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Q. Is it possible that I hurt my vagus nerve by massaging my neck gently?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Quka
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 23, 2021

Hi doctor,

Is it possible to hurt the vagus nerve by massaging the neck gently? I tried it and I do not want to hurt my vagus nerve. I have increased saliva secretion. Did I hurt my vagus nerve?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern. There is no way to hurt your vagus nerve by gently pressing it. You can just activate it. But it becomes inactivated once you stop massaging or putting pressure on it. Activation of the vagus nerve causes low heart rate and blood pressure. Sometimes, when your pressure remains high, it results in causing temporary loss of consciousness.

Thank you doctor,

I did a massage on both sides of my neck only for a few seconds. I am sending a picture of where I touched my neck. I am concerned about my increased saliva production and nausea. I do not want to hurt my vagus nerve.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have gone through the attached image (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Yes, it is the point of the vagus nerve and you have massaged it gently. There is nothing serious to be worried. Nausea and increased saliva production are some common effects of vagus nerve stimulation. There is nothing to become panic. You cannot damage your vagus nerve by doing a gentle massage on the neck.

Thank you doctor,

I did a massage last night and I started to have symptoms this morning.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I like to conclude that vagus nerve massage and your actual complaints are not related to each other. Increased saliva production and nausea are related to gastrointestinal issues. You can have acid reflux or indigestion. Anxiety plays an important role in this clinical situation. I suggest you try to take an antacid or PPI (proton pump inhibitor) like Omeprazole or Pantoprazole. I have excluded vagal nerve damage based on your symptoms. Be relaxed. You should know one thing. Vagus nerve massage is a routine procedure advised by doctors in persons having tachycardia and anxiety. It does not cause any damage to the vagus nerve.


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