I recommend at least 4 weekly treatments prior to the down-regulating process of IVF or ICSI. If ICSI is being used due to a sperm condition, I would also recommend treatment for the male partner to optimise sperm quality.
I would not carry out treatment during the down-regulating process (usually 2-3 weeks) as in my experience acupuncture can reduce the effect of the drugs used. My treatment would resume during the next stage of IVF / ICSI when the patient starts to take the stimulating drugs. This usually lasts for 2 weeks sometimes longer, I recommend treatment weekly during this process. I only recommend one further treatment just prior to embryo transfer with an optional treatment after transfer. This amounts to 7-8 treatments in all.
Further treatments during your term may be helpful, in particular when there has been a history of miscarriage or it is a concern, or to help with morning sickness.
Timing and consistency of treatment, whether having acupuncture or just taking herbs, is of primary importance. Consistency of treatment is most important for men, as to raise sperm count and motility with herbs starts to take effect at the fourth month of treatment. It takes 70 days to generate new sperm.
Timing and consistency is also important for women as there are specific hormonal adjustments that can be made at each week of the cycle. Missing a week of treatment may lose an important opportunity to heal a particular segment of the four phase menstrual cycle. It takes a minimum of three consecutive cycles (12 treatments) to do the foundation work of regulation regardless of biological age. Most women can benefit from this type of concentrated foundational treatment every two years, even if they aren’t trying to conceive. This should be started before a woman reaches 28 years old or earlier if birth control pills have been taken.
If a woman is in a state of high level wellness from a traditional medicine’s point of view (warm hands and feet and no PMS are just several indicators), and has a “normal” active and relatively a low stress energy abundant lifestyle, then it is appropriate to evaluate between the sixth and ninth month of consistent treatment.
If a woman is nearing forty years old and has had either numerous fertility drugs (over 3 cycles), birth control pills, PMS, ART procedures, elevated FSH, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, sperm antibodies, or a history of drug, alcohol, or smoking abuse, then it usually takes longer to balance her reproductive system. Likewise, if a man has a history of STDs, history of drug, alcohol, smoking, or sexual abuse, urinary tract infections, burning urination, chronic lower back pain, prostatitis, difficulty passing urine, or other urological health issues it takes longer to rejuvenate the reproductive function. The extent of rejuvenation is relative to the effort and inherent constitution of the individual. Daily training sessions with the right exercises usually provide tangible results when combined with weekly treatment, meditation and a reasonable diet. The couple must expect to focus six to nine months before really expecting to evaluate results. There is no quick path when it comes to conception, full term pregnancy and recovery after delivery.
Many of my fertility clients find themselves pregnant in three to nine months, but as you’ll see by my patient’s testimonials, it can take as little as 3-5 treatments!
“Turning back the clock” is indeed possible. Regarding biological vs. chronological age, according to the 2,000 year old Chinese medical classic (Nei Ching su wen ling shu) there are some precepts of health and aging that are very important in this day and age. Accordingly, the normal life span for humans is over 100 years. There are documented life spans of monks that have lived in good health to well over 150 years old. In the Nei Ching there is a dialogue between the Yellow Emperor and an old Taoist teacher named Chi-po. Why does medicine exist? asks the Yellow Emperor, “…because people have severed themselves from their roots (Tao)”. The reconnection between the individual and their “roots” (spirituality) is a very important aspect in the maintaining of youthfulness and is thereby inherent in the basic foundation of traditional medicine. Modern science supports this in the focus on the emerging stem cell technologies and the possible cures for major life threatening diseases. Stem cells are found in abundance in the umbilical cord which suggests this deep root connection to the Jing Qi (essential energy). Understanding the root cause and quality of one’s own longevity can slow the aging process and rejuvenate the body as thoughts can create reality. Knowing with certainty that we are an ageless body is the basis for creating high level wellness in the modern world. Longevity however is more than just belief.
Correct dietary and exercise habits are just as important for the preconceptive mother as for the father. Eating salads (cold nature food) for a year is not the best diet for a person who has generally a low basal body temperature (BBT). Sometimes eating meat such as lamb (warming food) can help tonify a “cold” barren uterus. For male factor and unexplained infertility there are specific physical and mental exercises to be done by couples to generate the right environment necessary for creativity and conception
If you have tried acupuncture in the past unsuccessfully I would strongly recommend that you try my infertility treatment style to obtain results. 50% of my patients had tried acupuncture unsuccessfully before they were recommended to me. My style of acupuncture is unique to me and geared to offer my patients the best possible treatment.
When selecting an acupuncturist or any healer it is important to know that they are suitably qualified to do fertility work. Communication, experience and skill are important. Having a state acupuncture license means that the acupuncturist has passed a course of study that qualifies them as an entry level practitioner. Usually this is about 3,000 hours training, though there are some physician programs that are only 300. A growing number of practitioners have a greater than entry level experience of treating couples that are integrating oriental medicine with conventional reproductive techniques. These practitioners are to be sought out, as treating an infertile couple demands not just general practice but also specialty skill. General practice skills help remove pre-existing conditions. If these conditions are the cause of infertility then the couples fecundity quotient will be increased. However, if either reproductive function or biological age of the endocrine system is the primary contributory factor then specialty skills and experience is necessary.
Not only does acupuncture assist in regulating the menstrual cycle and invigorating the sperm, but it also serves to enhance the function of the whole body. This “whole body” health approach, in turn, provides a key to unlock unlimited potential in healing. This is especially appropriate for the over 40 couple as it stimulates overall health to effect reproductive health and a reduction of biological age.
PMS, amenorrhoea, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, immune system incongruities, and infertility related hormonal problems yield to many of these old world (traditional) procedures. Furthermore, acupuncture that tonifies the kidney energy (renal and adrenal function), and kidney essence (jing) are especially beneficial in raising sperm count and motility. The highly technical and expensive methods used in Western Medicine are supported by the complimentary set of procedures and techniques of acupuncture.
There are several advantages to using acupuncture as an approach to heightening a couple’s fertility:
Many people are unaware that training in acupuncture varies enormously. When choosing a competent acupuncturist that has been trained properly in traditional acupuncture be sure to check that they are members of the British Acupuncture Council who require very high clinical standards and qualifications of their members. Their members are usually degree trained (at least 3,600 hours of training) and can use the letters MBAcC after their names. Some medical professionals who claim to practice acupuncture may only have 4 days training or even less!
Some practitioners who describe themselves as “Acupuncturists” have received no training in any of the Far Eastern Medical knowledge that underpins the use of acupuncture points. They may have done a course which merely shows how to anatomically locate the acupuncture points. I recommend that you ask any Practitioner who offers you acupuncture, be they a GP, Physiotherapist, or Nurse etc “what length of training they have had in acupuncture, and who are they registered with?” Registration with a professional acupuncture organisation ensures insurance. Do not agree to treatment without being fully informed of this and if necessary before you sign up check with their professional body. Members of any of the professional bodies listed below will be able to show you their current membership certificate.
I offer you the following information to help you decide whether to let a practitioner treat you.
You can also gather your own information off the web – try typing in acupuncture.org.uk
Members of the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC) 020 873 50400 est 1984 are:
Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) 01603 623994 est 1987 & The British Kanpo Association