Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What you should know about acupuncture and pregnancy.

If you suffer from infertility or issues related to pregnancy there is an alternative to IVF and other medical procedures.

Were you aware that:

  •     7.3 million women ages 15-44 suffer from impaired fertility each year.
  •     7.4% of married women between the ages of 15 and 44 are infertile.
  •     Infertility does not have one single cause. It can be a mixture of factors including biological, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and physical elements.
  •     Over 1 million women undergo fertility treatments each year.
  •     Most women experience some form of discomfort during pregnancy that could be remedied with holistic methods.
  •     1 in 4 women experience acid reflux during pregnancy.
  •     About 75% of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy.
  •     More than 50% of women have back pain during pregnancy.
  •     Acupuncture has nearly 2,000 years of clinical history.
  •     Acupuncture is one of the most holistic systems of medicine available today.
  •     Acupuncture has no inherently dangerous or troublesome side effects.
  •     Americans make nearly 15 million visits to acupuncture practitioners per year.

How to choose an acupuncturist
Not all acupuncturists are created equal!

Acupuncture is one of the fastest growing modalities in the United States and more and more health and medical practitioners are jumping on the bandwagon.

A qualified acupuncturist has accrued over 3,000 hours of acupuncture and Chinese medicine education, which is between three and four years of schooling.

Unfortunately, more than 50% of acupuncturists in the US have a mere 300 hours of acupuncture training or less.

Only licensed and fully qualified acupuncturists are included on our site. To find a practitioner and get started on the path to optimal health and wellness, search our directory of acupuncturists.

Can acupuncture assist being pregnant

The art of acupuncture is really a part of Chinese conventional medicine and it has been round for the past thousand years or more. You will discover that it was just recently accepted within the western world, especially the Usa. Nevertheless, the needles won’t impregnate you, however it will let you let go of all of your negativity and your physique will begin to open it up. You will find that acupuncture will help both male and females with infertility difficulties. In fact, many people are turning to acupuncture as a method to assist them conceive.

The majority of the time, you will discover that it is older ladies who wish to have a child that tries this. This may be really productive, specifically when employed in conjunction with much more typical child-bearing-friendly activities like consuming a healthy diet plan. When you have fallopian tubes blockage or just a hormone imbalance, you are going to locate that acupuncture could possibly be prescribed to you. In addition to acupuncture, women can use other TCM techniques to be able to battle infertility. Men may also benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture with male infertility will likely be treated for low sperm count and it is really well-known. Acupuncture, in this case, is used along with herbs to treat the power in the kidneys.

With regards to acupuncture you’ll locate that your entire body is affected by just a little bit of negativity, and that’s why infertility will have an effect on the way your entire physique reacts. Instead of treating the symptoms of a disease in the physique, acupuncture seeks to locate the root of the issue and treat that. Acupuncture may also be employed to make a healthier physique in general-it may not remedy you of the infertility difficulties, but by becoming healthier in common (less stressed, for example), standard remedies for infertility have a far better likelihood of working. Acupuncture will aid even if you might be contemplating obtaining artificially inseminated or making use of other methods of conceiving because your whole body is in a good location.

Following conception, specific kinds of acupuncture can still be done, and can aid relieve back discomfort, curb cravings, and produce a far better atmosphere for the fetus. Right after you’ve got the infant your power is thrown off, and you will want to visit an acupuncturist in order that you can get swiftly over postpartum depression along with other negative feelings.

Acupuncture occurs to become a tool that couples use via out the complete pregnancy (prior to and right after). This really is not for everyone, nevertheless it is actually a method which has been studied very cautiously and it does possess a high achievement rate. You are going to want to make certain which you research acupuncture and ask your doctor for any suggestions regarding the treatment. You might find that acupuncture could let you conceive swiftly and you’ll be capable of take pleasure in getting a kid.

Exactly how protected is actually acupuncture

Just how secure is actually acupuncture ?
Acupuncture occurs to become a really well-liked and profitable kind of medicine, given that millions of individuals will use acupuncture to treat all of their wellness concerns. You’ll locate that you can go from back pain to headaches to sleeping disorders. There is a lot of uncertainly about acupuncture, nevertheless, you’ll locate that this articles has a lot of advantages and disadvantages for you to think about.

