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Acupuncture practice dates tens of hundreds of years ago in China and is more and more being recognized as a valid form of treatment by Western physicians. While this ancient form of treatment has been seen to really help in treating a wide range of illnesses, from smoking cessation to the management of pain, new researches have revealed that acupuncture can also help in the treatment of infertility.
From the Orient…
Acupuncture has been around for more than three millennia, although modern Western science still has to successfully explain how it really works. This treatment modality has been introduced in France by Jesuit missionaries in the 1600s, where it become so popular it quickly spread throughout Europe in no time at all. Acupuncture has only been widely practiced In the United States during the last four decades.
The Chinese believe in a life force known as Chi circulating all over the body and this belief is the basis of how acupuncture works. The free and normal flow of Chi is required in order to stay healthy; when an imbalance or a blockage develops in that flow, ill health develops, as well. The human body has 20 primary Chi channels that convey life force all over the body. These channels known as meridians are accessible by means of over 400 various acupuncture points, or acupoints, for short.
Various combinations of acupoints are activated with acupuncture needles based on the illness you’re experiencing. The needles are extremely thin and long although they may vary in length based on the acupoint they will be used on. The activation/stimulation of an acupoint causes Chi flow to rebalance or return to its normal state of free flow which leads to the resolution of the medical condition.
…To the West
Some Western medical experts still remain skeptical towards the healing art of acupuncture. It seems that Western medicine’s failure to fully explain the workings of this modality makes it perceive acupuncture as nothing more than a load of mumbo jumbo. The actuality that the Chi pathways don’t really correspond to say, the nervous or circulatory system, or any other recognized body system only serves to boost the skepticism of these “experts.”
Nevertheless, health institutions such as the World Health Organization or the United States’ National Institutes of Health have endorsed this treatment for a number of health problems. They have researchers working to study acupuncture in order to understand it more thoroughly. Some possible explanations as to why acupuncture works include:
– its ability to release endorphins into the body, acupuncture can effectively reduce pain. Endorphins naturally develop in the pain control system of the body, in the central nervous system.
– the release of neurohormones and neurotransmitters when acupuncture needles activate the central nervous system. This helps improve the natural self-healing capacity of the body.
– central nervous system stimulation causing positive changes in body temperature, blood flow and blood pressure during an acupuncture procedure causing the undergoes.
The truth is, acupuncture is a painless type of treatment that has very few, side effects if any at all, especially when it is performed by a qualified practitioner. If risks ever occur, they may involve minor bleeding, forgotten or broken needles, infectious disease transmission, and the puncture of body organs. These risks can all be avoided or reduced if you get yourself treated by a certified and fully trained acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is contraindicated for people using blood thinners or for those suffering from blood disorders.
Infertility and Acupuncture
As a standalone therapy, acupuncture can be a very good alternative therapy for fertility issues. Most of the time, however, it is mostly used as a complementary modality to updated fertility therapies. When utilized as a standalone treatment, acupuncture is very effective for couples who are suffering from functional problems, like irregular ovulation; when the infertility is due to a structural condition like a sperm duct obstruction, it may not be as effective as the patient would want it to be. Certain acupuncturists would also include Chinese herbal medicine or any type of treatment to augment the acupuncture treatment you are receiving. Make sure your doctor knows that you are taking herbs if you are receiving other medical treatments since there are herbs that can interact with certain fertility procedures and medications.
Acupuncturists explain that acupuncture works for fertility problems because it helps regulate the patient’s body system resulting in the stabilization of the hormone levels and in the increase of flow of blood to the reproductive organs leading in turn, in an increase in male sperm production and an improvement in female ovarian function.
Acupuncture can be utilized as a complementary form of treatment for women who are under fertility treatments. Some doctors think that acupuncture helps women stay more relaxed when they are subjected through quite invasive fertility therapies. Specific studies have revealed that the success rates of in vitro fertilization procedures greatly increases when acupuncture is included in the procedure.
In 2002, a study done in Germany tested the usefulness of acupuncture in improving the rate of conception of infertile women undergoing IVF therapy. Eighty women all with fertility problems participated in the study and they all underwent IVF. For those who received acupuncture, 42.5% got pregnant. For the women who received zero acupuncture treatment a success rate of only 26.3% was achieved. A more recent US study was conducted to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in boosting IVF success rates. The study attracted 114 participants who all were suffering from infertility. The study showed that in women who were given acupuncture, 51% of them successfully conceived with IVF therapy. For the women who only had IVF treatment, only 36% successfully conceived. A more thorough evaluation of the study showed only an 8% miscarriage of the group given acupuncture as compared to the 20% miscarriage rate of the group who only had IVF therapy. Moreover, the rates of ectopic pregnancy were far lower in women who received acupuncture compare to those who only received IVF therapy.
Finding the Right Acupuncturist
These days, a lot of medical doctors have now integrated acupuncture in their daily medical practice. They require a few hundred hours of acupuncture training in order to practice this treatment on their patients. For non-medical doctors, the required number of hours they need to complete in order to be considered a qualified practitioner is around 2,000 to 3,000 hours of training as well as passing the board exams to earn certification.
To be on the safe side, you should always check the credentials of the acupuncturist you think can help you with your problem. Check to see if he has the proper certification and training as mandated by your state. Seek referrals from anyone you know who has undergone the treatment especially if it involved treating the same condition you are currently suffering from. Know how much the treatment costs. There are insurance companies that now provide medical coverage for acupuncture treatments so you may want to do a little research on that as well.
