Infertility has certainly, so to speak, a unique connection to acupuncture. However, before we look into that, we first need to get to know the methods of acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been practiced way, way back 5,000 years ago in China. It is widely practiced in other East Asian countries and some of them have their own unique way of performing acupuncture. A little over 5 decades ago, acupuncture was introduced to the mass consciousness of Americans by a New York Times journalist named James Reston in 1972. He underwent an appendectomy and instead of using anesthesia, acupuncture was used to “anesthetize” him although instead of being asleep, he was wide awaked fully aware of what the doctors were doing to him during the entire operation. This landmark operation ushered in the use of acupuncture techniques in the United States. Over the course of time, more and more people have experienced tremendous benefits from acupuncture. As this therapy gets to be known by an increasingly large number of people, schools for acupuncture are slowly increasing in numbers as well.
Even in brain surgery procedures and other kinds of surgeries, acupuncture is also used as a form of anesthesia sometimes. More than 8,000 acupuncture practitioners are now practicing acupuncture in the US.
Relationship between Infertility and Acupuncture
Certain acupuncture techniques can cure problems in fertility. Both female and male infertility can be effectively treated with acupuncture. Some of the issues that cause female infertility which acupuncture can easily reverse include PMS, obstructions in the fallopian tubes and amenorrhea among others.
Acupuncture is a holistic type of treatment which means that it not only targets the symptoms of a disease but the root cause of the disease as well. This therapy when combined with Chinese herbals remedies is the best treatment one can get for his/her fertility problem. The fundamentals of acupuncture were fashioned more than 3millennia ago by Chinese Taoists. Acupuncture therapy aids in reenergizing the different organ systems of the body by enabling the uninterrupted flow of energy in the body. This results in the body functioning at optimal levels making it strong enough to repel any type of illness or disease. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, infertility and acupuncture are intimately connected. Certain meridian points are inserted with sterilized ultra thin needles during acupuncture treatment. This causes the reproductive systems to function normally since the needles stimulate processes that help remove the obstructions in the flow of energy making the reproductive organs function at their maximum.
The benefits that acupuncture give in the treatment of infertility are myriad. Acupuncture is versatile enough to work along with other TCM modalities and other conventional modes of therapy. Here are some of the benefits that acupuncture can give:
- Conventional drugs are not really needed in acupuncture therapy for the treatment of infertility although in the case of medical acupuncture, pharmaceutical drugs are combined with this therapy. The fact is, for several causes of infertility, acupuncture is the best mode of treatment, bar none. It is the one recommended by doctors which again goes to show that infertility and acupuncture are closely related. A combination of other TCM modalities such as herbal medicine can improve the overall potency of acupuncture techniques by several degrees.
- When combined with acupuncture, the level of success of assisted reproductive therapies (ART) like ICSI, TET, GIFT, ZIFT, AHT, and IVF dramatically increases. The reason for this is that acupuncture first improves the physical and emotional health of the individual making her/him more capable of responding positively to these ART procedures. Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine can perfectly balance a person’s endocrine system. This person’s overall physique becomes healthier. Women are able to conceive easily and the recuperation time during postpartum period gets shortened with acupuncture therapy.
- Female reproductive organs like the ovary, fallopian tubes and the uterus as well as the male reproductive system function are not treated per se by acupuncture. What acupuncture does is to address the underlying cause of infertility. This can have an emotional, mental or physical basis which acupuncture can address no matter what the cause is. Thus, the root problems of infertility are identified and removed. The end result is the self-healing ability of the body is boosted leading to the treatment of infertility.
- There are no serious side effects with acupuncture. Conventional drug therapy and other invasive procedures lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body. Acupuncture can help rid the body off these toxins and since it does not use any medications (except for medical acupuncture) no side effects from its use exist.
We have seen the close relationship between infertility and acupuncture. Holistic procedures treat a patient as a whole rather than the western medicine way of separating parts of the person’s body. In this regard, TCM and acupuncture are considered holistic procedures. Acupuncture and TCM specifically address stress. They help relieve stress by making the patient feel relaxed and his mind calmed. This makes the person, particularly the female to be more receptive to the benefits of ART procedures increasing her chances of attaining conception. Acupuncturists will also recommend changes in the diet and lifestyle of people with infertility problems. Oftentimes other holistic modalities will also recommend lifestyle and diet modifications for their patients to help them get well.