What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment that involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at specific points on your body, called acupoints. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of Qi (energy) through pathways (meridians) in your body. There are over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body which connect with 14 major meridians. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture can stimulate or unblock energy flow resulting in improved circulation throughout the body, thus treating a variety of ailments, including infertility.
How does acupuncture increase fertility?
As acupuncture is used to restore balance in the body, it can help to increase fertility in various ways. Blood stasis, which slows down or stops blood flow to organs prevents them from functioning properly. Acupuncture reverses this ailment and enhances blood flow to the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in the female body, which in turn repairs or thickens the endometrial lining and improves egg quality. Acupuncture also restores balance to the endocrine system, which helps to regulate hormonal levels in both males and females. A regulated hormonal system increases fertility in males and females as these hormones affect sperm motility and production in males and stimulate ovulation in females. Because of the delicate balance between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and reproductive glands, stress can be a major contributing factor to infertility in both men and women as it causes the release of cortisol, altering the neurochemical balance of the brain. Acupuncture when used in infertility treatments, stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, which combat the effects of cortisol, thus reducing stress. As Qi is restored, physical, mental and emotional balance returns to the individual and the body’s immune system is strengthened. This and the increase in energy that results from an unblocked Qi increases the couples’ chances of conceiving naturally.
Common acupoints in acupuncture for fertility treatments
At Thomson Chinese Medicine, acupuncture for fertility is a specialised programme offered for both men and women. Our TCM physicians will do a comprehensive consultation first before diagnosing the cause(s) of infertility. It is only then that the type of acupuncture treatment to treat the ailment will be prescribed as acupoints will vary according to individual diagnosis.
We have listed some of the more common acupoints used in our fertility treatments below:
Type of Treatment
- Improve blood flow to reproductive organs
Acupoint: Zhong Ji (CV-3), Guan Yuan (CV-4), Qi Hai (CV-6), Zi Gong (EX-8), Xue Hai (SP-10), Qu Quan (LV-8)
- Stimulate pituitary gland (to balance hormones)
Acupoint: Bai Hui (GV-20) (Ear points Shen Men, Kidney, Endocrine, Uterus)
- Acupuncture for IVF treatment
Acupoint: Zu San Li (ST-36), San Yin Jiao (SP-6), Tai Chong (LV-3), He Gu (LI4), Di Ji (SP-8), Yin Tang (EX-2), Xin Shu (BL-15), Ge Shu (BL-17), Pi Shu (BL-20), Shen Shu (BL-23), Da Chang Shu (BL 25)