For the treatment of infertility, multiple sessions of acupuncture therapy is required. Sessions might be once or a couple of times a week for weeks or even months. Typically, a dozen sessions is recommended with each session lasting an hour or so.
Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
One can use acupuncture for drug detoxification because of the treatment’s proven efficacy. Acupuncture has been developed and practiced in China for thousands of years. It is a type of treatment that uses extremely thin needles to activate certain points in the body. Underneath these points lay energy channels known as meridians. Sometimes, these energy channels develop obstructions and blockages that result in diseases and illnesses. Acupuncture is used to clear out these obstacles to restore the normal flow of energy and thus resolve symptoms arising from health conditions.
Acupuncture has been verified through several clinical studies to help stimulate the brain to produce and release feel-good chemicals in the body known as endorphins. Endorphins can help alleviate chronic pain, a condition most people in the United States experience and the number one condition acupuncturists treat each year.
The painkilling effect of acupuncture makes it a very suitable modality for drug detoxification. The treatment can help minimize the severity of drug withdrawal symptoms and is especially effective for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Studies have shown that acupuncture treatments have provided painkilling benefits to about 85% of cocaine addicts who participated in the studies as opposed to a 70% rate of effectiveness from morphine addicts.
Modern methods of acupuncture such as electro-acupoint stimulation have produced much better results in drug detoxification than needles. Traditional needling acupuncture though, is still the preferred choice of treatment in some hospitals in the U.S., which are able to treat up to 245 drug addicts each day.
Because it not only brings physiological benefits but psychological benefits as well, acupuncture has been a huge success for the treatment of drug addiction withdrawal symptoms. Doctors trained in Western medicine find this treatment difficult to understand. Part of the reason for this is that Western medicine sees the mind and body as two mutually exclusive aspects of a person; on the other hand, Chinese medicine acknowledges that a person has a third system, an energy system that acts as a bridge to the psychological and physical aspects of the person.
A balance between the body and mind is essential for any detox treatment program to succeed. In this regard, Western medicine has no form of treatment that can bring about this balance. This makes acupuncture a superior modality that combines physical and psychic effects that help normalize the emotional, mental, and physiological state of a person. All these states become imbalanced when a person is addicted to a certain substance. Acupuncture is the only modality capable of restoring balance to these various human aspects.
Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.
Acupuncture has been shown to be a scientifically proven treatment for sexual health related concerns and a variety of health issues. This ancient healing tradition, along with Chinese herbs, has been used to address sexual functioning and health conditions for more than 5 millennia. Through the use of filiform needles inserted in specific points on the skin, a man’s or a woman’s sexual health can be improved efficiently. Included in this enhancement is the sex drive (libido) and sexual performance of the patient. Besides that, acupuncture also tackles underlying root problems that may cause sexual health conditions such as: hormonal imbalances, weight fluctuation, drug interactions, psychological challenges, menopause, and more.
An effective therapy for healing the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of the whole individual, acupuncture has very few side effects and minimal risks. It also provides results that are often experienced within a short span of time; the number of treatment sessions, however, is based on the severity of the imbalances within the patient’s body.
Providing the body balance through the correction of energy (Chi or Qi) flow disruptions in the body, acupuncture is also able to address libido and sexual performance decline. It does this by treating the heart and kidney and other organs affected by certain factors that lead to imbalance within the body.
Discussing the patient’s symptoms and using the most common diagnostic tools to find out where imbalances are focused, the acupuncturist performs a tongue and pulse examination on a patient to find out exactly what condition the patient is suffering from and what exactly is causing his/her condition. Examining twenty-seven pulse states through nine positions, acupuncture goes beyond the traditional pulse checks that Western medicine uses. By using these pulse positions, information about how well the body organs are functioning and the general state of health the patient can be determined. The tongue’s cracks, moisture, shape, and color is also checked to determine how well the patient’s vital organs function and the overall health of the patient.
Chinese medicine uses either or both acupuncture or acupressure to address sexual health dysfunction although other techniques, such as electro-acupuncture, cupping, or moxibustion can also be used, often combined with Chinese herbs. The aims of these treatments are to boost circulation to the sexual organs, balance the hormones and regulate hormone levels, as well as help relax the mind to lower stress. These therapies enhance sexual functioning by enabling men to increase their performance by experiencing satisfying orgasms, improving their longevity, stamina, and endurance, enhancing ejaculation, and prolonging erections.
Acupressure is essentially similar to acupuncture as it treats conditions by stimulating the acupoints in the body. But instead of using needles acupressure uses a less invasive approach by treating the patient with massage instead of needles. Massage is performed through the use of the elbows, knuckles, fingers and even vibrators to help improve flow of blood through the reproductive and sexual organs in a more intense manner. In between acupuncture sessions, acupressure can be used by patients to help continue stimulation.
Acupressure Point stimulation Using Vibrators
By using a small massager or bullet style vibrator, the level of stimulation can be enhanced during acupressure. Using a small vibrato has its advantages. It can help a person stimulate an acupoint with pinpoint accuracy.
Beyond the Betterment of Your Sex Drive
Besides the improvement of your sex drive, listed below are other types of sexual health conditions that can be treated with acupuncture:
-Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
-Female sexual dysfunction
-Female sexual arousal disorder
-Poor sperm mobility
-Sexual aversion disorder
-Male and female menopause
When addressing sexual health problems, acupuncture and acupressure can indeed be extremely effective alternative modalities to use. They both address the symptoms and underlying reasons for the sexual health concerns, which cannot be said of Western conventional modalities for the treatment of sexual dysfunction.