- Natural Cycle Enhancement and Regulation (acupuncture and prescription herbal formulas timed to the menstrual cycle)
- IUI Prep and Enhancement (a 1-3 month protocol for optimizing ovarian responsiveness)
- IVF Prep and Enhancement (a 1-3 month protocol for optimizing ovarian responsiveness)
- Well Woman Pregnancy Enhancement (weekly acupuncture during the first trimester)
- Breech Presentation (beginning at week 35-36)
Conditions Commonly Treated
- Unexplained infertility
- High FSH
- Low AMH
- Low Ovarian Reserve
- Male Factor
- Luteal Phase Defect
The popularity of using acupuncture to treat infertility is growing in the west, particularly as scientific studies demonstrate it’s efficacy. Recent scientific studies support the utilization of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine for infertility and other reproductive disorders (PCOS, menopause). This growing body of evidence demonstrates that Professional Chinese Medicine can improve fertility rates by enhancing physiological processes related to the menstrual cycle.”The following three therapies have contributed to healthy pregnancies:
Increased blood flow.
Certain acupuncture techniques are known to improve blood flow to the ovaries. Better circulation to any organ improves its function and this is especially true of the ovaries.
Dietary supplements like wheat-grass, blue-green algae and royal jelly are know to affect the state of follicular health. Avoiding sugar, refined carbs and coffee also help.
Hormonal balancing using herbs.
Properly-prescribed herbal formulas which address underlying patterns of imbalance can restore natural, balanced hormonal function. ” Randine Lewis, The Fertile Soul
Acupuncture may help:
- Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs by improving ovarian function
- Regulate hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- Regulate the menstrual cycle, blood flow circulation
- Relax the patient and decrease stress
- Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
- Improve semen quality and number of normal sperm
- Strengthen the immune system and decrease the chances of miscarriage
A very famous teacher, Geeta S. Iyengar, author of Yoga a Gem for Women (Allied, Publishers Limited, 1983), writes extensively on women’s issues. She stresses the importance of practicing several asanas to aid in conception. Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand), Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand) , and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose) are recommended because of their hypothesized effects on hormonal balance.
She also recommends the following poses:
To make the poses more restorative, place a chair in front of you and rest your head and arms on the seat for support, or use a bolster for support.
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Upavistha Konasana (Wide Angle Pose)
- Malasana (Garland Pose)
These poses are helpful because they open and elongate the abdominal area.
- Bound Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
- Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero’s Pose)
She also recommends Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) after coitus (which will theoretically keep the sperm inside the body and close to the opening of the uterus) to encourage the opportunity for sperm penetration. Before coitus set up for Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose). As you move into and out of the pose, keep the abdominal area soft-your partner can assist you to make this possible. The amount of time you spend in Viparita Karani is up to you.
To set up for Viparita Karani: Fold a sticky mat into quarters and place it two inches from the wall. Place a round bolster or a firm folded blanket on top of the sticky mat with the back edge of the bolster or blanket in line with the back edge of the mat. Place the buttocks on top of the bolster with the sitting bones as close to the wall as possible and the legs up the wall. The tailbone should tilt toward the ceiling so that the vaginal area is pointing upward. The shoulders, arms, and head rest on the floor. Once in the correct pelvic position, allow the legs to soften and bend the knees to allow the abdominal and pelvic floor to relax.
Professional Chinese Medicine strongly believes in the relationship between diet and fertility. Only recently has Western medicine begun to embrace this. At your first visit, Ms. Westhauser will discuss the ways that Chinese Medicine’s view of nutrition may enhance your fertility. In general, foods that are warm, cooked and organic, with an emphasis on protein, greens and grains are paramount. Grains and beans should be well-cooked and soups, stews and teas are incorporated into meals. There is an avoidance of raw and cold foods, including salads and fruit juices. Ms. Westhauser will tailor your diet based on your Chinese diagnosis.
General Nutrition Guidelines:
Avoid raw and cold foods (including uncooked vegetables and fruits)
No coffee or alcohol
Eliminate dairy (some high fat yogurt is allowed)
Increase the following foods:
Proteins: slow cooked and broken down lean meats, cold water fish (3-4 times a week), eggs, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds (including almonds and walnuts), quinoa, amaranth, millet
Greens: slightly steamed or quickly sauteed spinach, swiss chard, kale, mustard greens, collards, seaweeds
Warm foods: crock pot foods, soups, stews, chili, oatmeal, hot grain cereals
Warming spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, cumin, fennel, turmeric, paprika
Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, L-Arginine, Fish Oils, Flax Seed Oils, Spirulina, Wheat Grass