Acupressure and Acupuncture Points for AFib
My favorite acupressure point for the heart is located on the palm side of the ring finger at the area where the joint meets the palm. In my classes on diet for heart disease, I often discuss how to stop a heart attack using reflexology.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the hospital if the pain from a heart attack stops. Any heart problem needs to be addressed medically. However, reflexology could help save your life before you get to the hospital. This happened in one case history I read years ago.
Isn’t it interesting to see a correlation between the ring finger and the heart? This is a good way to remember which finger to start massaging and pressing whenever any heart issue is occurring, including atrial fibrillation.
Are There Any Studies on AFib and Acupuncture?
There’s actually a scientific study on the use of acupuncture for atrial fibrillation. The condition is triggered by different factors that tend to be unknown for most patients. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners believe that there’s a Heart Yin deficiency when a person has AFib. They use three acupuncture points for patients with AFib:
- The Neiguan spot (PC 6) on the Minister of the Heart meridian. This point is especially important when there are problems with the flow of blood in the coronary artery and rhythm disorders of the heart as it controls the pulse rate. The Chinese report that this point modulates the autonomic nervous system. It’s a good point for anxiety and heart pain. This point is located in the center of the forearm close to the wrist, two finger widths above the wrist crease between the tendons in that area.
- Shen Men point (HT 7). This point is believed to calm the heart when it’s in an excited state, and is located on the wrist crease on the thumb side of the tendon between the ulna and the pisiform bones.
- Xinshu point (BL 15). This acupuncture point is similar to PC 6 because it also has a modulating effect on the autonomic nervous system. It’s on the back, one and a half finger widths lateral to the lower part of the spinous process of T5 (5th thoracic vertebrae).
Doctors in Italy tested the effects of acupuncture on AFib in two small study populations of humans. The procedure involved giving them 15-20 minute acupuncture sessions once a week for 10 weeks. Here’s what they found:
- The PC 6 acupuncture point is capable of causing an anti-arrhythmic effect similar to the drug amiodarone.
- The PC 6 acupuncture point works in patients with persistent AFib.
- Stimulating the PC 6 acupuncture point will accumulate benefits with every treatment session.
- Acupuncture matched the efficacy of the most active available anti-arrhymic drug.
Pretty interesting, huh? I bet you never imagined that acupuncture could be that effective for AFib!