Someone once said that you should never trust an acupuncturist as they’re all back stabbers. Jokes aside, acupuncture is a time-honoured medicine only widening in its popularity amongst many cultural and social groups the world over. A master’s degree in acupuncture can take three years providing a frame work in which to practice it legally, as well as ensuring the safety and health of your clientele. Acupuncture is used for a wide variety of conditions and diseases with the emphasis on treating the underlying causes of disease and illness, and its symptoms.
One significant area where acupuncture is being accessed more often is in the treatment of female infertility, as although acupuncture is steeped in ancient medical theory studies suggest that modern acupuncture may also have an effect on a woman’s menstrual cycle (impacting on neural peptides in the central nervous system). Because acupuncture impacts β-endorphin levels, which then affect GnRH in human secretion, it is feasible to consider that acupuncture could influence ovulation and fertility. This is potentially good news for around 15% of Australian women who find they cannot fall pregnant after trying naturally for at least one year. Statistics show that when combined with Western fertility treatments, acupuncture techniques increase conception rates by 26%.
With approximately 4.5 million couples around the world experiencing difficulty falling pregnant each year, acupuncture could be the answer as its benefits include stress reduction, balancing of the endocrine system as well as increased blood flow to the reproductive organs. People who are under stress experience alteration of the brain’s neurochemical balance due to the release of the hormone cortizol to the brain. Hormone levels also change and disrupt the pituitary balance that is necessary to the reproductive cycle. The potential benefits of acupuncture are imperative to not only conceiving, but also staying pregnant and delivering a healthy baby. With a better blood flow to a woman’s ovaries and uterus comes a higher chance for her egg to be nourished and carried full term.
Forty percent of infertility is due to problems with the female (often endometriosis or anovulation) and forty percent is caused by problems in the male (such as low sperm count). The other 20% is caused by unknown factors. Fertility drugs can produce an up to 60% fertility rate but come with side effects such as fluid retention, weight gain, nausea and abdominal tenderness. By contrast, acupuncture treatment produces minimal or no side effects yet performs the same function as synthetic drugs whilst getting to the root cause of infertility in both sexes.