In 2001 I opened the doors to my acupuncture practice and almost miraculously, I quickly began filling my schedule book with willing patients! It wasn’t that I was any better than my colleagues, or because I had an awesome marketing strategy in place that kept my phone ringing all the time. Rather, my schedule was full because I was treating infertility and it was working.
There is something so reliable and dare I say, magical, about the use of acupuncture for infertility that makes it seem almost a necessity for the women and men going through the process. Whether couples are trying naturally, or incorporating the latest advancements in high-tech science, they all seem to benefit from having “free flowing qi and blood” and a sense of balance. Acupuncture provides both.
So, what is it about those tiny needles that can transform heartbroken, frustrated patients into healthy pregnant women? How does the combination Chinese medicine (a.k.a “herbs”) and acupuncture work so well that it sometimes defies modern science and allows miracles to happen? After practicing for 15 years and doing hundreds of thousands of acupuncture treatments on infertile women, I think it comes down to these 4 things:
Acupuncture reduces stress. For this group of patients who juggle multiple appointments inside their already-full calendars, often while pretending to live otherwise normal lives, stress reduction is huge. When a metal acupuncture needle is inserted into our skin, our electricity changes and tells our brain to release endorphins, which lowers the amount of adrenaline in our system. Having less adrenaline circulating in the body helps patients “feel safe” to ovulate properly, to make more eggs in response to fertility medicine, and to allow implantation to occur when prior attempts have been stressful and unsuccessful.