John Lally, Lic.Ac.TCM, Clin.Ac. (Beijing, China)
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine offer an effective,
time-tested approach to enhancing fertility and treating infertility. In
fact, acupuncture has been used successfully for infertility treatment
for thousands of years.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be used in combination with
conventional reproductive medical care or as a primary treatment
approach. Acupuncture can be effective for women taking fertility drugs
or reproductive technology techniques (such as IVF or IUI).
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can also be effective as a
stand-alone approach to treat infertility for those not undergoing
conventional medical treatment. Acupuncture helps to regulate hormonal
activity, thus regulating menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy.
A recent study from the British Medical Journal found that among women
who received acupuncture and IVF, the pregnancy rates were 65% higher
and the rates of live births were nearly twice as high than among women
who received IVF with sham acupuncture or no acupuncture.
Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and decrease the hypersympathetic
nervous system response. Studies have shown that high stress levels
decrease the likelihood of conceiving.
Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate chemical changes within the
uterine lining, thickening the endometrium, and preparing the uterus for
In men, acupuncture can improve sperm motility, volume and concentration
as well as increase libido.
From the perspective of Chinese medicine, optimum fertility enhancement
would involve a course of treatments with the aim of nourishing the
Kidney Essence and regulating the menstrual cycle as well as clearing
any pathogens that may be interfering with the natural process of
Acupuncture a Brief History
Acupuncture and moxabustion have been used in the Far East to restore,
promote, and maintain good health for over 5000 years. The first
acupuncture needles were made from stone, and then later from bronze,
gold and silver. The first known medical account of acupuncture was The
Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen),
which dates from around 300 BC.
Acupuncture is rooted in the Daoist philosophy of change, growth,
balance, and harmony. The Yellow Emperor's Classic outlines the
principles of natural law and the phases of life - yin and yang, the
five elements, the organ system and the meridian network along which the
vital acupuncture points are located. These records also contain details
of pathology and physiology, which some 2,000 years later provide the
theoretical foundation for acupuncture today.
Although acupuncture is used far more extensively in China than in the
West, the last few decades have seen huge growth in people seeking the
benefits of this safe and highly effective treatment.
How Acupuncture Works
The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy,
called Chi, present in all things ranging from infinitely tiny molecules
to living breathing human beings.
This Chi is said to circulate throughout the body along specific
pathways or meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout
the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is
blocked, the homeostatic system is disrupted resulting in pain or
Visualize if you will, rivers that flood and cause disasters or an
electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts etc. This is what
happens to our somatic and spiritual landscapes when our Chi is not
flowing harmoniously. The insertion of needles into specific points on
these “channels” allows for the manipulation and harmonization of ones
Chi, which results in improved health, and thus, increased fertility.
John Lally Lic.Ac.TCM, Clin.Ac. (Beijing, China)
Blue Heron Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine