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Faye Spencer, Boise, ID, April 2017

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Baltimore, MD

Doctors & patients are saying about 'Beat Your A-Fib'...

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Adelaide, Australia

"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su,
Cavanaugh Heart Center, 
Phoenix, AZ

"...masterful. You managed to combine an encyclopedic compilation of information with the simplicity of presentation that enhances the delivery of the information to the reader. This is not an easy thing to do, but you have been very, very successful at it."

Ira David Levin, heart patient, 
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"Within the pages of Beat Your A-Fib, Dr. Steve Ryan, PhD, provides a comprehensive guide for persons seeking to find a cure for their Atrial Fibrillation."

Walter Kerwin, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


FAQ: Natural Therapies & Holistic Treatment for A-Fib

Complementary & Natural Therapies

Complementary & Natural Therapies

FAQ: Natural Therapies & Holistic Treatment

Many A-Fib patients have questions about treatment alternatives such as naturopathic doctors, complementary or integrated medicine as well as mind/body practices (such as chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga and meditation).

1. Holistic approach: How do I find a doctor with a more “holistic” approach? I want nutritional counseling and a more integrated approach to my A-Fib treatment plan?

2. Complementary Medicine: I’ve read that yoga and acupuncture are considered ‘Complementary Medicine‘. What is that? How does it relate to conventional medicine?

3.  Naturopathic Medicine: “A dietitian friend referred me to a Naturopathic doctor. What is naturopathic medicine? Are they ‘real’ physicians?”

Related question:Have any readers reported success working with a Naturopathic doctor? Anyone controlling their A-Fib with supplements?”

4. Vagal: What is the ‘vagal maneuver’? I’ve heard it might help me during an A-Fib episode. What is it and how is it done? Is it safe?”

5. Diet: Is a whole food or organic diet helpful for patients with Atrial Fibrillation? Is there any research recommending one or the other?”

6. Chiropractic:  Do A-Fib patients find chiropractic adjustment useful? If so, what are their results? In the past, I’ve found it helpful for other ailments. Could it help with my A-Fib symptoms?”

7. Yoga: I do Yoga. It relaxes me and helps with my stress level. Is there any evidence on Yoga helping with other A-Fib symptoms?”

8. Acupuncture: What’s the research on acupuncture and Atrial Fibrillation? I’m willing to try it if it will help ease or reduce my A-Fib episodes.”

9. Natural blood thinners: “Have there been any tests comparing natural blood thinners to the new anticoagulants (NOACs) in terms of efficacy and speed of onset?”

“Most people use non-mainstream approaches along with conventional treatments. The boundaries between complementary and conventional medicine overlap and change with time.” ∼ US National Institutes of Health

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Return to Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Minerals & Supplements: Many Doctors Lack Nutrition Training

FAQ Minerals Deficiencies: Lack of Nutrition Training 

I tried to talk with my doctor about magnesium and other nutritional supplements. ‘There’s no proof that they work,’ was his response. Why are doctors so opposed to nutrition as a way of helping A-Fib.”

Unfortunately in the US, doctors have been taught to consider medication and surgery as the recognized way to treat patients, to the exclusion of nutrition. According to Dr. Colin Campbell, in his book, The China Study, “doctors have virtually no training in nutrition and how it relates to health…Nutrition training of doctors is not merely inadequate; it is practically nonexistent.”

For many doctors, the only therapy they will consider is an FDA-approved medication. Anything else is considered ‘snake oil’.

According the to 2010 report “Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools”, less than 1/4 of physicians feel they received adequate training in counseling patients on diet or physical activity. How does this happen? The research went on to report that fewer than 30% of medical schools are meeting the minimum number of hours of nutrition and physical activity training recommended by the national academy of sciences. No wonder!

For traditionally trained doctors, nutrition education, if any, is usually in the context of other courses like biochemistry and physiology, with the emphasis on the major discipline by teachers who have little interest and expertise in nutrition. Few medical programs hire nutrition-oriented physicians.

But this situation may be changing.

More of today’s medical schools are devoting time to nutrition especially as it relates to public health problems like obesity. At medical conferences (like the Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium), you will hear cardiologists and EPs discuss nutritional remedies for Atrial Fibrillation. (See Dr. T. Jared Bunch’s discussion of A-Fib and Dementia in the 2011 Boston AF Symposium.)

These days it’s possible for A-Fib patients to find an EP willing to discuss use of nutritional supplements. Many EPs today take a ‘whole-person’ approach to patient treatment. For example, when seeking an ablation, EPs will assist and even require an overweight or obese patient to change their nutritional habits and lose weight before they have a catheter ablation.

Seek a Holistic Approach

If your doctor isn’t willing (or trained) to discuss nutrition and mineral deficiencies with you, seek another doctor who will. In addition, you may want to seek out medical professionals who specialize in nutrition and take a holistic approach to treatment. Your search may lead you to an ‘integrative medical’ professional—physician, nurse, and/or health coach or a licensed naturopathic physician (ND). (See our FAQ: How do I find a doctor with a more “holistic” approach? I want nutritional counseling and a more integrated approach?)

References for this Article
¤ Campbell, T. Colin and Campbell II, Thomas M. The China Syndrome. Benbella Books, Dallas, TX. 2006.
¤ Adams, K.M., Kohlmeier, M., & Zeisel, S.H. (2010) “Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools: Latest Update of a National Survey.” Academic Medicine, 85(9): 1537-1542. Last accessed Dec 1 2014. URL:
Editor’s comments
Contrary to your doctor’s comments, there’s loads of research studies about mineral deficiencies in patients. Research has shown that some uses of dietary supplements are beneficial to health. For example, folic acid (vitamin C) prevents certain birth defects. And magnesium is used after heart surgery to avoid developing atrial fibrillation.

Return to: FAQ Minerals & Supplements
Last updated: Monday, June 18, 2018

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