Many people who are not familiar with acupuncture are typically worried about needles being inserted in to the body. This is a typical concern that really should be serious, however, you ought to know that if it really is completed effectively, you’ll have the ability to have acupuncture performed correctly and safely. You’ll find licensed acupuncturists, who must pass state-established training standards to grow to be certified, and numerous medical doctors and specialists, like neurologists or those working in physical medicine, are becoming certified as a way to execute acupuncture as a treatment alternative for patients.

You ought to know that the United states FDA or Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of needles only by licensed practitioners. This approval should ease some issues about acupuncture as a secure practice. In fact, there happen to be extremely few complaints logged in the FDA about acupuncture. There have been issues and complaints of non-sterile needles that may end up spreading infection and illness. Thus, in case you are seeking acupuncture treatment, make sure that the acupuncture needles have been sterilized. Expert acupuncturists will definitely work with sterile needles to make sure client security.

Certainly, with acupuncture, there’s the danger of a needle becoming inserted also deeply, which could result in organs to be punctured. This danger if a very little danger and you ought to start to think about all of the millions of individuals who have seen good results in acupuncture remedies, and you’ll find very handful of circumstances of needles puncturing organs. In addition, this sort of situation can most likely be avoided by undergoing treatment using a licensed acupuncture practitioner. Furthermore, should you really feel serious pain when obtaining the needles injected, you may want to speak towards the practitioner because they might be placing them in also deep. Actually, many people don’t even feel the needles getting inserted into your pressure points. In the event you do really feel pain following or during an acupuncture therapy, you should see a medical physician right away.

You’ll find two risks which you will wish to contemplate harmful or unsafe. You are going to want to believe about each of those risks, but in addition know that they can be avoided should you use a qualified acupuncture practitioner which has been certified and has some expertise. Using the millions of people that have tried it and had achievement, you’ll discover that your well being problems might become a lot much better for everybody with the use of acupuncture. You can also rest assured that the process may be totally safe should you take all the proper precautions.

Have Celebrities Gone Wacko for Acupuncture?

Everywhere you turn; there are stories about celebrities getting acupuncture. 

Supermodel, Elle Macpherson, recently said in an interview with UK tabloid, News of the World, “I have acupuncture regularly and I see a Chinese doctor who treats most common ailments with herbs.”

When asked how she maintained her health and well being, Elle answered, “I do choose to look after my body from a Chinese medicine perspective, which promotes and maintains wellness rather than treats illness.”

Elle is not the only celebrity that seems to have become “star-struck” with this traditional form of health care that is touted as being able to treat everything from anxiety to a torn rotator cuff.  Gwyneth Paltrow, a longtime advocate of the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, once said that having acupuncture had guided her to a “new level” in life, helping her to find love with her husband and giving her the strength to cope with the death of her father. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow said, “I have been a big fan of Chinese medicine for a long time because it works.”

So what other celebrities are up for being a voluntary pin-cushion?  Dr. Maoshing Ni, an acupuncturist in Santa Monica lists Jim Carrey and Helen Hunt as two of his many famous clients.  In a testimonial, Jim Carrey said “Undergoing [acupuncture] treatments with Dr. Mao at [his acupuncture clinic] and following his nutritional advice has led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.”

Celebrities have embraced acupuncture so whole-heartedly that they even schedule regular acupuncture treatments for their pets.  Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, has been spotted in Los Angeles taking her pampered pooch, Tyson, in for his acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is becoming more and more respected by conventional medicine, so much so that there were acupuncturists on-site for the athletes at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

How it works

Is there any evidence to back up this rapid growth in the popularity of acupuncture?  Besides the 2000 years of clinical evidence, there are a multitude of studies to substantiate that acupuncture has a measurable affect on the body.  One study on how acupuncture works to relieve pain, published in the Journal of NeuroImage, used brain imaging technology to prove that acupuncture affects the brain’s long-term ability to regulate pain.  In the study, researchers were able to show that acupuncture increased the binding availability to opioid receptors in the brain in much the same way that opioid painkillers, such as morphine, codeine and other medications, are thought to work

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared acupuncture effective for more than 200 other conditions including, respiratory, eye and mouth, gastro-intestinal, neurological and muscular disorders. Because of acupuncture’s ability to speed the healing process, bring down swelling and inflammation, relieve pain, and help to restore normal range of motion, it is especially effective at treating musculo-skeletal disorders.

“The purpose of acupuncture is to trigger your body's innate ability to self heal. “ Says licensed acupuncturist, Diane Joswick, L.Ac.

