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Acupuncture Regulates Sex Hormones in PCOS

Acupuncture Regulates Sex Hormones in PCOS | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Acupuncture has been shown to regulate sex hormones and help women with PCOS in both laboratory experiments and human studies.

 

on 16 March 2014.

 

New research finds acupuncture benefits the ovaries by regulating sex hormones. Investigators conducted a laboratory experiment and documented important medical benefits induced by the application of acupuncture. According to the research, acupuncture facilitated “the normal transformation of ovarian androgen to estrogen” and restored normal endocrine system functions.

Acupuncture demonstrated several remarkable effects on the PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) rats in this laboratory experiment. The PCOS rats demonstrated pathological changes in ovarian tissue including abnormal thickening of the coating, thinning of the granular cell layer, mitochondrion swelling, enlargement of the endoplasmic reticulum and oocyte disappearance. After acupuncture, a significant and dramatic improvement of the ovarian physical structure was evident. Acupuncture effectively improved both morphology and ultrastructure of the ovaries.

The researchers discovered important biological mechanisms responsible for the improvements. Acupuncture effectively regulated hormones and restored normal levels of many endocrine secretions. Excess androgens are responsible for acne, excess hair growth and the cessation of ovulation. Acupuncture successfully restored conversion of these excess androgens to estrogens. Acupuncture also regulated cytochrome P450 (CYP), an oxidative enzyme. In abnormal concentrations, CYP causes dysfunction relating to oxidation and metabolism. In this study, acupuncture successfully and significantly regulated CYP expression. 

The acupuncture points needled in the study were CV4 (Guanyuan) and CV3 (Zhongji) for 20 minutes per day for 14 consecutive days. Electroacupuncture was applied at 2mA, 2Hz. An electron microscope measured improvements in ovarian tissue and structure as a result of acupuncture treatment. Blood tests tracked CYP, estradiol, estrone, androstenedione, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and other related substances. Electroacupuncture significantly regulated blood substance levels to improved medical states. The researchers note that acupuncture’s ability to regulate biochemicals within the blood directly caused the improvements to the ovarian tissue.

Related research published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism concludes that electroacupuncture improves menstrual frequency and balanced sex steroid levels in women with PCOS. Hyperandrogenism is a primary symptom of PCOS and is characterized by excess hair growth on the face, balding, deepening of the voice, increased muscle mass, acne and menstrual irregularities. The sex steroid levels in the electroacupuncture group improved significantly and acne markedly decreased. The study measured improvements in a wide range of endocrine variables. The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture may help induce ovulation in women attempting to conceive since participants showed significant improvement in monthly menstrual frequency. Infertility is a major side-effect of PCOS and acupuncture demonstrates the ability to medically address this dysfunction.

Acupuncture was applied to CV3, CV6, ST29, SP6, SP9, LI4 and PC6. Thirty minutes of 2Hz electroacupuncture was applied to acupoints CV6, CV6, ST29, SP6 and SP9 at each acupuncture session. Intensity was adjusted to induce local muscle contractions at a comfortable level. Acupoints LI4 and PC6 were manually stimulated every 10 minutes to evoke deqi. Acupuncture was administered twice per week for two weeks, one time per week for six weeks and once every other week for eight weeks for a total of 14 acupuncture treatments over a 16 week period. 

Another study concludes that both electrical and manual acupuncture “improve menstrual frequency and decrease circulating androgens in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).” Manual and electroacupuncture groups showed normalization of estrogen activity and a decrease in androgens. In addition, the electroacupuncture group showed changes in the central opioid receptors of the hypothalamus suggesting that electroacupuncture may be “mediated by central opioid receptors….” The manual acupuncture group showed changes in the steroid receptors of the hypothalamus suggesting that manual acupuncture “may involve regulation of steroid hormone/peptide receptors.”


References:
Sun, J., J. M. Zhao, R. Ji, H. R. Liu, Y. Shi, and C. L. Jin. "[Effects of electroacupuncture of" Guanyuan"(CV 4)-" Zhongji"(CV 3) on ovarian P450 arom and P450c 17alpha expression and relevant sex hormone levels in rats with polycystic ovary syndrome]." Zhen ci yan jiu= Acupuncture research/[Zhongguo yi xue ke xue yuan Yi xue qing bao yan jiu suo bian ji] 38, no. 6 (2013): 465-472.

Elizabeth Jedel, Fernand Labrie, Anders Odén, Göran Holm, Lars Nilsson, Per Olof Janson, Anna-Karin Lind, Claes Ohlsson, and Elisabet Stener-Victorin. Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenismand oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 300: E37–E45, 2011.

Electrical and manual acupuncture stimulation affects estrous cyclicity and neuroendocrine function in a DHT-induced rat polycystic ovary syndrome model. Yi Feng1,2, Julia Johansson1, Ruijin Shao1, Louise Mannerås Holm1, Håkan Billig1, Elisabet Stener-Victorin1,3 . Experimental Physiology. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2011.063131.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1274-acupuncture-regulates-sex-hormones-in-pcos#sthash.Ja7v64Bg.dpuf

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My Journey to Fertility... - YouTube (with acupuncture)

Karen Costin uses 5 element acupuncture to successfully treat infertility. This testimonial Aisling tells us how Karen helped her conceive even though she wa...
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Patient Money - Acupuncture May Help, but You’ll Need to Pay - NYTimes.com

Patient Money - Acupuncture May Help, but You’ll Need to Pay - NYTimes.com | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
A growing number of people are turning to acupuncture for help with conditions including infertility, chronic pain, depression and menopause symptoms.

 

By LESLEY ALDERMANPublished: May 7, 2010

WHEN Divya Kumar was having trouble getting pregnant four years ago, she meticulously tracked her menstrual cycles and found something was amiss. She was ovulating late, on Day 22, instead of on the more normal Day 14.

Enlarge This ImageRuby Washington/The New York Times

Some acupuncture schools, like the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan, offer treatment by supervised students for discounted rates. Holly Crafts Colasanti works on a fellow student, Patrick Kelley.

 

Ms. Kumar, then 29, went to see an obstetrician-gynecologist for help.

“The doctor said there wasn’t anything she could do for me because I was under age 35 and had been trying to conceive for less than year — even though it was clear something was not quite right,” Ms. Kumar explained. “She said, ‘come back in a year.’ ”

Ms. Kumar, who has a master’s degree in public health and lives in Jamaica Plain, Mass., decided to try an alternative. She went to see an acupuncturist who said, “I can help; give me 12 weeks.”

Because her insurer, like most, did not cover acupuncture, Ms. Kumar had to pay for the $70 weekly treatments she hoped would put her cycle on a more normal schedule. After the first few treatments, that seemed to be working. Two months later, Ms. Kumar was pregnant. There is no way of knowing for sure whether it was the acupuncture or the gynecologist’s keep-on-trying advice that helped Ms. Kumar conceive.

But a growing number of people are turning to acupuncture for help with conditions including infertility, chronic pain, depression and menopause symptoms. And they are turning to it even though financially it remains a largely out-of-pocket form of health care.

In a 2007 survey, 3.1 million adults reported using acupuncture in the previous 12 months, up from 2.1 million in a 2002 survey, according to the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a unit of the National Institutes of Health.

The center’s Web site is mainly neutral on the question of acupuncture’s effectiveness, and it urges people to go to a medical doctor — not an acupuncturist — to have a medical condition diagnosed. Acupuncture can have a powerful effect on your system, but serious ailments typically require a dose of Western medicine, like a course of antibiotics, a prescription-strength pain killer or even surgery.

Still, there are a handful of well-respected studies indicating that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for a range of conditions, like chronic headaches, osteoarthritis,depression in pregnancy and low back pain.

Western doctors are beginning to embrace it, sometimes sending their patients to acupuncturists for specific conditions. And the federal Food and Drug Administration takes it at least seriously enough to regulate acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners.

But insurers have been reluctant to cover acupuncture. And even in the relatively rare instances when insurers do, they might pay for only a few visits or a specific condition.

Ms. Kumar was able to get a financial break by using money from her flexible spending account at work. “It was expensive,” she said, “but probably not as expensive as infertility treatments would have been.”

When she was ready to have a second child, she again went to her acupuncturist, Claire McManus, and became pregnant within months.

Proponents say that acupuncture, in addition to helping treat existing conditions, can also help prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Some devotees of acupuncture even say they believe treatments keep them healthy and out of the doctor’s office, potentially saving them money.

