Heart Palpitations Can be Scary

You know how scary it can be if you’ve ever experienced the sensation of an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations. You wonder if it’s harmless or fear that this might be the big one and at what point you should talk with your healthcare provider.

The fact is, arrhythmias or missed heartbeats, are often not a cause for concern, and if you feel them occasionally, they are harmless. But, if you feel like your heart is racing, or if you experience a string of missed beats, or if your heart skips frequently, then you should definitely go see your doctor. Also, you may need to go to your doctor if feel dizzy or light headed while your heart is skipping,

Just like Western medicine, Chinese medicine considers your heart as the organ system that pumps blood throughout your body. In Chinese medicine, however, the Heart is also where your spirit or Shen resides, and as such is the organ that controls your consciousness, memory, and emotions. There is some credibility in the phrases having a “broken heart”, “tugging on your heartstrings”, “knowing something with all your heart”, as your heart is the organ that connects your emotions to your body.

Your heart is very sensitive to stress and upsets since it is an organ of spirituality and emotions. Other symptoms related to the heart, in Chinese medicine, include nightmares, vivid dreams, insomnia, and anxiety.

There are a number of physical factors beyond emotional upsets that may contribute to the skipping of heart beats. Here are some tips to consider if you’re experiencing palpitations:

1. Know the side effects of the medications you are taking: A lot of over-the-counter and prescription medications can cause irregular heartbeats. These include certain antidepressants, asthma inhalers, decongestants, Tagamet, and meds that treat, ironically, arrhythmia. Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor to know if the drug you’re taking causes skipped beats.

2. Take care of stress: Only when they’re under a lot of stress do individuals experience palpitations. To relieve stressful situations, and the stress itself, receive acupuncture or massage or do some meditation or yoga.

3. Do not overeat: Overeating can trigger an episode of irregular heartbeats for individuals prone to arrhythmias. Eat less and stay away from alcohol also along with cigarettes and chocolates.

4. For smokers, experiencing frequent palpitations is their body’s way of saying it’s really time to quit: There is never any good that can come out of smoking. Smoking is harmful to your cardiovascular system, and may be the underlying cause of your heart arrhythmias. If you’re a chronic smoker, then acupuncture might help you make it easier to quit smoking for good.

5. Exercise properly: Those prone to irregular heartbeats may set off an episode if they embark on a strenuous exercise too quickly. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up before starting workout. Later on, cool down a bit.

6. Don’t hold your breath: For certain people tense, shallow, or rapid breathing can trigger irregular beats. Be aware of how you’re breathing, and fully inhale and exhale with each breath.

7. Avoid caffeine: Irregular heartbeats can be exacerbated by drinking chocolates, energy drinks, tea, and coffee.

Lifestyle factors that you can control are frequently the causes of heart palpitations so changing your lifestyle is an ideal way of preventing them from happening. Heart palpitations can be alarming and make you worry about your health. The safest option is to see your doctor if you have any worries about what you are experiencing. You’ll have peace of mind even if it’s found that your skipped beats are harmless.