By Steve S. Ryan, PhD, Updated April 5, 2017
A-Fib.com readers and fellow A-Fib patients have shared these alternative treatments that have worked for them. They may work for you too.
For more about natural treatments, see FAQs: Natural Therapies & Holistic Treatments.
Homeopathic Remedies: Diane Willis wrote she is being treated by a chiropractor, that she is on a “raw” diet, and is involved in the spiritual healing community. She isn’t sure the Unda remedies were the one thing that stopped her A-Fib. “Although I personally feel that Unda was a leading contributor.” Email: Diane Willis docflute (at) gerf.org.
Iron Overload or Lack of Iron (Anemia) may cause, trigger or influence A-Fib. Have your ferritin levels checked.
Acupuncture/Acupressure: A 2010 study found acupuncture prevents arrhythmic recurrence after cardioversion in patients with persistent A-Fib. The article identified the acupuncture points to be stimulated.
See my article: ‘Acupuncture Helps A-Fib—Specific Acupuncture Sites Identified‘. On the basis of these research findings, acupuncture could probably help Paroxysmal A-Fib as well.
Chiropractic Adjustment (particularly for Vagal A-Fib)
• Bente Strong writes, “The Vagus nerve is central to digestive systems and the upper chambers of the heart. Keeping that area – the neck and thoracic (upper) region of the spine – open, aligned and flexible, clearly helps. I first discovered this after 3 days and nights of non-stop A-Fib, which went away for most of the next ten days after an adjustment. I now get a chiropractic adjustment every 2 weeks and frequently lie on my back across an exercise ball in order to stretch and adjust myself as best I can.” Email: bente_l(at)msn.com
• James writes, “After years with A-Fib (and some better results with some of Steve’s suggested supplements over meds), I still suffered from PACs. But after one chiropractic neck adjustment and some home tips to stay in line, the PACs have disappeared. I’ve been free of them for 2 months now. I believe the spine is the answer for me.” Email hwkmn05(at)hotmail.com
Patients Tips for Temporary Relief
The following tips may provide temporary relief from A-Fib attacks or they may not work at all for your A-Fib. Try them at your discretion.
• Moderate or intense exercise. For some types of A-Fib, moderate exercise may sometimes bring you out of an A-Fib attack. For others, exercise may trigger or increase an A-Fib attack. (Consider using a ‘runner’s heart monitor’ to track your heartbeat; available from sporting goods stores.) Short Maximum Intensity Exercise Stops My A-Fib.
• ‘A-Fibber in California’ also wrote about exercise: “I usually have A-Fib episodes once a week for anywhere from 10 hours to 24 hours. I wondered if after warming up, if my doing a short bout of maximum intensity exercise, 60 seconds all-out, on my stationary bike, if that would stop an A-Fib episode?…Yes. It worked!… Read more about what worked for him.
• Also about exercise: Ian writes: “I have had paroxysmal A-Fib for 6 years. I’m a 49-year-old male. I can bring myself back to a normal sinus rhythm by going for a run up a steep hill near my home. It’s not necessarily a pleasant experience, but has been successful 100% of the time. Once I’m back into rhythm, I can either continue on a run or head back home to get on with the day. ” ian.ph(at)hotmail.com
• Deep breathing and holding one’s breathe while pressing down hard on your diaphragm.
• Putting cold compresses or ice on the back of one’s neck.
• Laying down and trying to relax in a darkened room.
• A-Fib is sometimes triggered by body position—lying or leaning on the left side. Lying on one’s back and relaxing the chest may help terminate A-Fib episodes triggered by lying on the left side.
• Putting one’s head between one’s legs and deep breathing.
• One person writes that eating something very spicy restores his sinus rhythm, though half the time the effect is temporary. (Spicy food stimulates nerves in the stomach which in turn can influence atrial nerves.) Unfortunately in some people it may also provoke A-Fib.
• Warren writes, “When I wake at night and realize I am in A-Fib, I take a deep breath and squeeze my chest (constrict my pecs), and it stops.”
• Bruce writes that he converts himself by drinking either a quart of Gator-Aide, or 8 oz. of No-Salt V8 which he combines with 600 mg of magnesium (No-Salt V8 has 800 mg of potassium). He then takes 5 mg of Valium and goes to bed. 60% of the time he wakes up in sinus rhythm. Lying on the right side also helps.
Have some advice to pass on to others with A-Fib? Something that’s working to lessen your A-Fib symptoms, or reduce your frequency or duration of your episodes? Perhaps some ‘Lessons learned the hard way’?
Why not share it with others? Take a few minutes and send me an email about it. Short or long, your tip offers insights that can help others.
Sharing encourages others with A-Fib
to seek their cure!
Last updated: Monday, May 15, 2017