“We’re seeing a small but growing number of clients come to our clinic for wellness tune-ups,” said Angela Grasso, director of clinical services at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan, which is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and trains students to become licensed acupuncturists.

To receive a license to practice acupuncture in New York State, one must have completed 4,050 hours of course work, done 650 hours of clinical training and treated 250 patients. Once students have completed those requirements, they must pass a national certification examination in acupuncture.

Marcus Berardino, 41, a massage therapist and yoga instructor in Brooklyn, swears by the acupuncture treatments he receives regularly. “Combined with other natural remedies like biking, healthy eating and a little daily meditating,” he said, “it keeps me healthy and fairly balanced.”

Some hospitals are beginning to offer acupuncture to inpatients for pain and anxiety.

“When patients receive acupuncture before or after surgery, their anxiety is less, and their pain is reduced,” said Arya Nielsen, director of the acupuncture fellowship program atBeth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. “They need less pain medication and so have less side effects from the medication.”

Beth Israel patients receive their acupuncture treatments free through the postgraduate fellowship program run by Dr. Nielsen, who has doctorate in the philosophies of medicine.

But for most people, money is a consideration. Sessions with an acupuncturist run about $65 to $120, depending on where you live (and some leading acupuncturists charge as much as $300). Most ailments require at least three treatments, while some chronic issues like arthritis might require biweekly or monthly sessions, depending on the situation.

If you want to try acupuncture, but are concerned about the cost, here are some suggestions:

CHECK YOUR COVERAGE Call your insurer and ask whether your policy covers acupuncture. If it does, press for details.

Find out how many sessions a year it allows and whether a doctor’s prescription is needed. Check whether it allows coverage for only certain conditions. Some policies, for instance, might cover acupuncture only for chronic pain.

TRY A SCHOOL If you must pay yourself, consider discount treatment by an acupuncturist-in-training. Most acupuncture schools have clinics where you can be treated by supervised students at discounted rates of $40 or so for one to two hours. To find a school, go to the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s Web site.

Barbara Andisman, who was told she had multiple sclerosis two years ago, has been going to the clinic at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Manhattan once a week for more than a year. She says the treatments help with her balance and energy.

“I have a type of M.S. for which there are no medications; the treatments have been incredible and helped keep me stable,” said Ms. Andisman, 52, who lives in Brooklyn. “If I miss a few sessions I notice a difference. I feel kind of sluggish.”

COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE If your problem is not serious or complicated — say you are suffering from stress or headache pain — consider visiting a community acupuncture setting, where fees can be as low as $15 a session.

You receive a brief assessment and then are treated, fully clothed, in an open room with other patients. It is the acupuncture equivalent of a chair massage.

To locate a clinic near you, see the Web site of the nonprofit Community Acupuncture Network.

USE FLEX SPENDING Even if your insurer will not reimburse you, your flexible spending account might — if you have one. Using flex-spending dollars to pay for treatments can reduce the cost by 20 percent or so, depending on your tax bracket. Look on your employer’s list of approved expenses to see whether acupuncture is included.

HAVE SOME PATIENCE Acupuncture often has a cumulative effect. If you have a simple cold or headache, you might feel better after one session. But it might take three sessions before you start to notice an improvement in a muscle strain, according to Ms. Grasso, who is also a licensed acupuncturist.

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Acupuncture a Baby Boon for Celebrities

Acupuncture a Baby Boon for Celebrities | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Many stars swear by acupuncture for assistance in conceiving children and maintaining good health during pregnancy. After years of infertility, popstar Celine D...

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"I had my second baby, thanks to acupuncture," reveals mum of two Pamela Flood - Independent.ie

"I had my second baby, thanks to acupuncture," reveals mum of two Pamela Flood - Independent.ie | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Former Miss Ireland says she was so stressed over wanting a second baby, she struggled to conceive.

 

Pamela Flood has attributed acupuncture to having her second baby.

The  television presenter and columnist writes about her experience in today’s issue of Mothers & Babies with the Irish Independent.

 

“I’m not someone who gets very stressed out about things but I wanted to have another baby so badly that my anxiety was at an all-time high about it,” she writes.

“Harrison happened so easily for us but Elsie was another story. After she was recommended to me by two unconnected people, I decided to go along to see acupuncturist Nin Thew, who has a particular interest in and gift for all things baby related.”

Acupuncturist Thew has two practices – one in Stradbally, County Laois and another in Monpellier beside the Phoenix Park.

“I started with Nin, going once every few weeks, back in September of 2012. Elsie was conceived only four months later and I continued to see Nin throughout my pregnancy.”

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Mothers and Babies iMagazine

Flood says her pregnancy went pretty smoothly, and again attributes that to Thew: “I would walk into her practice feeling uptight and walk out as chilled as be damned.

“It’s one thing to take all your supplements and watch your diet when baby’s on board but sometimes it takes a little extra care to keep things on an even keel. I honestly found the acupuncture invaluable for this. Each to their own, but I couldn’t recommend it more. You just have to see Nin' ‘baby wall of fame’ to see the results she has had over the years. “

- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/life/family/mothers-babies/i-had-my-second-baby-thanks-to-acupuncture-reveals-mum-of-two-pamela-flood-30248933.html#sthash.BGhILKl5.dpuf

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The use of complementary and alternative fertility treatment in couples seeking fertility care: data from a prospective cohort in the United States

The use of complementary and alternative fertility treatment in couples seeking fertility care: data from a prospective cohort in the United States | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Fertility and Sterility, Volume 93, Issue 7, Pages 2169-2174, 1 May 2010, Authors:James F. Smith, M.D., M.S.; Michael L. Eisenberg, M.D.; Susan G. Millstein, Ph.D.; Robert D. Nachtigall, M.D.; Alan W. Shindel, M.D.; Holly Wing, M.A.; Marcelle Cedars, M.D.; Lauri Pasch, Ph.D.; Patricia P. Katz, Ph.D.; Infertility Outcomes Program Project Group

 

 

 

Objective

To determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among couples seeking fertility care and to identify the predictors of CAM use in this population.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Eight community and academic infertility practices.

Patient(s)

A total of 428 couples presenting for an infertility evaluation.

Intervention(s)

Interviews and questionnaires.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine therapy.

Result(s)

After 18 months of observation, 29% of the couples had utilized a CAM modality for treatment of infertility; 22% had tried acupuncture, 17% herbal therapy, 5% a form of body work, and 1% meditation. An annual household income of ≥$200,000 (odds ratio 2.8, relative to couples earning <$100,000), not achieving a pregnancy (odds ratio 2.3), and a positive attitude toward CAM use at baseline were independently associated with CAM use.

Conclusion(s)

A substantial minority of infertile couples use CAM treatments. CAM was chosen most commonly by wealthier couples, those not achieving a pregnancy, and those with a baseline belief in the effectiveness of CAM treatments.

 Key WordsComplementary and alternative medicine; motivation; outcome; prospective; infertility

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A systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture in in vitro fertilisation - El-Toukhy - 2008 - BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology - Wiley Online Library

A systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture in in vitro fertilisation - El-Toukhy - 2008 - BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology - Wiley Online Library | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

Discussion

Complimentary and alternative therapies are widely used, with acupuncture ranking among the most popular therapies being used.5,34,35As a result, a link between acupuncture and IVF outcome is likely to be of considerable interest to clinicians and patients alike.

Advocates of acupuncture have suggested that it could improve IVF outcome through a number of possible mechanisms, including a central sympathoinhibitory effect, resulting in increased uterine blood flow, which in turn might improve endometrial receptivity;6stimulation of beta-endorphins release, which could influence steroid hormone secretion;36–39 and a direct, or endocrine-mediated, inhibitory effect on uterine activity.41

This systematic review and meta-analysis used the clinical pregnancy and live birth rates as indicators of the effect of acupuncture performed during IVF treatment on cycle outcome. The findings of our review fail to show a significant improvement in the clinical pregnancy or live birth rates associated with the use of acupuncture whether performed at the time of TVOR or around the time of ET. According to our results, the true effect of acupuncture performed at the time of TVOR on IVF outcome ranges from up to 13% relative reduction to a 24% relative increase in the chance of a clinical pregnancy and that of acupuncture performed around the time of ET ranges from up to 4% relative reduction to a 58% relative increase in the chance of a clinical pregnancy per IVF cycle started compared with no acupuncture.

