By Gabriela Rosa – Natural Fertility Specialist & Naturopath | EFT, Natural Fertility, Men & Women’s Health
For those of you who have never experienced Acupuncture, it is one of most ancient therapeutic techniques of Chinese medicine. It encourages the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.
This article may help answer some of your initial questions but feel free to call our Clinic if you’d like to discuss any aspects of acupuncture therapy.
So How Does Acupuncture Work?
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.
Go with the Flow
Energy, or Qi, flows through these meridians. All diseases are the result of this energy not ?owing properly. Stimulating different points allows the Qi to flow well again which relieves pain, produces relaxation of mind and body, produces homeostatic effect harmonizing the body’s innate ability to self-regulate and enhances immunity
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Can Acupuncture help when trying to conceive?
Acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:
promotion of health and well-being,
prevention of illness,
treatment of various medical conditions.
While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including Reproductive problems.
Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.
In 2002, a team of German researchers discovered that acupuncture significantly increased the odds of pregnancy among a group of 160 women who were undergoing IVF treatment. Forty-two percent of the women who received acupuncture got pregnant, compared to 26 percent of those who didn’t receive the treatment. The researchers speculated that acupuncture helped increase blood flow to the uterus and relax the muscle tissue, giving the embryos a better chance of implanting.
Other research does suggest that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress. Since stress has been shown to interfere with getting pregnant, it makes sense that reducing your stress through acupuncture could theoretically improve your odds of conceiving. Some women find acupuncture helpful to cope with the stress they feel about trying to conceive.
Acupuncture may also help male infertility. A few studies have shown that regular treatments significantly improve sperm counts and motility (the strength with which the sperm swim) and can significantly improve the quality and health of sperm. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, researchers analyzed sperm samples from men with infertility of unknown cause before and after acupuncture treatments. They found that acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, and for general wellbeing you may have monthly visits.
What about side-effects?
There are usually no side-effects. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered.
These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.
But I’m scared of needles – what are the needles like? Do they hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.
Because your practitioner carefully sterilizes the needles using the same techniques as for surgical instruments, or uses disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
Ok, but does it really work?
Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and physicians.
Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.
Is there anything I should know prior to the treatment?
Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your practitioner to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem
– See more at: http://naturalfertilitybreakthrough.com/the-fertile-flow-the-health-benefits-of-acupuncture/#sthash.QBQfZM4i.dpuf