How Acupuncture Boosts Fertility

Acupuncture_400Here’s the scientific proof that explains why acupuncture, when given at the right times, aids in conception and combats infertility. From Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child.

In Chinese medicine, the body is crisscrossed by a web of meridians, which are channels through which qi circulates. The acupuncture points are locations where the channels’ qi rises to the skin’s surface. There are twelve main meridians, six of which are yin; six, yang. The meridians form a network of energy channels throughout the body, and each is related to an organ or function.

An acupuncturist uses needles at points along the meridians to regulate the body’s balance, and to enhance fertility. TCM theory holds that if a condition is long-standing or deep-seated, it will take awhile for acupuncture to work. In China, acupuncture would typically be done daily; while this is impractical in the United States, strive to have treatments twice a week. I usually recommend that women have six to eight visits before they assess the value of the treatments. With regard to fertility, a practitioner will need to observe a woman’s pulses through a complete menstrual cycle to fully evaluate her. Preferably this is done before beginning any medication, as once a woman is on fertility medicine, it is difficult to tell what her original deficiency might be.

Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child

Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child

by Victoria Maizes, MD

  • Get Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child
  • Get Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child
  • Get Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child
  • Get Be Fruitful: The Essential Guide to Maximizing Fertility and Giving Birth to a Healthy Child

There are three postulated mechanisms for how acupuncture enhances fertility. The first is that it may mediate the release of neurotransmitters, leading the hypothalamus to release gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary and then the ovaries. In this way, acupuncture might directly influence your menstrual cycle, ovulation, and overall fertility. Second, acupuncture may increase blood flow to the uterus by inhibiting activity in the uterine central sympathetic nervous system. Anything that brings more blood to the endometrium is believed to increase fertility. Third, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the production of endogenous opioids, which are the body’s own pain inhibitors, and which could modify the body’s stress response. Essentially, acupuncture works to create an overall relaxation response in the body.

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