Being recognized more and more each day as a legitimate form of treatment by Western physicians, the ancient healing craft of acupuncture dates back thousands of years in East Asia. Recent research has revealed acupuncture’s healing benefits for those suffering from infertility even while it has been found to be helpful in addressing dozens of ailments, from the management of pain to the cessation of smoking.

Acupuncture has been a healing modality used by people for over 4,000 years; unfortunately modern medical science has been unsuccessful explaining once and for all just how it works. Acupuncture was introduced In Europe when Jesuit priests in the 1600s imported the knowledge of the treatment to France where it rapidly spread throughout Europe. However, in the United States, only within the last four decades has the treatment begun to be widely practiced.

Acupuncture is grounded on the Chinese theory that a balance in the flow of energy known as chi (or qi) within the body is required in order to maintain health and well-being. Health is adversely impacted when an imbalance or blockage develops in that flow. Chi is believed to circulate in the body through 20 major pathways known as meridians that can be accessed through 400 different acupuncture points or acupoints, for short.

A variety of combinations of acupoints are activated with the use of acupuncture needles based on the problem you’re experiencing. These needles are solid, very slender, and their length varies based on what point it is to be inserted into. When these acupoints are activated or stimulated, the circulation of chi is rebalanced and the natural healing ability of the body goes into effect.

Among Westerners, the practice of acupuncture remains a bit controversial due to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry over the US healthcare system. A lot of people don’t even consider it and they believe that this wonderful Eastern therapeutic remedy is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. The main reason for this ignorant mentality is that modern scientific thought is simply not knowledgeable enough to explain just how acupuncture works. And this skepticism is even more heightened by the fact that the channels of energy don’t actually correspond to any recognized bodily system (such as the nervous system or the blood).

Some years back, the United States NIH (National Institutes of Health) has announced that several scientists are investigating the issue. They have formulated a number of theories as to just how acupuncture works. They include:

1. Acupuncture’s stimulation of the central nervous system causing the release of neurohormones and neurotransmitters that in turn, boosts the natural ability of the body to heal itself.
2. Modifications to the CNS (central nervous system) during acupuncture therapies that in turn change the regulation of body temperature, blood flow, and blood pressure.
3. Acupuncture’s capacity to ameliorate pain by releasing endorphins that naturally occur in the pain control system of the body, into the CNS.

Whatever theory exactly explains how acupuncture works the truth about the treatment is that when performed by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is quite a painless procedure with very little side effects. The most typical risks connected with the treatment include minor bleeding, forgotten or broken needles, transmission of infectious diseases, and puncturing of the organs. These risks are virtually reduced to zero when you seek treatment from a fully trained and certified acupuncturist. Acupuncture is however contraindicated for individuals using blood thinners or for those with bleeding disorders.

Infertility and Acupuncture

As a standalone treatment, acupuncture in Miami can be considered as an alternative modality for fertility issues. However, it is mostly deemed as an adjunctive form of treatment to modern fertility therapies. As a standalone treatment, acupuncture is deemed to be the best treatment for couples suffering from a functional problem, such as irregular ovulation, rather than a structural problem, like an obstruction in the sperm ducts. There are acupuncturists who will also prescribe Chinese herbs to treat infertility. These herbs supplement acupuncture and any other treatment the patient may be receiving. It is important to inform your doctor about the herbs that you are taking especially if you are receiving other medical treatments. This is because there ae certain herbs that can interfere with the effects of fertility procedures and medications.

Scientists are still discussing how and why acupuncture works in treating fertility problems. However, practitioners have a simple explanation for this. They say that acupuncture helps by normalizing the systems of the body. It helps increase blood circulation to the reproductive organs and regulates hormone levels that in turn, increase sperm production in men and ovarian function in women.

When utilized as an adjunct therapy for women getting other fertility therapies, acupuncture has shown to be extremely helpful. Some think that acupuncture helps women stay calm and relaxed while they undergo extremely stressful and invasive fertility therapies. In fact, studies have demonstrated acupuncture’s capacity to raise the rate of pregnancy in women who are getting IVF (in vitro fertilization).

A 2002 German study revealed that 34 out of the 80 women experiencing fertility problems that received acupuncture and underwent IVF got pregnant. This meant a success rate of 42.5%. For the 80 women who were only treated IVF without acupuncture, only 21 of them (26.3%) got pregnant. A more recent US study showed 51% of the 114 women who received acupuncture and IVF treatments achieved pregnancy as opposed only 36% of the women who had only received IVF. A more thorough assessment of this study showed that, while the rate of miscarriage in the IVF-only group was 20%, only 8% of the acupuncture group miscarried. Moreover, the group that received acupuncture also experienced lower incidences of ectopic pregnancies.

Searching for a Qualified Acupuncturist

The good news is that the number of Western physicians using acupuncture in their everyday practice is growing. These physicians require 200 – 300 hours of training to be eligible to perform acupuncture on their patients. Individuals who are non-doctors are required to undergo between 2,000 to 3,000 hours of training and pass their local state board exams in order to be certified acupuncturists in their state. Whatever kind of acupuncturist you prefer, listed below are certain tips to remember when deciding on who to consult with.

1. Always check the appropriate training and certification as required by your state of the acupuncturist you are considering. Ask referrals from your doctor, family member, or friends if they have anyone to recommend. Ask about the cost of the treatment. There are insurance plans that now cover acupuncture procedures and so you may want to look into that, as well.
2. For infertility conditions, expect to receive multiple acupuncture treatments. This may involve one to two a sessions a week for weeks or even months. Normally, the whole treatment plan would take up to 12 sessions. Before treatment there would be a time for a discussion of your current condition and an exam, as well as time to ask any questions you may have and discussion about things can do yourself at home.