Like western medicine, the first step to successful treatment with acupuncture Bellmore is proper diagnosis. Once the syndromes (the nature of illness) are diagnosed, the TCM practitioner has already formed an opinion on the pathogenic factors, pathogenesis, location, and prognosis.
Some acupuncturists pay more attention to the syndromes than the disease itself. This means that if they find the same disease in a number of patients and determine that they have different syndromes, they treat each case differently. For example, two female patients each have polycystic ovarian syndromes (PCOS), but one patient’s PCOS is caused by Spleen and Kidney Deficiency, and the other by Liver Qi Stagnation. In treating each of these patients, they would use very different acupuncture points and herbs.
When the diseases presented in different patients are different, but the syndromes are the same, they treat the patients similarly. For example, if they have three infertility patients, one with PCOS, another with endometriosis and a third with premature ovarian failure (POF), and they find that they are all caused by Kidney Deficiency, then I would use very similar acupuncture points and herbs to treat these three patients.
Depending on the diagnosed syndromes, the patient’s personal constitution and diagnosis from the fertility clinic, they then outline a treatment objective. To achieve the treatment objective, they often use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Sometimes, nutritional supplements and dietary regulation are also used.
The protocols for using acupuncture and herbal medicine to support fertility treatment are clearly explained in a book titled Acupuncture & IVF by Lifang Liang. Treatments complementary to IVF involve three phases: Pre-IVF, During IVF and Post-IVF.
In the Pre-IVF phase, weekly acupuncture is recommended for at least three months to alleviate the side effects of medical treatments, increase the response to hormonal stimulation and improve the reproductive organs and overall health.
In the 2nd phase, for the duration of the IVF treatment, weekly acupuncture plus pre & post transfer acupuncture is recommended. This will increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, reduce the stress response caused by IVF and calm the uterus to facilitate implantation.
In the Post-IVF phase, weekly acupuncture for up to three months is recommended for pregnant patients to reduce their risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. It is essential for patients with a history of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy to receive treatment during this phase.