Brief Video Update
As I have been exploring online natural ways to help us conceive I have stumbled across multiple women who swear by acupuncture. I personally had never done it or even considered doing it until recently. I knew of a few people who used it to help them quit smoking but that's about it. When you are from a small town like I am, these holistic treatments are almost taboo. But should they be?
According to a blog posted by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, "Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research...Among many other benefits, acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term".
So, what is acupuncture exactly?
"Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi , or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple's chances of conceiving".
What about Hormones?
"One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain's neurochemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.
Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress is capable of preventing a woman from ovulating entirely. This can contribute to the cause of female infertility. Stress can also create spasms in both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, which can interfere with movement and implantation of a fertilized egg. In men, stress can alter sperm counts, motility, and cause impotence. Acupuncture infertility treatment counters the effects of stress and cortizol by releasing endorphins in the brain. An herbal impotence cure is also an option for men and can reduce stress.
Hormonal balance does not have to be disrupted by cortizol to cause infertility. The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder, in which the release of a mature egg from the ovary is prevented, usually because of a hormonal imbalance. Without enough progesterone, for example, the fetus is unable to attach to the uterus" (which is something that we will be checking at my next appointment for me).
Credit: How Does Acupuncture for Fertility Work? Increase Chance of Conception Without Side Effects. Blog. April 4th, 2015. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. www.pacificcollege.edu
Additional Sources: Tel Aviv University Study. http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&;id=15808
So why does acupuncture seem so taboo to some people? Honestly, I don't know. To me the article from Pacific College made total sense. I personally would rather try this route first before pumping any drugs into my body or my husbands body for trying to conceive.
After some research and talking with professionals, I took the first step towards more holistic treatments by having my first appointment on January 6th. Since I also get chiropractic work done I wanted to know if there was a preferred time to get acupuncture done in conjunction with it. From what my Acupuncturist (Dr. Dan) told me, I should get it done after a massage or chiropractic adjustment.
Per his recommendation I should try going once a week for 6 weeks to cover at least a full cycle. He provided me with a bonus tip of acupressure points to continue with at home on a daily basis (see photo above).
Since our bodies and hormones are delicate and complex, finding that right combo of things can take time. For some just changing eating habits can do the trick, where as others may need weekly chiropractic adjustments along side daily meditation. Finding what works for YOU is important. There is no right or wrong answer but try and give each thing a little time to work to your benefit.
Thus far, I have only seen him the one time but look forward to going back. If you are lucky, sometimes insurance will cover (at least part) of chiropractic adjustments, as well as acupuncture. I am waiting for my new insurance to kick in before going back because weekly out of pocket treatments can get a little expensive.
I plan on seeing both my chiropractor and Dr. Dan on a weekly basis when insurance is back on track. Even if it still takes a while to get pregnant, both treatments have helped a lot with some tension headaches, stress and anxiety that I have had for a while. Either way, it is worth continuing.
If you are in the market to try acupuncture, I would make sure you ask around. Get personal recommendations. Interview a few providers and then make a decision from there. I chose Dr. Dan for multiple reasons...his practice was recommended by more than one person the community (some I knew well and some I don't know at all). The atmosphere of his practice was light and positive. I would go as far as saying he appears to be a very fun guy. I really felt comfortable with him.
The more you trust your provider, the more relaxed you will be and I truly believe that the treatment will work better.
So far I have 10 days until my expected period to show up. We will see if this did the trick (even though I have only gone once so far). There is always hope right? :-)
As mentioned in my video, I will be getting my progesterone tested next week. Once I know more about that I will give you all an update.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading and Baby Dust to you all!
Mama Gracie's Staff
Here at Mama Gracie's we have a wonderful group of staff from different walks of life. Each of their journeys contributes to what Mama Gracie's has to offer.