The results of our systematic review and meta-analysis differ from those of the recently published systematic review examining the effects of acupuncture performed around the time of ET on pregnancy rates among women undergoing IVF.14 There are two reasons for such difference. First, our search identified an additional study,20 which was not included in the earlier review. Second, we included all five arms of the study of Benson et al.,32 whereas the review of Manheimer et al.14 excluded three arms of that study, partly because they restricted their analysis to needle acupuncture only. Even if we exclude the laser acupuncture arms of the study of Benson et al.,32 the results of our meta-analysis would remain unchanged (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.97–1.62, P = 0.09).

Importantly, our review highlights the uneven methodological quality of all the randomised studies published on the use of acupuncture during IVF treatment. Although all studies had a randomised design, very few described the randomisation procedure. In addition, lack of information on allocation concealment and blinding of assessors meant that important sources of bias in these studies could not be excluded.41 The review also illustrates the significant heterogeneity present among the studies examining the value of acupuncture performed around the time of ET. This heterogeneity could be attributed to the inconsistency in the definition of the intervention used, time of commencement of the intervention, whether sham acupuncture was used, variations in patient populations studied and IVF treatment protocols employed and differences in the quality features between the studies and their relatively small sample sizes.12,13 Another feature that has been postulated to be important to IVF outcomes is whether the acupuncture was ‘on-site’ (i.e. acupuncture being performed at the same location as ET) or ‘off-site’ (acupuncture being delivered in a setting some distance away from the IVF unit). For example, it has been hypothesised that the negative results from the study of Craig et al. may have been due to the added stresses of travelling to and fro between the acupuncture and the IVF centres.20

In addition to methodological limitations, the included studies varied considerably in the way acupuncture was delivered, the specific points used, the total dose of acupuncture given and the treatment provider (Tables 2–5). It has been suggested that the dosage of acupuncture used in some of the randomised trials included in this systematic review was very low and that higher dosages could have improved the efficacy of acupuncture.42 However, when the dose of acupuncture was increased in the study of Westergaard et al.,28 the statistically significant improvement in clinical pregnancy rate among the acupuncture group compared with the control group was lost and the early pregnancy loss rate increased. Likewise, the study of Smith et al.29 included an additional session of acupuncture on day 9 of stimulation but failed to show a significant improvement in IVF outcome after acupuncture. In a recent matched controlled study, Wang et al.43 found that acupuncture performed twice weekly during the follicular and luteal phases of an IVF cycle did not improve the clinical and continuing pregnancy rates. This inconsistency in the results indicates that any beneficial effect attributed to acupuncture is unlikely to be strictly dose related.

Further difficulty in interpreting the results of the published randomised studies relates to the mechanism whereby acupuncture could improve IVF outcome. Proponents of acupuncture use suggested that it could improve uterine blood flow and hence uterine receptivity.44This assumption is based mainly on the results of one study, which included only ten subfertile women undergoing pituitary suppression.6 However, the only randomised study, which assessed blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries before and after ET, failed to show any difference in the pulsatility index between the acupuncture and the control groups.26 The same research group33performed a prospective cohort study on 164 women undergoing IVF and found that acupuncture treatment did not inhibit uterine activity as previously suggested.

Another suggested benefit from acupuncture, which might potentially lead to improvement in IVF success rate, was reduction of stress levels and improvement in psychological wellbeing in women undergoing IVF.28,30,45 Interestingly, the only two randomised trials that attempted to test this hypothesis failed to provide supportive evidence. The study of Smith et al.29 found more women in the control group reporting sense of ‘relaxation’ and feeling ‘calm and peaceful’ after ET (67 and 64%, respectively) compared with the acupuncture group (51 and 55%, respectively). Furthermore, Domar et al.31 reported no significant differences between the study and the control groups in optimism levels after ET.

The choice of the control intervention also varied between the studies that examined the effect of acupuncture performed around the time of ET and could have contributed to the conflicting results reported in these studies. Paulus et al.27 and Myers12 raised the possibility that acupuncture might exaggerate pregnancy rates after IVF through a placebo effect. Contrary to this suggestion, pooling the results of the four studies in which no placebo intervention was employed in the control group yielded an effect size closer to the line of unity than the studies that employed a sham acupuncture technique. Furthermore, different forms of sham acupuncture were employed in the four studies that examined the effect of acupuncture at the time of ET on IVF outcome. The lack of a reproducible and reliable sham acupuncture technique that does not affect the acupoints (e.g. by acupressure or shiatsu) and is devoid of any negative effect12undermines the reliability of the results of these studies, may explain to a certain extent the significant degree of heterogeneity present among these studies and underlines one of the many difficulties faced in conducting such trials.42,46,47

Given the cost, relative invasiveness of acupuncture, potential for harm and the significant variation in the inherent features of the published studies, women embarking on IVF should be advised that based on current knowledge, there is insufficient evidence that receiving acupuncture during IVF treatment (whether at time of oocyte collection or ET) improves cycle outcome. Our review shows clearly that despite the publication of 13 trials of acupuncture during IVF, well-designed and conducted research into the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture carried out as an adjunct to IVF treatment is still needed before clinicians could recommend its use.

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Experimental study on acupuncture activating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in hypothalamus. [J Tradit Chin Med. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

Experimental study on acupuncture activating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in hypothalamus.  [J Tradit Chin Med. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

J Tradit Chin Med. 2010 Mar;30(1):30-9.

 

Experimental study on acupuncture activating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in hypothalamus.

 

Wang SJ1, Zhu B, Ren XX, Tan LH.

Author information 

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To probe into the most effective site, extra-ordinary point, acupoint and channel for regulating reproductive endocrine function by means of the study on acupuncture activating the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons (GnRH) in hypothalamus.

 

METHODS:

Female SD rats of reproductive age were used, and the in vivo study on GnRH neurons in hypothalamus was made with mimic sexual stimulation and feedback regulation. The neuron-activating effects of the acupoints on the channels pertaining to the zang- and fu-organs related with reproductive endocrine and the extra-ordinary points in different regions were studied using the discharge of the neuron as index, and then the neurons were labeled with horseradish peroxidase (HRP).

 

RESULTS:

Acupuncture was given at two acupoints each on the three yin channels of foot, the three yang channels of foot, the Conception Vessel and the Governor Vessel. The order of the mean increasing percentage in the hypothalamic GnRH neuron electric activity was: the Gallbladder Channel > the Spleen Channel > the Stomach Channel/the Bladder Channel/the Conception Vessel > the Liver Channel > the Kidney Channel > the Governor Vessel; for different acupoints, it was: Guanyuan (CV 4) > Sanyinjiao (SP 6) > Zusanli (ST 36) > Daimai (GB 26)/Yanglingquan (GB 34) > Shenshu (BL 23) > Weizhong (BL 40) > Yaoyangguan (GV 3)/Liangmen (ST 21)/Fujie (SP 14) > Qimen (LR 14)/Yingu (KI 10) > Tangzhong (CV 17)/Zhiyang (GV 9); for different positions, it was: the lower abdominal part/the lower limb part > the thoracodorsal part; for the extra-ordinary points, it was: Zigong (EX-CA1) > Dannang (EX-LE6)/Yaoyan (EX-B7) > Baichongwo (EX-LE3)/Qianzheng > Jingbi/Bizhong/Taiyang (EX-HN5) > Erbai (EX-UE2)/ Dingchun; and for the distribution sites of the extra-ordinary points: lower abdominal region > the lower limb region > the craniofacial region > the upper limb region/the thoracodorsal region.

 

CONCLUSION:

For regulating the reproductive endocrine function, the acupoints located at the same neural segment with the reproductive organ should be selected as the main points, and it is necessary to combine with syndrome differentiation of the viscera and channels.

PMID: 20397460 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text

 

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation [J Tradit Chin Med. 1993] - PubMed - NCBI

Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation [J Tradit Chin Med. 1993] - PubMed - NCBI | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

J Tradit Chin Med. 1993 Jun;13(2):115-9.

 

Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation

Mo X1, Li D, Pu Y, Xi G, Le X, Fu Z.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

Ovulatory dysfunction is commonly seen in gynecology clinic. It may cause infertility, amenia, functional uterine bleeding and a variety of complications. This research according to TCM theory records treating with acupuncture 34 patients suffering from ovulatory dysfunction.

 

Changes in clinical symptoms and some relative targets are reported, plus findings in animal experiments. The effect of acupuncture in improving ovulation and the rationale are discussed. According to TCM theory concerning the generative and physiologic axis of women, this research involved the following points: Ganshu (UB 18), Shenshu (UB 23), Guanyuan (Ren 4), Zhongji (Ren 3), and Sanyinjiao (Sp 6).

