Atrial fibrillation is considered an epidemic health condition that has considerably increased in the past two decades worldwide. It’s estimated that the incidence rate from 1997 to 2017 alone increased by 31% and continues to go up. The syndrome diagnosis from Traditional Chinese Medicine for this health condition may vary, but there are some acupressure points for atrial fibrillation that can be efficient in treating its main symptoms.
When it comes to the etiology of atrial fibrillation, meaning the origin and mechanism that causes it, we find not only one exclusive pattern but also many risk factors that can lead to the desynchronization of the heart’s upper chambers. In TCM, this main sign is deemed Insufficient Heart Qi, and the treatment includes the stimulation of acupressure points for atrial fibrillation.
There are several essential acupoints used in patients with severe cardiovascular conditions. One example of the most efficient atrial fibrillation acupuncture points is PC-6 Neiguan. In a case report of a 57-year-old male patient hospitalized with an atrial fibrillation crisis where Neiguan was stimulated, a considerable improvement was observed and the patient was discharged without the need for cardioversion. There are other acupressure points for atrial fibrillation that can be as beneficial as Neiguan, as we will see in this article.
Things To Have In Mind While Dealing With Heart Problems
In case you or someone close to you is suffering from atrial fibrillation, you should know about the generalities of this condition, such as its most common causes as well as habits that may trigger it.
Among the things which can be avoided are:
- Stressful situations
Stress is a part of life, even though the type of stress we experiment with in modern days is different from the stress our ancestors knew. Modern science explains stress in terms of nervous responses to external events and hormonal reactions in the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine explains stress in terms of excessive behaviors and organic debility.
According to TCM, the organs inside the body entreasure psychic aspects that govern our emotions. Our health condition is closely linked to our mental dispositions, so to speak, and the classical texts of Chinese medicine show us just how specifically our psyche affects our bodies.
The way in which stress is triggered is different in each individual. Therefore, each one has to access their own internal state in order to know what situation is causing the arousal of their chemical stress reaction and avoid it at all costs in the name of health.
- Alcohol and stimulants
While for some people bind drinking can trigger atrial fibrillation, there’s an observational study showing that people who drink even one cup per day have a 16% higher risk of developing this cardiovascular condition than people who do not drink any alcohol in their daily lives.
Stimulants that increase your heart rate are counter-indicated for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation as well. In TCM, stimulants like caffeine and alcohol are not indicated in any case, and healthy people are advised to consume those in very small amounts, if at all.
People with other health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation. In order to avoid these and other problems, it’s of utmost importance to follow a healthy diet according to each one’s habits and lifestyle.
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine therapeutic diet system, it is known that the flavors and qualities of each food have medicinal properties that serve as remedies for the different organs and systems of the body. TCM gives great emphasis to diet and lifestyle. Together, they constitute the two major causes of cardiovascular disease.
Acupressure Points To Treat Atrial Fibrillation
The possible effects of acupuncture on atrial fibrillation are promising. According to a study published in the journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology, acupuncture and atrial fibrillation are almost, if not perfect match. This study shows how stimulation of acupressure points for atrial fibrillation prevents arrhythmic recurrence after cardioversion in cases of persistent AF.
The main acupoint stimulated in the study was PC-6 Neiguan, but as we’ll see, there are other points that are treated in atrial fibrillation acupuncture in the clinic, and that are great acupoints that can be stimulated by oneself using acupressure. The best three acupressure points that you can use for atrial fibrillation are:
Acupoint: HT-3 (Other Names: Heart-3/Shao Hai/Lesser Sea)
Shaohai is located on the inside of the elbow, where the inner elbow wrinkles when the elbow is bent. It has the effect of adjusting the autonomic nerves and has the effect of calming palpitation and mental excitement, leading to the prevention of arrhythmia. It’s a good idea to press the acupoints for about 5 seconds and release them for 3 seconds, about 10 times on both the left and right sides.
HT-3 is also used in acupressure for ulnar nerve pain.
Acupoint: PC-6 (Other Names: Pericardium-6/Nei Guan/Inner Pass)
Neiguan can be found on the inside of the wrist. With the palm facing up, it is located between the wrist and the base of the forearm, and between the two tendons that continue from the center of the wrist, by moving three fingers of the hand. Press the left and right acupressure points and loosen the one that feels stiff for about 10 seconds.
PC-6 is known as an acupoint that softens the diaphragm that is responsible for breathing. When the movement of the diaphragm becomes flexible, breathing becomes deeper, and it can be expected to have the effect of alleviating the symptoms of arrhythmia.
PC-6 is one of the pressure points on the forearm used to regulate emotions.
Acupoint: PC-4 (Other Names: Pericardium-4/Xi Men/Xi-Cleft Gate)
Ximen is located on the inside of the wrist, between the two tendons that continue from the center. A little below the midline of the forearm when it’s facing up. The acupoint can be found four fingers width from PC-6 as shown above.
PC-4 is said to be an essential acupressure point for heart disease. If you have heart palpitations or arrhythmia, chest pain, and stiffness that are often noticeable on the left side of your chest where the heart is located, be sure to stimulate this point, especially on the left side. Press the left and right acupressure points and loosen the one that feels stiff for about 10 seconds.
PC-4 is one of the acupressure points for shoulder and arm nerve pain.