unless you have lots of insurance coverage or money to pay the practitioner for very frequent treatments.

  • Thanks engmac, how long have you got A Fib , why did you stop takeing medication .

  • I have had Afib for close to 3 years. The medication I was given made the Afib worse and I could not get guidance from doctors or pharmacists so I quit taking all of it. After about 6 weeks, I would have Afib, about once a month or less, for three to four hours pretty much always when I was sleeping. I have tried all kinds of ways to control it. Last fall it got worse and happened more often. I tried to get an appointment with an EP. My only choice is government doctors. We don't have private ones in Canada. It will likely take a year or more to get an appointment. So I keep trying options on my own with some measure of success. Today I had challenges. For me the weather and stress are big factors. Today it rained and that will cause my Afib. May be atmospheric pressure is a trigger. Something is. If I can catch the start of Afib right away, it is quite easy to stop. But if it gets going, it is more of a challenge. It started while I was asleep. I was able to stop it but it took an hour and one half of trying with the Scenar device. I was able to go back to sleep and it did not start again while sleeping. Then off and on all day it tried to start again which I was able to stop without using Scenar. The rain has stopped and the forecast is sunny. Afib doesn't seem to want to start now. Bob's description "mongrel condition" pretty much describes it. Maybe if I keep using the Scenar device and can find the best treatment, the Afib will become more manageable. At least I am making progress. If there is a definite Scenar treatment that fixes Afib, I am not aware of it.

  • My AF is similar to yours and if it is going to happen it will be when I sleeping and when I dream .I don't know whether it's the medication that causing them, but I am always in some conflict with someone or some cause fighting and when I wake up my heart is racing and irregular .Last night I tried the tip you gave I placed my fingers on the back of my neck and pressed, it worked almost immediately .I think I will call it the engmac technique. I have managed to control my ectopic beats through diet change if I could only stop dreaming .I have seen an EP and on waiting list for ablation, I was diagnosed in January 15 .I was reading some of your post regarding ablation and was wondering if you were offered on tomorrow would you take it..

  • It is nice to hear that someone tried the neck pressure and it worked. Sometimes I wonder if it is just a fluke when I have not heard of anyone else having had success with it. For me it does not work all the time. Often by scraping my fingers with pressure down the right vagus nerve in the neck will stop it as well, especially if I stand at the same time.

    The last couple of nights I have had Afib again. The first night I could not stop it by trying everything that has worked in the past. Then last night I tried putting the Scenar pads on each side of the spine on my neck. I set it on 10Hz, and the Afib stopped immediately. Whether this will happen again is unknown. Because Afib happens when sleeping or when I sit a certain way, it makes me wonder if the vagus nerves are somehow impacted where they leave the spine in the neck. It seems that neck orientation has some influence. Ten hertz will pulse the vagus nerve and when I tried it last night you could feel this happening. Other frequencies will pulse it as well. The chiropractor used 10 Hz so I thought I would try that frequency. by using the pads, I can pulse the left and right vagus nerves at the same time. I have not been to the chiropractor for 4 weeks so I may need to go back to ask him to adjust my neck again. It seemed that Afib occurred less often when he was doing this. He also used his more sophisticated Scenar device on my neck so this could have helped as well.

    Has anyone seen any studies on how conditions in the neck may influence the vagus nerve and Afib?

    To decide about ablation, I would need to ask an EP specialist what they think in my case. I have never had this conversation. I think if Afib becomes chronic and drugs don't work, then ablation would need to be considered even with all its risks and indefinite results. Sometimes pace makers help minimize Afib so this is another option that could be tried before an ablation. Without a 100% solution, you are relying on inexact science and specialists with limited biased knowledge as the basis for your decision. I think many people make decisions on blind faith and this sometimes works as well as anything.

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