“When someone comes in for treatment, we take all of their symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.  Treatments are tailored for the individual.  That is why it is important to talk with an acupuncturist to see how acupuncture will be able to help your specific and unique case.”

The Acupuncture Facelift: Fact or Fiction?

Have you read the service menu at your favorite spa lately? If so, you may have noticed a new and intriguing addition: cosmetic acupuncture. Cosmetic acupuncture – also known as acupuncture facial rejuvenation or acupuncture facelift - is finding its way into an increasing number of full-service spas, and for good reason. This new modality can enhance not only your physical appearance but also your overall health, giving you a glow that radiates from deep within. While cosmetic acupuncture as a spa feature is a somewhat new phenomenon, there are nevertheless centuries-old records of it being used in the service of beauty. What’s more, acupuncture’s ability to improve a variety of skin conditions has now been documented in legitimate clinical studies. Its effectiveness is no longer a question of hearsay or testimonials. Before signing up for a course of facial acupuncture treatments, however, there are a few things you should consider.

Is it really a facelift? The answer is an unequivocal no. Nor is it intended to replace a facelift. Cosmetic acupuncture entails no incisions, sutures or acid peels and it will not produce sudden, drastic changes in underlying structures. In fact, the American Cosmetic Acupuncture Association discourages the use of the term, “facelift” in connection with acupuncture, as this creates unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment. Remember, it took decades of stress, sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins for your skin to reach a state of crisis, and the damage will not be instantly undone. The remedy cosmetic acupuncture may offer is the reduction or erasure of fine lines and the softening of deeper ones. Additionally, patients may experience the firming of jowls and a reduction in the size of under-eye bags. It is not unusual for clients to report enhanced skin tone, increased energy and eyes that sparkle.

But it doesn’t stop there. Since facial acupuncture is based on time-tested principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person’s overall health may also benefit. Insomnia may be corrected and weight gain may be controlled. Cosmetic acupuncture is, after all, a whole-body treatment. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine view, a person’s face is affected selectively by his or her internal organs. Facial features reflect organic strengths, and as internal organs are fortified, one’s face reflects the improvement. Besides addressing a patient’s condition holistically, the practitioner will probably work locally, inserting painless, ultra-fine needles into--and around--specific wrinkles, acu-points or muscle points, depending on the technique employed. Techniques can be Spartan or luxuriant, and practitioners will often incorporate herbal poultices, moisturizers, pulsed light or essential oils into a treatment. An imperceptible electrical current may also be passed among the needles.

Finding a Practitioner

Finding certified practitioners may be easier than you think. They are listed by region at the website of The American Cosmetic Acupuncture Association (www.AmericanCosmeticAcupuncture.com). Membership in the ACAA assures you the acupuncturist is licensed and has studied facial cosmetic technique with a qualified teacher (not all of them have). You might want to avoid cosmetic acupuncture practitioners and teachers who claim their technique is better than all others (they may offer testimonials). There are simply too many talented practitioners in the field for anyone to make such a claim ethically.

The practitioner you choose should be willing to provide you with a free fifteen-minute consultation as well as an estimate of the cost and the number of treatments required. A course of ten treatments is standard, with periodic follow-up visits as needed. These sessions are labor intensive and will be priced differently than customary acupuncture treatments. Not surprisingly, if you are a smoker or sun-worshipper, you will need to make a longer commitment in order to achieve results. Depending on the technique used, there is a slight chance of minor temporary bruising, although your practitioner may lessen the possibility by starting your session with a homeopathic remedy.

If your features are tired, your eyes are baggy and your skin is without luster, yet you do not feel the need for cosmetic surgery, then facial acupuncture may be for you. The freedom from post-treatment downtime and the experience of enhanced Vitality contribute to the ever-increasing popularity of this Asian art. If you are willing to try something different and new, you may find that facial acupuncture is the perfect partner in your quest for rejuvenation and renewal.

Healing the Spirit with Acupuncture

In ancient times there were three levels of healing: physical, mental, and spiritual. The treatment and prevention of physical disease was considered to be the lowest level.