 

The reinforcement and reduction of acupuncture enables it to strengthen liver and kidney. Through the Chong and Ren channels it nourishes uterus to adjust the patient's axis function and recover ovulation. Treated on an average of 30 times, the patients' symptoms improved to varying degrees. The marked effective rate was 35.29%, the total effective rate being 82.35%. BBT, VS, CMS, and B ultrasonic picture all improved to some degree. The results also showed that acupuncture may adjust FSH, LH, and E2 in two directions and raise the progesterone level, bringing them to normal. The animal experiments confirmed this result.

 

Results showed that acupuncture may adjust endocrine function of the generative and physiologic axis of women, thus stimulating ovulation. The results of this research will provide some scientific basis for treating and further studying this disorder.

PMID: 8412285 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Acupuncture in endocrine and metabolic disorders: research, PCOS

Acupuncture in endocrine and metabolic disorders: research, PCOS | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

Acupuncture in endocrine and metabolic disorders

 

 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine and metabolic disorder—“the female metabolic syndrome”—associated with ovulatory dysfunction, abdominal obesity, hyperandrogenism, hypertension, and insulin resistance.

 

The precise etiology of the disease is unknown but excessive ovarian androgen production and secretion seem to play a key role. A potential contribution of the sympathetic nervous system as a primary factor in the development and maintenance of PCOS has been suggested.43 We have conducted a study on women with well-defined and diagnosed PCOS and anovulation to elucidate the effect of repeated low-frequency (2Hz) EA treatments on endocrinologic and neuroendocrinologic parameters as well as on anovulation.44 

 

This study showed that repeated low-frequency EA treatments exert long-lasting effects on both endocrinologic parameters as well as on anovulation. These results are in accordance with previous studies,45,46 but it is obvious that randomized, comparative studies are needed to verify these results. However, these studies do not enlighten possible underlying mechanisms of EA, but it can be hypothesized that these EA effects are mediated through inhibition of the activity in the ovarian sympathetic nerves.

 

 

In recent studies on an estradiol valerate (EV)–induced rat polycystic ovary (PCO) model, we showed that repeated low-frequency EA treatments resulted in a reduction of high ovarian nerve growth factor (NGF), corticotrophin-releasing factor, and endothelin-1 concentrations—all markers for sympathetic activity—as well as increased low hypothalamic b-endorphin concentrations and immune function.47 We have tested the hypothesis further that repeated low-frequency EA treatments as well as physical exercise modulates sympathetic nerve activity in rats with steroid-induced PCO by studying the expression of mRNA and proteins of α1a- α1b- α1d- and β2-adrenoceptors and the NGF receptor p75NTR and immunohistochemical expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH).48Physical exercise almost normalized ovarian morphology and both EA and physical exercise normalized the expression of NGF and NGF-receptors, as well as α1- and α2-AR, suggesting that these interventions may have a therapeutic effect.

 

Recently, our group developed a new rat PCOS model that incorporates ovarian and metabolic characteristics of the syndrome.43 After continuous exposure to 5α-dihydrotestosterone, from prepuberty until adult age, the rats have typical PCO with an increased number of apoptotic follicles. Moreover, the rats develop obesity accompanied by enlarged adipocyte size and insulin resistance, indicating that high levels of androgens induce alterations in body composition and reduced insulin sensitivity in this PCOS model. What is of great importance is that we have shown that low-frequency EA andexercise ameliorate insulin resistance in rats with PCOS.49 This effect may involve regulation of adipose-tissue metabolism and production because EA and exercise each partially restore divergent adipose-tissue gene expression associated with insulin resistance, obesity, and inflammation. In contrast to exercise, EA improves insulin sensitivity and modulates adipose-tissue gene expression without influencing adipose tissue mass and cellularity.

 

These rat PCO/PCOS studies demonstrate that low-frequency EA induces effects on the endocrine, the metabolic, and the sympathetic nervous system.43


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Acupunturist Zita West: "How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife"

Acupunturist Zita West: "How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife" | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

How my amazing mother inspired Call the Midwife: She was a cross between kind Nurse Jenny and Sister EvangelinaZita West's mother Ita Devanney was a midwife in the FortiesHelped to delivery hundreds of babies every yearHated being made to retire in 1984 aged 60Worked in a care home right up until her death

 

By ZITA WEST

PUBLISHED: 01:54, 24 December 2013

 

Excerpt:

"It was while working in a hospital in Warwick in the Nineties that I started using acupuncture alongside mainstream obstetrics to help women suffering from morning sickness.

 

I later moved to the Hale Clinic where Princess Diana was a patient, and then as my client base grew I decided to open my own clinic in Harley Street."


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Shaftesbury Acupuncture Clinic's curator insight, December 28, 2013 10:20 AM

This is an interesting article, Zita is a well known acupuncturist and midwife.

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National Institute of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Acupuncture Information and Resources Package

National Institute of Health  National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Acupuncture Information and Resources Package | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

NCCAM Acupuncture Information and Resources Package

 

Mechanisms of Action
 
Several processes have been proposed to explain acupuncture's effects, primarily those on pain. Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body's self-regulating systems.

 

The biochemical changes may stimulate the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being. There are three main mechanisms:

 

Conduction of electromagnetic signals: Western scientists have found evidence that acupuncture points an strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at it greater rate than under normal conditions. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and of immune system cells to specific sites that are injured or vulnerable to disease.

 

Activation of opioid systems: research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.Changes in brain chemistry sensation, and Involuntary body functions: studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones in a good way.

 

Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person's blood pressure, blood flow, and body temperature are regulated.


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Author Lucinda Riley one how alternative medicine and acupuncture changed her life | Health | Life & Style | Daily Express

Author Lucinda Riley one how alternative medicine and acupuncture changed her life | Health | Life & Style | Daily Express | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
BEST-selling novelist Lucinda Riley suffered a catalogue of health problems as a young woman but then she discovered alternative medicine and acupuncture and she has never looked back
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Traditional Chinese Medicine | Fertility Research Delivers Healthy Results

Traditional Chinese Medicine | Fertility Research Delivers Healthy Results | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a long history of benefiting fertility in many ways. Traditional Chinese Medicine is effective on solving fertility problems

 

Fertility Research Delivers Healthy Results

By: Fertility Research Delivers Healthy Results

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for thousands of years. Amazingly, the first written gynecological records date back to the Shang dynasty (1500 BC- 1000 BC), but here in the U.S. and other Western countries, people are just beginning to understand and appreciate the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

It isn't easy to compare Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicine because there are profound differences that underlie the basic notions of your health, body and treatment. Western medicine often takes a more mechanistic view of people - your body may be treated as if it is a collection of machine parts rather than one whole, integrated system. Alternatively, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees individuals as personal ecosystems, with each part depending on, and influencing, all the other parts. This "whole body" approach means that treatment addresses the complete systems of your body rather than just attending to your symptoms. As a result of such a treatment strategy, most patients experience an improvement in their specific condition and also a better overall sense of health and well being.

TCM and Fertility: The Research

There are many factors that may make your conception difficult to achieve and, even after conception, you may face problems bringing your pregnancy to term, which causes frustration, upset and increased stress. However, research using acupuncture to enhance fertility is providing reason for new optimism in the struggle with this old problem.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be used alone or in conjunction with Western medicine. A 2002 German study that received a lot of attention found significantly higher conception rates (42.5% vs. 26.3%) when acupuncture was used with IVF.[1] More recently, two studies published in May 2006, showed that acupuncture can improve IVF success rates. First, in Germany, 225 women undergoing in vitro fertilization participated in a study. Of these, 116 patients received luteal phase (the phase after ovulation) acupuncture according to the principles of TCM and 109 people received a standard protocol of acupuncture. The treatment group using TCM principles had a significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate than the placebo group (33.6% vs. 15.6% respectively). [2] Second, a Denmark study published at the same time examined the effect of acupuncture received on the day of embryo transfer vs. no acupuncture, and they also found a significant increase in pregnancy rates (39% vs. 26%). The researchers concluded that acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer improved the outcome of IVF.[3] A third study published at the same time found the results too small to be considered clinically significant but these researchers also concluded that acupuncture was safe for women undergoing IVF.[4]

Other research is showing acupuncture's effectiveness with men. A study published in 2005 demonstrated that sperm motility and quality improved after the men received treatment with acupuncture.[5]

As further proof that TCM has gained acceptance and success, in September, 2005, the University of Maryland received $400,000 from The National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institute of Health, to research the benefits of Acupuncture combined with IVF.

