ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture

According to the Mayo Clinic,  acupuncture is the practice of inserting very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness and fertility, including stress management.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as Chi or Qi  — that flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.  Acupuncturists will also prescribe herbal medicine formulas for the same purpose. 

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE HELP IMPROVE FERTILTY?

According to Randine Lewis, Ph.D, the author of The Infertility Cure, says, "The effects of acupuncture on the body's electromagnetic field...can help improve fertility.  There are studies that indicate that pressure exerted by an acupuncture needle triggers the release of prostaglandins, which stimulate production of chemicals in the nerve endings, which in turn transmit a message to the hypothalamus.  Located at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus is the regulatory control center for all hormonal activity.  It is of special interest to us because it also controls the discharge of gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH), which govern ovulation, menstruation and pregnancy.  Acupuncture affects the functioning of the hypothalamus and the release of hormonal substances throughout the body - both necessary aspects of the treatment of many causes of infertility." 

A study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about the "The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women's Reproductive Functioning," measured the time needed for conception to occur between two groups.  One group was given acupuncture and lifestyle modification and the other group's focus was lifestyle modification only.  The study states, "those receiving the acupuncture conceived within an average of 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks for the lifestyle only group." 

Please click here for the abstract of the study.

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