The benefits of acupuncture treatment on fertility explained
Acupuncture has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years and works on a holistic approach to improve health. Practitioners believe that every part of the body is interconnected by the flow of Qi (energy) around the body. Qi consists of two equal and opposite forces, Yin and Yang, and when imbalance occurs in the body's energy, physical symptoms occur.
As part of their holistic approach, acupuncturists do not see symptoms as something to be treated, unlike Western medicine. Instead they believe that symptoms can lead them to the underling problem and by focusing treatment on this, balance and health will be restored to the body. By inserting fine needles into the channels through which Qi flows around the body, the body begins to heal itself.
Acupuncturists also focus on restoring general well being and so look at lifestyle, stress and diet as part of their consultation - they often use massage and herbal remedies as supplementary treatments.
Fertility is an area in which acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular and with good reason too. Research has found that acupuncture therapy can have a positive effect on those trying for a baby and can actually aid the conception process.
Fertility focused acupuncture treatment has been found to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, balance hormone levels, regulate the menstrual cycle and help improve the lining of the uterus and quality of eggs released. Additionally, conditions such as polycystic ovaries and endometriosis have also been shown to improve with this sort of treatment. Benefits to male fertility have also been found with positive effects on sperm count, morphology and mobility.
As trying to conceive can often be a stressful experience, many find that undergoing a course of acupuncture reduces associated problems such as anxiety, stress and insomnia and helps to improve the chances of pregnancy by improving well being in general.
As a testament to its positive effect on fertility recent research has found that combining IVF with acupuncture greatly enhances the chance of conceiving and carrying a healthy pregnancy. In one study women who underwent acupuncture throughout their IVF treatment were almost twice as likely to fall pregnant as those who went through IVF alone.
Again, findings of this nature could be due to a combination of enhanced function of the reproductive system combined with increased relaxation and relief from side effects experienced.
Although Western medicine isn't completely convinced of the healing power of acupuncture as there is no apparent physical relationship between Qi channels and actually body parts, research supporting its effectiveness in enhancing fertility is beginning to emerge. So, if you're not too squeamish and prefer to take a more alternative approach to your health, acupuncture could be the avenue for you to explore.
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