In Vancouver on May 18, 2007, Dr. Paul Magarelli, an infertility physician at the Reproductive Medicine & Fertility Center, and Diane Cridennda, an acupuncturist at East Winds, both centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, presented their research results which were published in Infertility and Sterility in April, 2007. This is one of several studies the two have completed. In the protocol, they used a minimum of 9 acupuncture treatments within 2 months before the embryo transfer. Since this was a research study, each patient received the same treatment. No modification in points was allowed. From a clinical TCM/acupuncture perspective, the treatment protocols were very limited compared to individulized treatment of each patient.

What were their results? Lorne Brown, Doctor of TCM, founder and clinical director of Acubalance Wellness Centre, the first TCM clinic in British Columbia dedicated to reproductive wellness, analyzed the data Dr. Magarelli presented and has posted the following conclusions on his website:

Acupuncture does not cause harm to fertility or negatively interfere with an IVF outcome.Acupuncture can statistically improve the live birth rate from IVF to between 10-15%.Acupuncture reduces the number of ectopic pregnancies in an IVF setting.The acupuncture protocol (minimum of 9 treatments using set points) did not affect egg quality BUT it did improve the host. Therefore, it seemed to improve factors affecting implanation rather the egg quality itself.The mechanism by which acupuncture improves implantation and live birth rates results from acupuncture's ability to regulate the body's hormone levels (particularly prolactin and cortisol) to mimic these hormone levels in a natural cycle.

 

Why Does TCM Work?

Why? "Acupuncture provides better circulation and better blood flow to the womb," said Dr. Raymond Chang, director of New York's Meridian Medical Group, who has been incorporating acupuncture into fertility treatments for the past decade. "It will give a better chance for the eggs to be nourished and therefore carried." Acupuncture seems to help some women because it improves circulation to your ovaries and to your uterus. It aids ovarian stimulation, improves the thickness of uterine lining, and therefore can help with implantation. Acupuncture is relaxing, which helps to lower your cortisol levels and increase progesterone output, important factors in decreasing your chance of having a miscarriage.

Western medicine works with an eye on the numbers. The main goal is to increase the quantity of eggs or sperm, thereby increasing your chances of a viable pregnancy. In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine is holistic and cumulative. It will likely include suggestions about diet and lifestyle as well as acupuncture. TCM is very personalized. Your practitioner will needle specific points and may suggest specific herbs, all depending on your body and your situation. When your body is healthy and balanced, you increase your chances of getting pregnant and producing a healthy child. The goal of acupuncture is to return your body to a state of health. The effects take time; the results get better over time. Even if your Western doctor does not understand the benefits of acupuncture, most physicians now agree that it does not cause harm.

"Nourish the Soil before Planting the Seed"

Plan ahead. The ideal time to begin preparing your body for a baby is three months before conception or an IVF cycle. This is the time to begin acupuncture treatments, but many couples wait until they are actively trying to conceive. In my practice, I recommend twice weekly treatments until we get a positive pregnancy test and once a week for the first trimester to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Of course, making good nutritional choices is always important for both mother and child. Specific suggestions can be found in one of my previous articles, "The ABCs of Fertility: Acupuncture, Babies, Chinese Medicine" which can be read on Acufinder.com and on TCM007.com.

You can also help your body's readiness by attending to the following suggestions:

Caffeine : Reduce or cut out coffee from your diet. A joint US/Swedish study of 562 women found that 1-3 cups of coffee increased miscarriage rate by 30% and more than 5 cups increased it by 40%.[6] Also, in another study conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy, women who had a high caffeine intake showed an increased risk of repeated miscarriage.[7]Stress : Stress has been linked to irregularieties in ovulation and abnormal sperm development. When you can lower your levels of physiological stress, you have increased your chances of conception.Sleep : Treatment in Chinese medicine always aims to improve your sleeping pattern. Lack of sleep has long been recognized as influencing fertility. It leads to physiological disruptions including the inhibition of growth hormones.Alcohol : Women who drink alcohol may delay conception because it is poorly metabolised and can lead to a disturbance of the oestrogen/ progesterone balance. During IVF, men and women are both advised to avoid alcohol because, in women, it can lead to reduced egg production and, in men, it may reduce the number of healthy sperm.Weight : Being too thin or too heavy can have an impact on how quickly you conceive. Excessive thinness is known to interfere with menstrual periods. Now, it is also believed that if both partners are overweight or obese, conception will take longer.Smoking : Smokers have an increased rate of repeated miscarriage.[8] Women smokers have been shown to have lower levels of oestrogen which may delay conception. Smoking is also thought to influence tubal factor infertility, and can cause early menopause. In men, smoking may damage sperm. When men stop smoking, their sperm count increases quickly.

 

By following the Chinese medicine approach to balancing your body, mind and spirit, you will not only boost your fertility but you will feel more energized, sleep better and experience a greater sense of wellbeing.

Summary

In summary, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a long history of benefiting fertility in many ways. Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine include:

Improvements in your uterine liningIncreased blood flow to your uterusRegulation of your hormonesReduction of your stress associated with fertility problemsImproved function of your ovariesIncreased conception with or without ARTIncreased live birth ratesLower rates of ectopic pregnancies

 

And for men...

Improved semen quality and quantityReduce stress and improve well being.

Jennifer Dubowsky earned her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College, an accredited 4 year Master's program in Boulder, Colorado. She received her Diplomate from the NCCAOM, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Jennifer has been in practice since 2001. She has a passion for her work and has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. She can be reached at 312-399-5098 or through e-mail at TCM007@aol.com.

Additional references

The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies by Dr. Randine Lewis. Human Reproduction Journal, Volume 11, Number 6, 1996.

Fertility and Sterility, Volume 78, Number 6, December 2002 Raised cortisol predicts spontaneous abortion Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2006. Early online publication

[1] Paulus, W., et al. Fertility and Sterility. April, Vol. 77 (4):721-724, 2002.
[2] Dieterle,S., Ying, G., Hatzmann, W., Neuer, A. Fertility and Sterility, May, Vol. 85 (5):1347-135, 2006.
[3] Westergaard, L., Mao, Q., et al. Fertility and Sterility, May, Vol. 85 (5): 1341-1346, 2006.
[4] Smith, C., Coyle, M., et al. Fertility and Sterility, May, Vol. 85 (5) 1352-1358, 2006.
[5] Pei, J., Strehler, E., Noss, U. et al. Fertility and Sterility, July, Vol. 84 (1), pgs. 141-7, 2005.
[6] Cnattingius, S. et al, New England Journal of Medicine Vol.343(25):1839-1845, Dec., 2000. 
[7] George, L., et al. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Vol. 20 (2): 119-126, March, 2006.
[8] Ibid.

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The Role of Acupuncture in in vitro Fertilisation [Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI

The Role of Acupuncture in in vitro Fertilisation [Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Abstract

Background/Aims: In recent years, acupuncture has become more and more popular in the management of subfertility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment on the outcomes of clinical pregnancy in published randomized studies. Methods: This is a systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources used were MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Knowledge and the Chinese Biomedical Database. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the acupuncture group and no acupuncture (intervention) controls around the time of embryo transfer (ET; risk ratio, RR, 1.24, 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.02-1.50) or in unblinded trials, trials blinded to physicians and double-blind trials (95% CI 1.26-1.88, 0.82-1.33 and 0.89-1.25, respectively). This was also the case when comparing acupuncture with sham acupuncture controls around the time of ET (RR, 1.03, 95% CI 0.87-1.22) or when restricting to unblinded trials, trials blinded to physicians and double-blind trials (95% CI 0.80-2.02, 0.82-1.18 and 0.77-1.17, respectively). There was a statistically significant difference when performed at 30 min after ET and implantation phase (RR 1.76, 95% CI 1.22-2.55). There was also a statistically significant difference when performed at follicle phase and 25 min before and after ET (RR 1.56, 95% CI 1.04-2.33). Conclusion: Our study showed that acupuncture did not significantly improve the IVF clinical pregnancy rate when performed only at the time of ET, while we found pooled benefit of acupuncture for IVF when performed at follicle phase and 25 min before and after ET, as well as 30 min after ET and implantation phase

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

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Acupuncture & Herbs Beat Drugs For Fallopian Tube Infertility

Acupuncture & Herbs Beat Drugs For Fallopian Tube Infertility | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Infertility is better treated with acupuncture and herbs than drugs when it is due to fallopian tube obstruction according to a new study.

