Palpitations are simply a sensation that the heart is beating in an unusual manner for you-- for example too forceful, too fast, or skipping or pausing. If you know how to take your pulse by feeling the radial artery at the wrist you will be able to tell rate and rhythm. After this it gets more complicated in a hurry. You need to have your heart listened to and you need to have an EKG, this may spot the problem unless it is intermittent. Some of the types of palpitations are definitely serious for example atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and premature ventricular contractions. The cause and need for treatment are bested handled by your doctor. There is a large amount of information on the web.