Cardiac Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is caused by a disruption of your heart’s normal electrical system, which regulates your heart rate and heart rhythm. when your heartbeat is too fast, too slow, or beats in an irregular rhythm, it’s known as a cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), which is among the most common of the heart disorders. Most people, in fact, have occasional cardiac arrhythmias.

Causes of cardiac arrhythmia

  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Electrolyte imbalances in your blood (such as sodium or potassium).
  • Changes in your heart muscle.
  • Injury from a heart attack.
  • Healing process after heart surgery.
  • Irregular heart rhythms can also occur in “normal, healthy” hearts.


Heart rate is controlled by the two branches of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) releases the hormones (catecholamines – epinephrine and norepinephrine) to accelerate the heart rate. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) releases the hormone acetylcholine to slow the heart rate. Such factors as stress, caffeine, and excitement may temporarily accelerate your heart rate, while meditating or taking slow, deep breaths may help to slow your heart rate. Exercising for any duration will increase your heart rate and will remain elevated for as long as the exercise is continued.

Acupuncture’s effect on arrhythmias involves the following:
  1. the inhibitory effect on ventricular extrasystoles {tachycardia}an be induced by hypothalamic defense area stimulation: a low-current and low-frequency stimulation of the median nerve underneath acupoints P 5 or deep peroneal nerve underneath S 36 can activate arcuate nucleus–ventral periaqueductal gray –nuclei raphe pathway and release endorphin, enkephaline, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), etc., thus decreasing sympathetic outflow, and alleviating ventricular extrasystoles.
  2. bradycardia induced by stimulation of aortic depressor nerve can be blocked by stimulation of superficial radial nerve (underneath LI 6–7) or superficial peroneal nerve (underneath G37–39): these stimulations activate the rVLM release opioids and GABA to inhibit nucleus tractus solitarius and vagal nuclei, and block vagal bradycardia.
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