 

Acupuncture and herbal medicine outperformed drugs for the treatment of infertility due to fallopian tube obstructions. Researchers at the Maternal and Child Care Service Center of Puyang City (Henan) conducted a randomized controlled study of 200 patients with fallopian tube obstruction related infertility. Pregnancy rates were measured for the drug group and the acupuncture combined with herbal medicine group at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after completion of treatments. The acupuncture and herbal medicine group had a significantly higher improvement in pregnancy rates than did the pharmaceutical medication group. The acupuncture combined with herbal medicine group achieved an 85% pregnancy rate and the medication group achieved a 38% pregnancy rate. As a result, the acupuncture continuing education researchers conclude that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is a more effective approach for treating fallopian tube obstruction induced infertility than pharmaceutical drugs.

Drugs
The drug group received administration of a powerful antibiotic, a synthetic corticosteroid and a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins. The patients received 160,000 IU of gentamicin by injections. This antibiotic is commonly used for severe systemic infections. They also received 5 mg dexamethasone corticosteroid injections and 4,000 IU chymotrypsin enzyme injections. The drug treatment was applied every other day until ovulation, comprising one course. The entire care lasted for three courses.

Acupuncture
The primary acupoints for acupuncture treatment were:

Qihai (CV6)
Zhongji (CV3)
Zigong (EX-CA1)
Sanyinjiao (SP6)
Xuehai (SP10)
Ganshu (UB18)
Shenshu (UB23)

Ahshi tender points upon palpation were chosen near Zigong. Needles were 1.5 cun long filiform type acupuncture needles. Twirling needle insertion methods were applied until a deqi sensation arrived. For CV6 and CV3, the acupuncturist applied manual techniques to obtain a deqi sensation extending to the perineum. Even reinforcing-reducing methods were also applied. After the withdrawal of needles, cupping was applied to UB18 for 10 minutes. The acupuncture began three days after the cessation of menstruation. One course of care lasted for one menstrual cycle. The clinical outcomes were documented after three courses of care.

- See more at: http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1354-acupuncture-herbs-beat-drugs-for-fallopian-tube-infertility#sthash.sCqLY4pr.dpuf

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The Effects of Adjuvant Whole-Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine [acupuncture] on In Vitro Fertilization Live Births: A Retrospective Cohort Study | Abstract

The Effects of Adjuvant Whole-Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine [acupuncture] on In Vitro Fertilization Live Births: A Retrospective Cohort Study | Abstract | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicineThe Effects of Adjuvant Whole-Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine on In Vitro Fertilization Live Births: A Retrospective Cohort Study

To cite this article:
RubinLee Hullender, OpsahlMichael, WiemerKlaus, HumphreyAngela, AllenPatrick, MistScott, and AckermanDeborah. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. May 2014, 20(5): A12-A13. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.5029.abstract.

Published in Volume: 20 Issue 5: May 7, 2014

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ABCs of Fertility: Acupuncture, Babies, Chinese Medicine

ABCs of Fertility: Acupuncture, Babies, Chinese Medicine | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Benefits of Acupuncture Include:

1.improved uterine lining

2.increased blood flow to the uterus

3.regulation of hormones

4.reduction of stress associated with fertility problems

Recently a study demonstrated that sperm quality and motility was improved after the men received acupuncture treatments. The men treated experienced increased sperm motility levels, increased the number and percentage of healthy sperm, and significant improvements in sperm structure and quality as compared to a control group. An important German study that received notable attention in the American press showed that acupuncture significantly increased the effectiveness of IVF success. Impressively, pregnancies were documented in 34 out of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group as compared to 21 out of 80 patients (26.3%) in the control group. Part II of this article will explain how to use Western infertility treatments and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) together.

It is advisable to begin acupuncture 3 months before attempting to get pregnant, but most women wait until they are actively trying to conceive. In my practice, I see women 2 times weekly until we get a positive pregnancy test result and 1 time weekly for the first trimester to reduce the risk of miscarriage.

The main goal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to keep the body in balance or to restore balance. This is one reason why TCM is so effective with fertility which depends on a balanced body.

 

[...]

 

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A review of controlled trials of acupuncture for women's reproductive health care -- White 29 (4): 233 -- Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care

J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 2003;29:233-236 doi:10.1783/147118903101197863

ReviewA review of controlled trials of acupuncture for women's reproductive health careA R White, MA, BM BCh, Senior Lecturer

+Author Affiliations

Complementary Medicine, Institute of Health and Social Care Research, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UKCorrespondenceDr A R White, Complementary Medicine, Institute of Health and Social Care Research, Peninsula Medical School, 25 Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NT, UK. E-mail:Adrian.White@pms.ac.ukAbstract

Background Acupuncture as a therapy, and acupressure as self-treatment, are increasingly widely used for gynaecological conditions, and this study aims to review the scientific literature on their effectiveness.

Method A systematic review of controlled trials of acupuncture or acupressure for gynaecological conditions, published in a European language.

Synthesis No studies in mastalgia, menorrhagia, pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome or vulvodynia met the inclusion criteria. Four studies, two of which were patient-blinded, of acupuncture or acupressure for dysmenorrhoea suggest that it may have an effect. Three studies of acupuncture given at various stages of infertility treatment are promising, but none was patient-blind. Two studies of acupuncture for menopausal symptoms showed no effect during the treatment period when compared with sham acupuncture, and a third study showed no effect on hypertension in postmenopausal women, though some improvement in symptoms was noted.

Conclusion In view of the small number of studies and their variable quality, doubt remains about the effectiveness of acupuncture for gynaecological conditions. Acupuncture and acupressure appear promising for dysmenorrhoea, and acupuncture for infertility, and further studies are justified.

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Pregnancy and acupuncture

Pregnancy and acupuncture | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
What does one of the oldest healing practices in the world have to do with your fertility? Modern science says a lot, actually.

 

Planning on becoming a mum one day? Hopefully you’ll be one of the eight in 10 women who fall pregnant within a year.

If you struggle to conceive you’ve got plenty of options, including IVF, the use of which has more than doubled in the past 10 years. But there’s a more natural approach that could be just as effective: acupuncture.

 

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture helps regulate qi, a form of energy that flows through your body. When qi is thrown off balance, health issues can occur.

“Research is being carried out in clinics and hospitals worldwide, verifying the beneficial use of traditional Chinese medicine in treating infertility,” says Jane Lyttleton, clinical director of The Acupuncture IVF Support Clinic.

 

So how does being needled help? “It depends on what’s causing your infertility,” says Lyttleton. Here, five main conditions her clinic treats:

 

Polycystic ovary syndrome “Acupuncture can reduce some of the internal factors that prevent polycystic ovaries from working properly,” says Lyttleton. A study in theAmerican Journal of Physiology found repeated acupuncture treatments increased ovulation frequency in PCOS patients.

 

Endometriosis “Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been shown to be effective for reducing the symptoms of endometriosis and improving fertility,” says Lyttleton. “They work to reduce inflammation and regulate the patient’s immune activity.”

 

Poor ovary function “Acupuncture can help with irregular periods by regulating hormones to improve menstrual cycle regularity, which will in turn increase fertility.”

 

Male infertility “Clinical trials have demonstrated the benefit of acupuncture to sperm quality – especially when there is low motility [when sperm aren’t moving forward correctly] or high numbers of abnormal forms,” says Lyttleton.

 

Stress It’s not news that stress can have a negative impact on fertility. Thankfully those little needles can be great for stress reduction, says Lyttleton. “Acupuncture can raise your endorphin levels and reduce stress hormones allowing your body and mind to relax immediately.” Om...

 

Need(le) to know: Your acupuncture questions, sorted.

*Who’s it for? “We have two main groups of patients,” says Jane Lyttleton, a Chinese medicine infertility treatment expert. “Women in their late 30s to early 40s, who want to use every strategy they can or who have tried IVF with no success. The second group: younger women having difficulty conceiving from having a gynaecological condition, like endometriosis or PCOS.”

 

*Does it hurt? It’s nothing like the flu jab, says David Lee, program leader for acupuncture at Endeavour College of Natual Health. “If the needle is placed in the right position you won’t feel a thing.” Typically they stay in for 20-25 minutes – enough time for a nap.

 

*How much does it cost? Consultation and treatment ranges from $75-90 per session. You won’t pay in full if you have health cover.

 

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Acupuncture (but Probably Should) by Zita West

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Acupuncture (but Probably Should) by Zita West | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
To celebrate Acupuncture Awareness Week we clear up some of the common misconceptions surround this ancient Chinese treatment and speak to leading acupuncturist Zita West to find out more.

 

10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE (BUT PROBABLY SHOULD)To celebrate Acupuncture Awareness Week we clear up some of the common misconceptions surrounding this ancient Chinese treatment and speak to leading acupuncturist Zita West to find out more...

