A palpitation is an abnormal, rapid beating of the heart, brought on by
overexertion, disease or drugs. It can also refer to a shaking motion.
Nearly everyone experiences a very occasional awareness of their own heart
beating, but when it occurs frequently, it can indicate a problem. Palpitations
may be felt with heart problems, but also in anaemias and thyroid malfunction.
Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments
This is linked, in TCM, to deficiency of Qi and Blood failing to nourish the
Heart due to constitutional weakness, inadequate diet, pro longed illnesses, or
the emotions of worry; over- thinking, fear and fright; or to a deficiency of
Yin and hyperactivity of Fire disturbing the Heart and, in some instances,
condensing body fluids into Phlegm, thus causing disturbance of the Heart and
Mind b Phlegm-Fire. Stagnation of Heart Blood, can also lead to palpitation.
This condition can be seen in functional diseases of the heart such as
arrhythmia and neurosis of the heart, organic heart diseases such as chronic
diseases of heart valves, coronary heart disease, and various types of
arrhythmia, and some diseases of other systems such as hyperthy roidism and
From TCM perspective Palpitations can be divided into Deficiency and Excess but
in practice they are often mixed together, with Deficiency predominating. Defi
ciency of Qi and Blood or deficiency of Heart Yin is the Ben (underlying
cause), while Phlegm-Fire and stagnaf of Blood are the Biao (outward
The principle of treatment (acupunture and/or Chinese herbs) is to provide ton
primarily, and to eliminate pathogens. s Herbs that calm the mind and soothe t3
Heart are used at the same time.
Clinical Manual of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, by Zhou Zhong Ying
& Jin Hui De , ISBN 0-443-05128-3