Throughout over 9 years of study, training and clinical practice in Asian healing systems including Shiatsu, acupressure, acupuncture, herbology, Chinese diet, Tai-chi Ch'uan, Ch'i-kung and martial arts, I have sought an explanation as to how healing occurs on the higher levels within our bodies. While acupuncture has such a well developed theoretical basis for the treatment and prevention of physical complaints, why isn't this true on the mental and spiritual levels as well? For well over five years, during which time I learned to read Classical Chinese, I immersed myself in researching everything from Taoist philosophy to the first acupuncture texts written 150 years before Christ to hundreds of books and articles by Western Asian scholars about the old culture that produced these healing systems and how the highest levels of body, mind, spirit integration could be accessed.

Body, Mind, and Spirit in Acupuncture

A thousand titles later, I stumbled upon a clue that tied all of this research together. It was only a paragraph in the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia written in 132 AD, paraphrasing another paragraph in China's first written text on acupuncture, the Simple Questions of the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine of 150 BC. Here was what I was looking for. It said that in ancient times there were three levels of healing: physical, mental, and spiritual. These two texts considered the treatment and prevention of physical disease to be the lowest level. All of the acupuncture styles that I had studied seemed to have this level down pat. In contrast, the current practice of Western medicine, although it excels in treating the most extreme cases of physical disorders, is only in its extreme infancy in preventing them, in most cases hardly going beyond well informed common sense.

The middle level, according to these old texts, treated and prevented mental problems. Here it was. The answer to my question was getting clearer: physical problems on the lowest level, mental problems on the middle level. The highest, and most spiritual level in these texts was more of a problem, however. This level is supposed to treat ming, which can be translated as either Mandate, Destiny, or Fate. The idea is that if a person has a correct relationship with Destiny, good health on the mental and physical levels is a side effect. In contrast, if a person does not have such a relationship, they get sick no matter what else they do or don't do.

Of course no mention was made as to how one was to go about this level of healing. The term ming was not used on the spiritual level in any acupuncture texts that I was aware of. Apparently the discussion was dropped for another two thousand years, taken for granted, or forgotten. The only direct reference to ming is that it is the most important energy center in the body and is accessible through an acupuncture point called the "Gate of Destiny."


It seemed as though my big discovery was also a big problem. As a morally responsible acupuncturist and teacher, how was I supposed to provide acupuncture service at this highest level if I didn't even know what it was? Or, determined as I was, how could I find out how to do it? In my attempt to answer this second question, I turned to my thousands of pages of meticulously organized research notes for the answer.

To my surprise, I found that in the historical period during and prior to the printing of the first acupuncture texts, the most important philosophical and political doctrine of the day was what was called the Mandate of Heaven, t'ien-ming, and was concerned with the divine rights of kings. This doctrine stated that the emperor, as Son of Heaven, could only keep the throne through correct action, moral and otherwise. On all levels, the emperor was supposed to be the intermediary between Heaven and Earth, which in turn stood for the invisible and visible worlds of spirit and matter.

In ancient China, the correct function of the emperor was to spontaneously channel the spiritual forces of Heaven down into the Earth for the good of all, t'ien-hsia chih li. By doing so, the emperor received the "Mandate" of Heaven which resonated with a universal cosmic order that brought blessings onto the Earth. In contrast, when and if the emperor went out of this alignment. Heaven would begin the process of realignment by sending down progressively more challenging circumstances until the emperor realized the error of his ways, or until someone else with the moral force necessary to maintain this alignment took over in his stead.

At this point in my research I realized that the symbolism of this political doctrine carried over into acupuncture by implying some sort of correct relation between the sacred inner world of every person, symbolized by Heaven, and the mundane events of everyday life, symbolized by Earth. Furthermore, the correctness of this relationship depended upon the moral integrity and power of the conscious spirit, shen in Chinese, residing deep within the Heart, as symbolized by the emperor, the ruler of the personality, body and mind.

The idea of embracing Destiny in the highest level of acupuncture gives a needed perspective on health care issues as we go into the twenty first century. This is especially applicable to the issues of insurance coverage and the integration of Western medicine with what is being euphemistically called complementary medicine, which includes acupuncture. The duality, at worst, or polarity, at best, between these two systems vie with one another in an integration that could just as easily be forced by political and economic factors as it could be for medical ones. A real integration calls for an adjustment, not only in health care techniques, but also in world view. Individual freedom, as well as freedom in the medical community at large is at stake here. Only a system which allows for the complete freedom of choice in either direction will be the system that will truly benefit the common good. As the saying goes, only the common good is truly the good of all!