By Alexia Dellner 04 March 2014 Next article

© Shutterstock1/ ACUPUNCTURE PREDATES CONTEMPORARY WESTERN MEDICINE

Acupuncture dates back more than 3,000 years, with some acupuncturists arguing that it’s actually closer to 4,000 years old. It is based on the ancient Chinese belief that there are channels of energy (qi or chi) called meridians, flowing through the body that are important for health and wellbeing. ‘According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), obstructions to the flow of energy along these channels can result in physical, mental and emotional imbalance, which may eventually lead to disease. Stimulating acupuncture points frees the flow of energy so the body can re-establish its natural balance,’ says Zita. Got it?

2/ ACUPUNCTURE ISN’T JUST FOR HIPPIES

2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year, making acupuncture one of the most popular complementary therapies practiced in the UK today. Zita trained as a midwife before becoming an acupuncturist and her A-list client roster includes Kate Winslet, Stella McCartney, Jemma Kidd, Cate Blanchett, Anne-Marie Duff and Sophie Wessex. All of whom went to see Zita while they were pregnant. Which brings us to our next point…

3/ ACUPUNCTURE MAY INCREASE A WOMAN'S CHANCE OF BECOMING PREGNANT

The jury’s still out on this one, but one report from the University of Maryland stated that acupuncture could increase a woman’s chance of pregnancy by 65%. ‘Moods, hormones and cycles govern women who are trying for a baby,’ explains Zita. ‘TCM makes a connection between the heart and the uterus, following the principle that qi becomes blocked by strong emotions. If the qi is unable to flow down to the uterus because of stress, worry or anger blocking the way, it will inevitably be harder to maintain regular cycles and fall pregnant.’

4/ NEEDLES WERE ORIGINALLY MADE OUT OF STONE, BONE AND BAMBOO

Yikes! But don't worry; these days acupuncture needles are usually made out of stainless steel and are prepackaged, sterilised and disposable. They are very fine in diameter, about the thickness of two human hairs.

5/ NEEDLES ARE OPTIONAL

Although needles are more traditional, if the idea of someone sticking needles into your forehead makes you queesy, don't fret. It’s possible to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture without the needles by either using finger pressure or small electrical charges.

6/ BUT STICKING YOUR TONGUE OUT IS MANDATORY

‘The ancient Chinese didn't have all the scans and blood tests we have today, so instead they had to make a diagnosis based on observation and took into account attributes such as the colour of the skin, heat distribution throughout the body and the emotional aspects of that person,’ says Zita. ‘They did this by looking at the tongue, taking the pulses and working out where the patterns of disharmony lay within the body which linked to a Meridan system (12 in total which correspond to different organs) and as a result, were able to offer a treatment specific to each individual.’

7/ ACUPUNCTURE ISN'T PAINFUL

Believe it or not, acupuncture actually feels pretty nice (when done properly). ‘I would say that the sensation a person experiences is often unique to them,’ says Zita. ‘They may initially feel a dullness or tingling around the insertion site, but this is often very pleasant. Once this feeling settles down, the body may begin to feel heavy, easing you into a very restful state.’

8/ ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

A recent Korean study showed that ear acupuncture can help people lose weight, with better results if practitioners stimulated five points instead of just one. Participants in the two-month study saw BMI drop by up to 6 percent and they also had less body fat and a smaller waist. There's no need-le to diet anymore then!

9/ ACUPUNCTURE MAY HELP DEPRESSION

A 2013 study published in the journal PLOS Medicine showed that patients who suffer from depression may benefit more from acupuncture alongside their usual care, compared with usual care alone. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of York in the UK who found that after 3 months of acupuncture, patients with moderate to severe depression showed a significant reduction in average depression.

10/ A GOOD ACUPUNCTURIST SHOULD BE HIGHLY TRAINED AND CERTIFIED

This ensures that acupuncture is safe, effective and free from any negative side affects. A good acupuncturist should also be kind and understanding, says Zita. ‘An acupuncturist needs to really be with their client in order for them to reach full potential. They need to recognise boundaries and instinctively know when an issue needs referring to a doctor or midwife.’ Find a trained acupunturist near you on the British Acupuncture Council’s website.



Read more: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/health/symptom-checker/1098/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-acupuncture-but-probably-should#ixzz2vJCl1LUf


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Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility [Gynecol Endocrinol. 1992] - PubMed - NCBI

Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility [Gynecol Endocrinol. 1992] - PubMed - NCBI | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

Gynecol Endocrinol. 1992 Sep;6(3):171-81.

 

Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility.

 

Gerhard I1, Postneek F.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

Following a complete gynecologic--endocrinologic workup, 45 infertile women suffering from oligoamenorrhea (n = 27) or luteal insufficiency (n = 18) were treated with auricular acupuncture. Results were compared to those of 45 women who received hormone treatment. Both groups were matched for age, duration of infertility, body mass index, previous pregnancies, menstrual cycle and tubal patency. Women treated with acupuncture had 22 pregnancies, 11 after acupuncture, four spontaneously, and seven after appropriate medication. Women treated with hormones had 20 pregnancies, five spontaneously, and 15 in response to therapy. Four women of each group had abortions.

 

Endometriosis (normal menstrual cycles) was seen in 35% (38%) of the women of each group who failed to respond to therapy with pregnancy. Only 4% of the women who responded to acupuncture or hormone treatment with a pregnancy had endometriosis, and 7% had normal cycles.

 

In addition, women who continued to be infertile after hormone therapy had higher body mass indices and testosterone values than the therapy responders from this group. Women who became pregnant after acupuncture suffered more often from menstrual abnormalities and luteal insufficiency with lower estrogen, thyrotropin (TSH) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) concentrations than the women who achieved pregnancy after hormone treatment. Although the pregnancy rate was similar for both groups, eumenorrheic women treated with acupuncture had adnexitis, endometriosis, out-of-phase endometria and reduced postcoital tests more often than those receiving hormones.

 

Twelve of the 27 women (44%) with menstrual irregularities remained infertile after therapy with acupuncture compared to 15 of the 27 (56%) controls treated with hormones, even though hormone disorders were more pronounced in the acupuncture group. Side-effects were observed only during hormone treatment. Various disorders of the autonomic nervous system normalized during acupuncture. Based on our data, auricular acupuncture seems to offer a valuable alternative therapy for female infertility due to hormone disorders.

 

PMID: 1442162 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Effect of abdominal acupuncture therapy on the endocrine and metabolism in obesity-type polycystic ovarian syndrome patients].[Article in Chinese [Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

Effect of abdominal acupuncture therapy on the endocrine and metabolism in obesity-type polycystic ovarian syndrome patients].[Article in Chinese  [Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2010 Aug;35(4):298-302.

 

[Effect of abdominal acupuncture therapy on the endocrine and metabolism in obesity-type polycystic ovarian syndrome patients]

 

.[Article in Chinese]Lai MH1, Ma HX, Yao H, Liu H, Song XH, Huang WY, Wu XK.Author information 

 

Abstract

 

OBJECTIVE:

To observe the effect of abdominal acupuncture on the endocrine and metabolic level in obesity-type polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) patients.

 

METHODS:

Eighty-six PCOS patients were randomly and equally divided into medication group and abdominal acupuncture group. Patients of medication group were treated with metformin (250 mg/time, t.i. d. in the 1st week, and 500 mg/time, t.i.d. thereafter) for 6 months,and those of abdominal acupuncture group were treated by abdominal acupuncture [Zhongwan (CV 12), Liangmen (ST 21), etc., once daily for 6 months]. Changes of the body height, body Mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), Ferriman-Galleey score (FGS), menstrual frequency (MF) and ovarian volume (OV) were determined. Serum luteotrophic hormone (LH), free testosterone (T), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) contents were detected with radioimmunoassay. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting insulin (FIN), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), Homa insulin resistance index (IRI) were detected with chromatometry respectively.

 

RESULTS:

After the treatment, BMI, WHR, FGS and OV were reduced significantly in both medication and abdominal acupuncture groups (P < 0.05), while MF of the two groups increased evidently (P < 0.05), and the effects of abdominal acupuncture group were significantly superior to those of medication group in down-regulating BMI, WHR and upregulating MF (P < 0.05). Regarding the reproductive hormons, serum LH, LH/FSH and T levels in the two groups decreased significantly (P< 0.05), and the effect of abdominal acupuncture was superior to that of medication group in reducing serum T level (P < 0.05). Following the treatment, FBG, BG and FIN and INS contents 2 h after meal,and Homa IR in both medication and abdominal acupuncture groups all decreased considerably (P < 0.05), but without significant differences between them (P > 0.05). Regarding the blood lipid levels after the treatment, serum TC, TG, and LDL-C levels of the two groups decreased significantly (P < 0.05), while serum HDL-C level increased remarkably (P<0.05), without significant differences between the two groups in these indexes (P > 0.05).

