AF Association
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Has anyone tried Hypnotherapy as a treatment for Paroxysmal AF? My GP feels it can't do any harm, and that it may help. Any thoughts?

MY AF always comes on at night, usually after I have been asleep about 2 hours and just reaching deep sleep; and then I can't get back to sleep. If my trigger is "Relaxation", as it appears, maybe I could be hypnotised to respond in some way other than going into AF?

9 Replies

As a Gestaltist I practise holistic principles so think you won't know until you try.

I used energy techniques such as EFT, kinesiology and touch and breath and they certainly helped and on several occasions, in the relatively early days, stopped an episode. However, it wasn't a 'cure' and I continued to decline over 5-6 years and had to rely upon the meds (very unwillingly). For me, ablation is the only way to go And the earlier it is performed the higher the chance of succesl


I know that the mind is a powerful tool, after all disease is dis-ease is it not. At HRC, I think four years ago, we had a talk from a hypnotherapist and how he could help people and he did some small demonstration. I know several people subsequently wanted to see him to see how if it worked for them. Hypnotherapy, CBT and other such treatments can all help the patient to come to terms with their condition and this often allows them to control it to some extent but as we know it is a progressive condition and there is no cure as such although ablation often gives freedom from events for many years.

Go give it a try. What do you have to loose?



Hi Saanzale

It may be you have vagal AF which comes on at night when nervous system changes- I have this and have found that sleeping with more pillows and, in my case, not on the right side( some find it's the left for them!) also helps.

I've also found swimming and walking helpful as it raises my resting, low pulse a little.

It's best to avoid very large meals too.

In answer to your question,I think it may depend on whether hypnotherapy affects your pulse rate- if it decreases it, it may allow the Af to kick in??? I am guessing here but it would seem it may work better for the other type of AF brought on by stress etc- of course some people have both and if that's the case it might help??

I have also found my potassium to be low when i have had my worst attacks so am now ensuring i have good levels in the diet- oranges, orange juice, mushroom bananas etc!!

This, combined with exercise, seems to be lengthening times between episodes


Thank you all for your replies. I will let you know how I get on!


I also have Lone vagal AF. More pillows, go to bed early (i.e. not when you are dead tired), sleep on right, lie down and take a number of deep breaths and daily 2 mile walks works for me. I find, although boring, avoiding stress or deep relaxation is best…..just keep a steady middle road.

Too early to comment yet but just started a Magnesium supplement Nutri Ultra Muscleze recommended by my Alternative Practitioner - it has a number of other useful ingredients apart from Mg and after a week it is encouraging for my sleep so I will continue.

The whole thing seems to be just trial and error until you find what works, including whether drugs or ablation.


I have weekly acupuncture sessions to help with my AF.

I can tell you it certainly helps my mind, my stress levels and any worry about the AF.

This Saturday just gone I went for my session while in AF, 16 hours at the start of my session. By the end of the session I was back in NSR.

I prefer the term "complementary" to "alternative" medicine as I still follow the meds path.

I also take magnesium/potassium supplements and multi vitamins. I also use probiotics.

I still have AF, but it's more manageable and less symptomatic.

I would say give it a shot, it can't hurt and may well be of some benefit.


Are you on an anticoagulant and, if so, do you get any bleeding or bruising from the acupuncture?


Yes, I'm taking xarelto and have been since I started acupuncture. I've not had any bleeding, bruising or other problems. The needles go into the skin but not through it so bleeding shouldn't happen. My acupuncturist knows my medical history and knew what drugs I was on before she started on me.


My guess would be that your AF starts as your heart beats at it's lowest rate whilst you're asleep. Low heart rate and AF go hand in hand( my EP told me). As the beats become slower it leaves space for extra ones to enter and AF to begin. That is how it was explained to me.

I used to get tachycardia at around 125 bpm during the night that would wake me but always subside after an hour or a couple of hours. At least I think it was tachy(no jumpy heart) and not AF as the rate would record on the handles of my exercise bike! I would drag my sleepy self out of bed, sit on the bike and hold the handlebars to record my heart rate. I didn't know then that I also had PAF until an episode was recorded 2 years ago, an icy drink induced one.

From 2007-2012 my average heart rate unexplicably lowered (no medicine) itself by 10 bpm(lowest rate went from 62-52) , now the 'tachycardia' wakes me at 85-90bpm!

I'm just waiting to see my EP for the results of a recent 48hr holter, where I expect my bpm to have gone down further still! (still on no meds)as I have recorded rates myself of 48bpm during daytime rest.


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