by Carolyn J. Stevens, AP
Acupuncture can be an excellent complementary therapy for women's fertility. It has been proven to increase blood flow to the uterus, reduce stress and anxiety, normalize hormone and endocrine systems, help regulate the menstrual cycle, and positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis which plays a significant part to improve the probability of a successful pregnancy. The primary focus with treating infertility is restoring and regaining the patient’s health. Once the health is functioning more efficiently with optimal restoration, conception occurs naturally.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment of female infertility focuses on regulating the menses. Essential components on becoming pregnant include a healthy menstrual cycle, strong kidney qi, abundance of blood in the “chong” channel and an unblocked “ren” conception channel.
Four Principal Treatments of Infertility
Phase 1 Menstrual: It’s crucial to regulate menstruation, ensuring proper shedding of the uterine lining.
Phase 2 Follicular (the week after menstruation): Focuses on tonifying blood, nourish kidney yin, and replenishing jing (essence), thus fortifying the body in preparation for a healthy conception.
Phase 3 Ovulatory (the week of ovulation): Assists eggs to mature to promote ovulation. Creates a regulatory effect on the endocrine system, thus promoting the production and secretion of hormones, regulates menstruation and prepares the uterus for conception.
Phase 4 Luteal (the week before the period): The key strategy during this phase is to regulate liver qi. Characteristics of liver qi stagnation include irregular menstruation, irritability, bloating, breast distension and PMS. Treatment plan is to ensure proper flow of qi and blood in the liver, chong and ren channels.
In a 2007 study, researchers found that acupuncture improved the quality of life in patients undergoing IVF. Women receiving acupuncture reported significantly less abdominal pain, nausea, and stress after egg collection compared to women who received only conventional anesthesia. If you are doing IVF treatment, speak to your doctor about complementing your treatment with acupuncture.
Other Uses for Acupuncture
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that acupuncture effectively treats addictions, circulatory, dermatological, digestive, emotional, psychological, chronic pain, gynecological, musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory conditions. Acupuncture stimulates endorphins (natural pain relievers). Acupuncture promotes natural healing by enhancing immunity and supporting overall function and well being.
Carolyn Stevens, AP, DOM, board certified acupuncture physician and doctor of oriental medicine, specializes in women’s wellness, including fertility and pregnancy. She is also a certified herbalist. Her treatments focus on promoting the body’s natural healing capabilities. She provides a myriad of holistic services including acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, Gua Sha, herbal remedies, medicinal aromatherapy, Reiki and medical qigong. Stevens recently joined the dynamic team at International Holistic Center, 3471 North Federal Highway, Suite 410, Fort Lauderdale. To find out about her $99 special through April, call 954-903-9426. For more information visit IHCHealthFusion.com. See ad page 28.