Heart palpitations are sensations of rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeats. Factors that usually bring about palpitations include certain drugs, hormonal changes (in women) due to menses, menopause, or pregnancy, fever, nicotine, caffeine, exercise, stress, and anxiety. From time to time, heart palpitations can signify an underlying health condition such as arrhythmia, (abnormal heart rhythm), or hyperthyroidism. Although harmless, heart palpitations in Chinese are a sign of an internal imbalance that can need to potential health problems in the future.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, palpitations can have a number of causes. The symptoms that accompany them usually suggest an underlying disease pattern. The different patterns which may bring about heart palpitations include:
1. A severe or chronic disease – This can consume and weaken yang qi leading to the lack of warmth and undernourishment of the blood vessels and heart. Heart palpitations due to deficient heart yang may come along with cold limbs, pale complexion, chest distress, shortness of breath, and restlessness. Deficient spleen and kidney yang can result from the buildup of fluid that can obstruct heart yang and result in heart palpitations combined with edema, salivation, nausea, a feeling of fullness in the chest, and dizziness.
2. Prolonged illness, overwork, overstrain or frequent childbirth– These factors can deplete the body and the resulting kidney in deficiency and when kidney yin is deficient, it needs to an excess of heat or yang fire that blazes up and disturbs the mind and heart causing palpitations. The palpitations in this case may be accompanied by sweaty feet and palms, tinnitus, lower back pain, dizziness, insomnia, restlessness, and agitation.
3. Poor nourishment of the heart due to deficient blood stemming from loss of blood, overstrain, anxiety, and long term illness– This can also lead to also cause heart palpitations that’s accompanied by dizziness, poor memory, insomnia, pale complexion, and fatigue.
4. Chronic emotional upset such as excessive timidity, fried and anger– This can lead to liver and kidney dysfunction, or it may disturb the balance of yin and yang in the body causing the heart and gallbladder’s energy to weaken, which can scatter the mind. In this instance, the palpitations are usually accompanied by anxiety, panic, phobias or other emotional unrest as well as a slow, rapid or feeble irregular pulse, excessive dreaming, insomnia, timidity, and restlessness.
Heart palpitations provide Chinese medicine the opportunity to display its holistic treatment to the condition. Chinese medicine is a form of Eastern medicine that takes into account all the symptoms that a person experiences in order to come up with a very detailed diagnosis, that provides the acupuncturist our Chinese medicine practitioner a way to formulate a customized and much more effective plan of treatment. Most of the time, in different persons, a symptom can have very different causes. When the overall pattern of disharmony in each patient is understood, the acupuncturist in Spokane not only is able to treat the main complaint of the patient, it will also lead to an improvement in other symptoms and overall health that the patient will palpably experience.