 

CONCLUSION:

Abdominal acupuncture treatment can improve the endocrine and metabolic function of patients with obesity-type PCOS

 

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.


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Research: The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34,000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists (2000) | BMJ

Research:  The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34,000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists (2000) | BMJ | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Participants, methods, and results The study involved a prospective postal audit of treatments undertaken during a four week period in 2000. All 1848 professional acupuncturists who were members of the British Acupuncture Council and were practising in the United Kingdom were invited to record details of adverse events and mild transient reactions after treatment. Standardised self report forms were used. Participating practitioners also provided information on themselves, including age, sex, length of training, and years of practice. To have a 95% probability that no serious event occurs in n treatments, a survey sample size needs to be three times n.4 On this basis, a sample of 30 000 treatments was sought. Piloting indicated that a four week period was needed. A total of 574 practitioners participated, 31% of the total population. The mean age of participants was 44.8 years (range 23-79 years), 65% were female, and 62% had been practising acupuncture for more than five years. Information on sex, training college, and length of practice was available from the British Acupuncture Council's database. Participants were sufficiently representative of the population of practitioners for a re-weighting of the primary data to be unnecessary. Participating practitioners reported on 34 407 treatments. Practitioners were asked to give details of any adverse events they considered to be “significant,” including any event that was “unusual, novel, dangerous, significantly inconvenient, or requiring further information.” There were no reports of serious adverse events, defined as events requiring hospital admission, leading to permanent disability, or resulting in death (95% confidence interval 0 to 1.1 per 10 000 treatments). Practitioners did, however, report 43 minor adverse events, a rate of 1.3 (0.9 to 1.7) per 1000 treatments. The most common events were severe nausea and fainting (table). Three avoidable events—two patients had needles left in, and one patient had moxibustion burns to the skin—were caused by practitioners' errors. View this table: In this window In a new window Details of 43 minor adverse events associated with 34 407 acupuncture treatments, all reported as “significant” by practitioners Participating practitioners recorded 10 920 mild transient reactions occurring in 5136 treatments, 15% (14.6% to 15.3%) of the 34 407 total. Some local reactions at the site of needling were reported—mild bruising in 587 (1.7%) cases, pain in 422 (1.2%) cases, and bleeding in 126 (0.4%) cases. Patients experienced an aggravation of existing symptoms after 966 (2.8%) treatments, 830 (86%) of which were followed by an improvement, possibly indicating a positive “healing crisis.” The most commonly reported mild transient reactions were “feeling relaxed” in 4098 (11.9%) cases and “feeling energised” in 2267 (6.6%) cases, symptoms that often indicate an encouraging response to treatment.3

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Western medical doctor, Dr. Weil, on the mechanisms of acupuncture: "It has also demonstrated clinical success in achieving pregnancy when used in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization."

Western medical doctor, Dr. Weil, on the mechanisms of acupuncture: "It has also demonstrated clinical success in achieving pregnancy when used in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization." | Fertility acupuncture | Scoop.it
Learn more about acupuncture and acupuncture treatment for a variety of medical conditions, from Dr. Weil, your trusted health advisor.

 

Acupuncture

 

What is acupuncture?
Contrary to popular Western belief, acupuncture is not just a system for inserting very fine needles into specific body locations to alleviate pain. It is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health.

 

The traditional explanation for acupuncture's effectiveness is that it modifies the flow of energy (known as qi or chi) throughout the body, but there is no scientific consensus that this is actually its mechanism of action. Research published in the May 30, 2010 online edition of Nature Neuroscience demonstrated that the effects of needling include influencing the activity of adenosine, an amino acid which becomes active in the skin after an injury to ease pain. This may explain in part why pain relief is often experienced with the therapy. In fact, much research in the West has focused on this pain-relieving effect, rather than acupuncture's traditional role of balancing energy to address a wide range of disorders, and the more subtle mechanisms that may be responsible for its overall benefits to health.

 

Acupuncture was popularized in the States during the early 70's after President Nixon opened relations with China. At the time, a New York Times reporter, James Reston, had an appendectomy in a Chinese hospital using acupuncture as a means to decrease his post-surgical pain.

 

What is acupuncture used for?


Because the goal of acupuncture is to promote and restore the balance of energy, which flows throughout the body, it can be used for a wide variety of conditions, from emotional disorders (anxiety, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome). It can be beneficial for pain syndromes due to an injury or associated with chronic degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be helpful in treating neurological problems like migraines or Parkinson's disease, or as a rehabilitation strategy for individuals who suffered a stroke. Respiratory conditions, including sinusitis and asthma have been relieved with acupuncture, as have many gynecologic disorders and infertility. Acupuncture has also proved beneficial for reducing fatigue and addictions, and for promoting overall well-being.

 

Studies in the U.S. indicate that acupuncture can help relieve chronic low back pain, dental pain, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia and symptoms of osteoarthritis. It has been shown to assist in the treatment of emotional pain syndromes such as post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. It has also demonstrated clinical success in achieving pregnancy when used in conjunction with in-vitro fertilization.

 

What should one expect on a visit to a practitioner of acupuncture?


Typically, the first visit involves a comprehensive health history assessment. Questions that are included may seem strange, but in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - which encompasses acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage and other modalities - energy flow and whole-body interaction are the keys to diagnosing all physical disease. For example, the practitioner may ask to examine your tongue, feel your pulse to help determine energy flow, or ask many questions related to bowel habits and diet, even if these seem to have nothing to do with the primary complaint.

 

After the initial consultation and assessment, the needles are placed in very specific locations. Upon insertion, one may feel a momentary sharp or stinging sensation; however, many report they don't even feel the majority of the insertions. It is common to experience a deep ache for a short time in some of the points. The needles may then be gently manipulated and some practitioners may use heat or even electricity with the needles.

 

The depth to which the needles are inserted varies according to the treatment and the practitioner; however, needles should never be positioned deep enough to puncture organs (other than the skin). The needles are usually left in place for five to 20 minutes, usually no longer than 60 minutes, and then removed.  Following a treatment, practitioners will usually reassesses the client and often give suggestions for home care. It is also typical to suggest supplemental Chinese herbs to enhance the achievement of energetic balance. Acute symptoms may require only two to four treatments; whereas for chronic cases, it is common to have as many as 12 or more treatments, usually over a course of eight to 10 weeks. Regular monthly visits may be suggested as preventive measures to decrease stress, improve energy or boost immunity.

 

Are there any side effects or indications where acupuncture should be avoided?


Those with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood thinners should check with their doctors before having acupuncture. The most common side effects are bleeding and bruising at the site, along with minor pain and soreness. It is recommended that a disinfectant such as alcohol be swabbed over the area prior to needle insertion to decrease the very small possibility of infection. Obviously, needles should be clean and never shared between clients. Rarely, a needle may break. The worst case scenario is a punctured organ.

 

However, serious complications are extremely rare when acupuncture is performed by a qualified, certified practitioner. A review of the international research literature revealed pneumothorax (a punctured lung) to be the only life-threatening complication to have occurred among tens of thousands of patients over nine separate trials. No post-acupuncture infections were reported in any of the studies.

 

What is Dr. Weil's view regarding acupuncture?


Although there are certification courses offered to medical doctors to learn acupuncture, preferably, the practitioner will be trained in a TCM program to be maximally qualified. An understanding and background in TCM is important in achieving optimal results with acupuncture. Look for practitioners who have thorough knowledge and training in this modality of treatment and who specialize in TCM or acupuncture as their primary form of treatment.

 

Acupuncture is increasingly recognized by Western medicine as an effective alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments for stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, joint conditions, low back pain, and asthma as well as for the side effects of chemotherapy and nausea related to pregnancy. Dr. Weil often recommends acupuncture for other pain-related conditions, especially osteoarthritis. Acupuncture to alleviate acute sinusitis can be quite effective, as can acupuncture on the ear for quelling addictions. Acupuncture used with TCM can work well for addressing autoimmune conditions and infertility. Because acupuncture has so many positive effects on the body with minimal incidence of side effects, it is often considered in creating an integrative medicine treatment plan.


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