Contact 086-1550442 now for your appointment! "Improve your health and wellbeing the natural way"


Home » Infertility

Infertility

Acupuncture is one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine used to improve fertility and possibly treat infertility. But how exactly is sticking little needles into the body supposed to help you get pregnant? How does it work?

infertility acupunctureHow Acupuncture May Work, According to Traditional Chinese Medicine

 

According to classical Chinese philosophy, we have channels of “energy” called meridians that run through our bodies. These channels are often compared to rivers running through the body, in order to nourish the tissues. Stagnation in the flow of these energy rivers is like a dam that is backed up it is said.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, disruption of the flow can lead to physical and emotional illnesses, including infertility.

 

These meridians can be affected by needling specific points, also known as acupuncture points. By needling the acupuncture points, the flow of the energy gets “unstuck” and is allowed to flow in a free and balanced way.

How Acupuncture May Work, According to the Current Research

Of course, the Western, scientific explanation is quite different. The truth of the matter is that no one is sure how acupuncture works. But there are theories.

One theory is that by needling points on the body, chemicals and hormones are triggered and released. These chemicals either change the experience of pain, or they trigger a cascade of chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system. The improved energy flow and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities, and enhances physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown specifically that acupuncture increases the amount of beta-endorphins flowing through the body. Beta-endorphins are feel-good hormones that help lessen pain. Exercise is also known to boost the amount of beta-endorphins in the body. If you’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high,” you’ve enjoyed a boost of beta-endorphins.

But some interesting research on acupuncture points may imply that it’s more than just beta-endorphins and hormones at play. In a research study at UC Irvine, researchers used MRIs to look at the brain while patients received acupuncture treatment.

Traditionally, acupuncturists have used a point on the little toe to address eye pain. The point is chosen because it is on the same meridian as the eye. What’s amazing is that in this study, when the point on the foot for eye pain was stimulated, the part of the brain that regulates vision lit up.

Acupuncture and Infertility

The research on acupuncture and infertility is ongoing, and the topic is controversial. Some studies have been too small to prove a definitive connection to improved pregnancy rates, and some studies contradict each other in their results. Other studies question whether any benefits are simply a result of the placebo effect.

With that said, here are a few of possible benefits of acupuncture, according to the preliminary research:

  • Improved pregnancy rates during IVF treatment cycles, when acupuncture takes place on the day of embryo transfer
  • Increased blood flow to the uterus, leading to an improved endometrial lining
  • Reduced stress and anxiety levels
  • Possible improvement in ovulation for women with PCOS
  • Possible improvement in sperm count and quality in men with infertility
  • Possible regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which in turn could help regulate ovulation