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The carotid baroreceptors are located in the ‘anterior triangle’ of the neck, a region bounded by the midline of the neck, the angle of the jaw, and the front of the sternocleidomastoid muscle of the neck. This is the point in the neck where the left and right carotid arteries from the aorta, split ( the ‘carotid bifurcation’) into the internal and external carotid vessels before continuing on their path to supply blood to the head (see diagrams previous pages).
To locate the left baroreceptor turn the head to the right, feel for the front of this muscle on the left and move the fingers forward at the height of the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple).
Pressing in on this soft indentation will give the carotid pulse and the location of the baroreceptors. Mark this position on the skin so that pressure can be applied correctly.
Application of Pressure Judo choke hold (Las Vegus Review)
Putting pressure onto the carotid arteries forms the basis of one of the common judo ‘choke holds’ (see the figure right). In Judo, the arm of a competitor (or assailant) is used as a ‘V’ to apply carotid pressure while leaving the person’s breathing unimpaired. Correct application will lead to syncope/ fainting within a few seconds. But, clearly, this is not something one can do to oneself!