Acupuncture Benefits

 
FERTILITY
 

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system to help thicken the uterine lining, improve egg and sperm quality, and help prevent miscarriage.

Acupuncture can help enhance fertility by doing the following things:

* Regulate the menstrual cycle

* Increase blood flow to the reproductive organs

* Regulate hormones, impacting the flow of hormones before ovulation

* Thicken and improve the quality of endometrial lining

* Boost ovarian function

* Increase the number of follicles

* Improve egg production, both quality and quantity

* Reduce uterine contractions that may interfere with implantation and cause miscarriage

* Reduce stress and tension, which negatively affect fertility

* Support implantation be helping embryos attach to the uterine lining and begin to grow

* Reduce the rate of miscarriage

* Manage the side-effects of IVF medications

* improve sperm count

* Boost the quality of sperm (in regard to motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation)

 

After acupuncture treatment, ultrasounds have shown that women's ovaries change from cloudy to bright and clear, follicles usually double in number, the lining of the uterus becomes thicker, and the number of embryos increases significantly.

Acupuncture can help the ovaries respond better to the stimulating drugs. High FSH levels indicate poor ovarian function. Acupuncture can also help decrease the FSH levels by regulating the hormones and function of the ovaries. Many patients using IVF drugs see side effects and high levels of stress as they try to achieve pregnancy. Acupuncture is extremely helpful in reducing stress as well as alleviating side effects. By relaxing the patient it helps to prevent the uterus from contracting, thereby improving the implantation process and preventing miscarriage. In a recent German study where acupuncture was used along with IVF, it was found that 42% in the test group using acupuncture achieved clinical pregnancy compared to 26% in the control group that did not receive acupuncture. The acupuncture was given just one day shortly before and after the transfer of embryos. Further studies show that the success rate of clinical pregnancy with broader treatment of acupuncture throughout the IVF procedure can show increases to 60%.

Swedish researches looked at the role that acupuncture can play in the treatment of infertility and in particular its effect on uterine blood flow. The group of women used as test subjects had infertility problems and were diagnosed with decreased blood flow into the uterus which affects endometrial receptivity, when there is a deceased flow of blood into the uterus, treatment options are few and conception is difficult. Using specific acupuncture points which correspond to the innervation of the uterus, researchers measured the amount of blood flow in women undergoing invitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. The results showed that there was a significant increase in the blood flow into the uterus with the acupuncture treatments. Researchers attributed the effect of acupuncture to its influence on increased uterine blood flow into the uterus which in turn would increase the chance for oocyte implantation.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that the patient begin acupuncture treatments approximately three months prior to the IVF procedure to regulate the body's functions and make IVF more successful.

 

WEIGHT LOSS MANAGEMENT

The rationale for using acupuncture for weight control is based in the premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain, called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining "homeostasis" or functional balance that allows the body to run like a finely tuned instrument. It is the body's dispatch center that regulates hormones and neurochemicals, and helps to control body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst and hunger.

Of particular interest is the ability of acupuncture to influence obesity hormones. Research measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss found treatments increased ghrelin, a hormone that controls meal initiation and decreased leptin, the hormone that regulates fat storage and metabolism.

The guiding principal is that acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, regulating obesity-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used. It also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.

Acupuncture is an ADJUNCT therapy. It is not a panacea or a wonder cure in the treatment of weight control. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to lose and maintain that loss if the patient is willing to change their lifestyle.

 

Nutritional Counseling and Lifestyle Changes

As was mentioned earlier, a good weight loss program includes nutritional counseling and exercise as well as a commitment to make permanent lifestyle changes. The acupuncturist can help with nutritional counseling and can discuss a diet regimen that the patient can live with and maintain for the long term. A diet that is high in fiber and low in fat, with moderate amounts of low-density carbohydrates and low-fat protein is usually the best choice to adopt. With this type of a diet program, the patient can avoid the pit-falls of yo-yo dieting or the tendency to lose weight and then regain it.

Other important tools that can aid in weight loss are stress reduction techniques and a moderate exercise regimen. The acupuncturist can suggest various stress reduction methods that may include breathing exercises, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation or biofeedback. And since the goal of a weight program is not only weight loss but the maintenance of that loss, an exercise program that the patient likes is the best one to choose. The patient could try starting a program that includes brisk walking three times a week for forty minutes. After a few weeks when stamina is increased, they could try walking five times a week. After that more aerobic exercise can be added such as the treadmill, stair climber or aerobics classes, cycling or whatever from of rigorous exercise the person enjoys and can maintain for the long term. It is a good idea to use free weights beginning with three pound weights and practicing just two to three sets of arm curls three times a week. Moderate weight training builds lean body mass and helps to reduce body fat as well as strengthen and build bone mass and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

 

The world health organization (who) recognizes acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine as effective in treating a wide range of common illnesses including, but not limited to:

addiction & dependence disorders
alcoholdrugs (cocaine, heroin, opium)
food
nicotine & tobacco

bone, muscle, joint & nervous system disorders
bell's palsy
carpal tunnel syndrome
chronic fatigue syndrome
dental pain
dizziness
facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
facial spasm
fasciitis
fibromyalgia
frozen shoulder
gouty arthritis
headache & migraine
insomnia
knee pain
low back pain
meniere's disease
neck pain
neurogenic bladder dysfunction
nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)
pareses (following a stroke)
periarthritis of shoulder
peripheral neuropathies
postoperative pain
radicular & pseudoradicular pain syndrome
rheumatoid arthritis
sciatica
shoulder pain
spine pain
sprains
stiff neck
temporomendibular joint dysfunction
tennis elbow
trigeminal neuralgias

circulatory & blood disorders
anemia
angina pectoris
arteriosclerosis
hyperlipidemia
hypertension (high blood pressure)
hypotension (low blood pressure)

dermatological disorders
acne
vulbaris
neurodermatitis
pruritis

emotional & psychological disorders
anxiety
depression
insomnia
schizophrenia
stress

endocrine disorders
diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
obesity

eye, ear, mouth & throat disorders
acute conjunctivitis
cataractsdry eyes
earache
tinnitus

gastrointestinal disorders
abdominal pain
acute bacillary dysentery
acute chronic gastritis
acute duodenal ulcer (without complications)
biliary colic
cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
cholelithiasis
chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
constipation
diarrhea
gastric hyperacidity (acid reflux)
gastrokinetic disturbance
hiccough
irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)
morning sickness
nausea & vomiting
peptic ulcer (pain relief)
ulcerative colitis

gynecological disorders
amenorrhea (loss of menstrual period)
dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps & pain)
induction of labor
infertility
labor pain
lactation (deficiency)
malposition of fetus (correction of)
polycystic ovary syndrome
premenstrual syndrome (pms)
spotting & excessive menstrual bleeding

respiratory disorders
acute bronchitis
acute rhinitis
acute sinusitis
allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
bronchial asthma (most effective in children and
uncomplicated conditions)
common cold
emphysema
influenza
sore throat (including tonsillitis)
upper respiratory tract infection

uro-genital disorders
female urethral syndrome
impotence incontinence
infertility (male & female)
prostatitis
retention of urine
sexual dysfunction
urinary tract infections
urolithiasis

other disorders
adverse reactions to radiotherapy &/or chemotherapy
cancer pain
herpes zoster (shingles)
neuralgia (pain after shingles or other herpes infection)
postoperative convalescence
raynaud syndrome
renal colic
sjogren syndrome
tourette syndrome