What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing arts in the world, ranging back to over 3,000 years. It’s theory is based on the flow of energy in the body called qi (chee). When qi flow is disrupted due to trauma, poor diet, medications, stress or other conditions, pain or illness result. Acupuncture focuses on correcting these imbalances of energy flow by inserting ultra-thin, hair like needles under the skin to stimulate specific points in the body. Stimulation of acupuncture points allows even flow of qi, restoring the body’s balance and relieving pain and other symptoms.
Acupuncture’s complex system of diagnostic methods take into consideration the person as a whole, not just isolated symptoms. The aim is to treat the underlying cause of the symptom and thus improving quality of life.
Acupuncture works with the body, harmonizing and balancing energy. It improves circulation, releases endorphins, and allows the body to heal itself more quickly and more completely. Best of all, acupuncture is safe and side-effect free, making it a wonderful medical option especially during pregnancy.
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
This varies from patient to patient and practitioner to practitioner. Some people experience a light pinching feeling, some feel a tingling sensation, some a dull feeling and others feel a warm sensation, when the acupuncture needle goes in. Many first time patients are concerned with being poked by needles. The fact is, acupuncture needles aren’t much thicker than a strand of hair. The medical sizing for acupuncture needles vary between 32-38 gauge.
Interesting fact: You can fit up to 40 acupuncture needles can into the tip of one standard hypodermic needle. The great majority of our first time patients are surprised at how painless acupuncture is. Some points on the hands and feet can be a little more sensitive. Most patients feel extremely relaxed, balanced and even euphoric after an acupuncture session.
Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes. Always make sure you visit a qualified acupuncturist, who is trained in acupuncture for pregnant women. Acupuncture can help reduce swelling, balance hormones to alleviate mood swings, lessen back pain, fatigue, nausea. Acupuncture stimulates pressure points that control the release of good body chemicals that regulate blood pressure, blood flow and pain relief.
Can Acupuncture Help with Infertility?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, it is estimated that 3 million U.S couples are unable to conceive after a year of trying.
A German Study, published in the Fertility and Sterility Journal showed a significant increase in birth rate for women who received acupuncture in conjunction with Assisted Reproduction Therapy (ART). The scientists took two groups of 80 women about to undergo ART. The study documented that 42.5% in the acupuncture group where able to become pregnant, whereas the pregnancy rate was only 26.3% in the group that did not receive acupuncture.
Another study, conducted by the University of Adelaide, Australia has shown a 50% rise in birth rates of women using Traditional Chinese Medicine to conceive. According to the University of Adelaide ‘Our meta- analysis suggests traditional Chinese herbal medicine to be more effective in the treatment of female infertility – achieving on average a 60 per cent pregnancy rate over four months compared with 30 per cent achieved with standard western drug treatment.’
Does Acupuncture Work?
Yes. Acupuncture has been recognized by many medical insurance companies, The National Institute of Healthand The World Health Organization to help with many medical conditions, fertility concerns including absolute infertility and for overall health.
I'm Scared of Needles, What Else Can I Do?
Cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, massage and herbal formulas are all wonderful additions to an acupuncture treatment but can also be used separately for those who would rather not receive acupuncture.
Feeling brave? Acupuncture needles are about the size of a single strand of hair. Click here for more information on how acupuncture feels.