I am 73 years old and have had A-fib and ectopic heart rhythms since 2016. The first paroxysmal A-fib event happened while I was bending over and twisting my neck in my garden. But since then, I have noticed that any straining of my neck may irritate it and later I will have an A-fib event. Also, I now notice that if I eat a big meal, or have indigestion, or bloating, my heart rhythm changes. It seems to me that the connection is the vagus nerve, which runs from the head to the heart and then the GI tract, all my problem areas. And I do know there is such a thing as vagally induced A-fib.

Just recently I went to be fitted for hearing aids. While being fitted I started having palpitations. I later found out that the outer ear canal is innervated by the Arnold nerve, a branch of the vagus nerve.

I think that if I am more active after eating, instead of sitting down, the events are less likely to occur. When the events happen, sometimes I cough and it may stop them. I sometimes take a half of a Valium and if I wait, it stops them acting as a beta-blocker.

There is also a way of tapping on acupressure points that sometimes stops them, especially tapping on your chest. As I was writing this, I started having an irregular heart beat which I think was going into A-fib because my pulse was so fast. I took a half of a Valium and started doing your breathing exercise. After a few minutes, I burped three times and my heart beat normalized.

Thank you for listening to the stories we rarely get to tell other medical professionals. The options for treating A-fib and other irregular heartbeats are limited and have serious side effects themselves. Regards,