Friday, July 03, 2009
I have worked for over 30 years with women and men who are trying to conceive. Unfortunately it has been a much too common experience for people to experience stress and frustration with an area that we expect to be a natural function.
By encouraging harmony and balance acupuncture has a natural way to assist in this process. Many women have some disturbances in their menstrual cycles, whether it be irregularity, pain, too much or very little bleeding. All of these contribute from an Oriental Medical perspective to possible problems with fertility, conception and miscarriages. Also general stress and lack of vitality and balance in life can add to the problems.
Since 2003 I have been working in conjunction with Shady Grove Fertility Center and have been seeing many of their patients. I have worked with patients who are using assisted reproductive technologies as IUI and IVF as well as people who are trying to conceive naturally. Many people have said it has been tremendously helpful in reducing the stress of the whole process. I have seen some women have better cycles in many different ways. I have had the time and much chance to make many observations and find ways to therapeutically respond to many different situations over these years.
In each case, I approach the person as an individual and assess what from the perspective of medicine that I use, what that person could use to support the process. Each person is different and I really believe the most effective way to treat a person is for what their being needs and not just a general treatment.
A Note on Recent Research
There have been some recent research articles that have received a lot of attention on acupuncture and IVF. It is great that it has been shown in scientifically valid studies that even one acupuncture treatment can increase success rates of IVF. But keep in mind that these are studies had certain limitations in design. They were not studies that compared one acupuncture procedure to another to find the best one but limited what was done to keep costs down and make the trials simple. They were not necessarily the best treatments but what was easy to generalize for the study. I firmly believe that the best treatment you can have is one designed to fit you and not some standard treatment done for the convenience of a trial. Yet it is great to have substantiation of acupuncture and what I have seen over and over to be true- that it can be very helpful increasing the chances of success in the fertility process.
The style of acupuncture is very safe to do in pregnancy as it is just balancing the energy and soothing symptoms. I have treated many women throughout pregnancy over many years. Some of the reasons women seek treatment during pregnancy are:
Women’s Health Issues
- Allergies (because it is not often recommended using allergy medication)
- Preparing for Delivery
- Impending Induction
- Version of Breech presentation (Better started at 33-35 week)
Gynecological Issues can often be treated with acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Issues with menstrual periods such as irregular periods, pain and cramping, PMS, extremely heavy flow, migraines with the cycle are amongst the issues that I have often worked with successfully. Also I have worked with many women with problems that can occur with menopause and peri-menopause. There are many symptoms that women experience with the ebbing and flowing of the various hormones that go with these cycles. By assisting the smoothness of the shifts and supporting the normalization of the cycle many of these issues get considerably better if not abate. I have many women say with surprise “This is the way it is supposed to be”.