Acupuncture related articles blogs and faqs from Maired Fahy of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Acupuncture is effective in helping with cancer treatment

The dreaded “C” word!  Just the mention of “Cancer” is enough to strike fear into the heart of the strongest person. It is all pervasive and strikes almost every family at some time in their lives. The fine balance between life and death is never so apparent as when the illness which is “Cancer” rears its ugly head. Its a battle of will and courage, and sadly a lot of people never win the war.


There have been many advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer and while the standard medical care for cancer is effective, the treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects as well as a lowered immune system. Acupuncture has received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments for its use in pain relief, reducing side effects, accelerating recovery and improving quality of life.

What Acupuncture is used for during Cancer Treatment

Acupuncture provides a total approach to health care for people with cancer. It can be used to address many of the concerns that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.

According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that control a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by these actions, acupuncture affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.


The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in  recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.

1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved—through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

  1. Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy


  1. Leukopenia


  1. Nausea and vomiting


Specifically the results of four of the major trials show the following statistics using Acupuncture in slightly different ways compared to a control group that received no acupuncture. The test group is the group that received acupuncture.


Acupuncture during radiotherapy

Acupuncture greatly lessened digestive and nervous system reactions (anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue) due to radiotherapy and showed protection against damage to haematopoiesis.


Manual plus electric acupuncture

Gastrointestinal reactions were cured in significantly more of the acupuncture group:

• 93.2% of test group after 5.8 ± 2.7 days of treatment

• 65.2% of control group after 9.4 ± 3.4 days of treatment.


Magnetic plus electric acupoint stimulation

Acupoint stimulation therapy was comparable with intravenous metoclopramide for gastrointestinal reactions, and with dexamethasone and cysteine phenylacetate (leucogen) for leukopenia. The treatment was effective in:

• 87.5% of the test group

• 75.0% of the control group.


Body acupuncture (manual)

The treatment was effective in:

• 85.6% of the test group

• 61.1% of the control group.



  Other areas that acupuncture has shown the most promise include:


  • Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flushes
  • Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue
  • Pain Management
  • Increasing White Blood Cell Count

Other symptoms caused by cancer treatment

Clinical trials are studying the effects of acupuncture on cancer and symptoms caused by cancer treatment, including weight loss, cough, chest pain, fever, anxiety, depression, night sweats, hot flushes, dry mouth, speech problems, and fluid in the arms or legs. Studies have shown that, for many patients, treatment with acupuncture either relieves symptoms or keeps them from getting worse.

Boosting the Immune System

Human studies on the effect of acupuncture on the immune system of cancer patients showed that it improved immune system response, including increasing the number of white blood cells.

Pain Management

In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced the amount of pain in some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to take smaller doses.

Acupuncture is also very useful for support if you are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or hormonal therapy. Because chemotherapy and radiation therapy weaken the body’s immune system, a strict asepsis (sterile needle method) is rigidly adhered to when acupuncture treatment is given to cancer patients.


There is more evidence published within this report, however, since this report we have grown in our application, understanding and evidence that acupuncture does work. There are many differing theories, but the most interesting is quite simply to ensure that the body is stronger than the cancer, the tumour, the sarcoma. We already live with these cells in our bodies. It’s when they become too strong that the body becomes weakened.  That is why acupuncture works alongside western treatments. This raises another question. Does acupuncture and Chinese medicine work alone? There is evidence to support that, but that is for another day.

Acupuncture for Morning Sickness

Acupuncture treatment for morning sickness is one of the most effective treatments available in my clinic, and quite often the lady is led to its effectiveness  indirectly – by having had Acupuncture to assist her conception and Fertility!

Its often a surprise to hear that Acupuncture can help her deal with and eliminate the horrors of Morning Sickness.  Quite often the lady WANTS  to experience the Morning Sickness as PROOF that she is actually pregnant, especially if she has been trying for quite some time to enhance her Fertility and become pregnant. But for most women, it is a misery, and thus a pleasant surprise when they learn that Acupuncture can cure their Morning Sickness. Obviously for those of you who have experienced it, a pleasant surprise!

Morning Sickness occurs in about half of all pregnancies, and most often between the 6th and 16th weeks, with weeks 8 to 12 being the worst, although it is possible in the unlucky few for Morning Sickness to carry on for most of the pregnancy!

The degree to which symptoms present and their severity varies from person to person. For some it can be slight queasiness, or nausea which occurs at different times throughout the day (Morning Sickness??)! For others, symptoms can be very severe with violent vomiting, and an inability to digest any food however small, and in most cases not even water. Obviously this is quite critical, as it can lead to severe dehydration, and in some cases may require hospitalisation. This is a condition known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and is obviously very distressing for the mum to be. But the good news is, that despite the severity of the vomiting, the growing baby is not harmed in any way. Nature has put a Bypass in place, and it still stays snug and nourished in the mums womb!

But dont just take my word for it that Acupuncture can help Morning Sickness! Obviously Im biased!! But thankfully several scientific studies have shown that Acupuncture is very effective in treating Morning Sickness, as indeed I have found this to be the case in my own practice.

Here comes the science”…as a well known add used to say!

A study undertaken in an Adelaide Maternity Hospital, Australia in 2002 was undertaken on 593 women who were less than 14 weeks pregnant, and experiencing nausea or vomiting. They were randomised into 4 groups: Traditional Acupuncture, Pericardium 6 (P-6) Acupuncture, (P-6 is an Acupuncture point which is the basis for the commercial “sea bands”. It is located approx 2 inches above the wrist crease between 2 tendons), Sham Acupuncture, or no Acupuncture (control).

Results showed that women receiving Traditional Acupuncture or P-6 Acupuncture, demonstrated less nausea and less dry retching, than those receiving Sham Acupuncture or no Acupuncture.

They concluded that Acupuncture for Morning Sickness treatment is an effective procedure for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

Furthermore, The Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2001, published a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of P-6 for the relief of Nausea and Vomiting in early pregnancy. Both this study and a similar one conducted by Dundee et al Evans et al 1993, conclusively showed that proper stimulation of the Acupunctue point P-6 reduced Nausea and Vomiting in patients.

So the proof as they say is in the pudding which you obviously dont have any intention of eating because you are so sick!! But try Acupuncture for your Morning sickness and start feeling well again.

Call me Mairead Fahy, Gorey on   0539483155 or 0876452409 if you have any queries relating to your Fertility and / or Morning Sickness. Ill be happy to talk to you.

Male Fertility. A brave approach.

While I was getting ready for work this morning, TV on in the background, I listened with no small amount of admiration to a couple speaking about their problems in conceiving a child.

Now, as is mostly the case, when a couple have been trying diligently to make a baby, and with no positive outcome  (other than becoming even more determined that they really want a baby), it is invariably the woman who goes down the route of being checked hormonally and sometimes surgically to determine the cause. This a natural female response! “There might be a problem, lets face it head- on , find out what it might be, and see if we can fix it!”  This was the case with this couple, and with all the tests coming back “clear”, i.e. she was  hormonally balanced, and her tubes were patent having had surgical investigation (Laporoscopy, and, Lap and Dye , where a small amount of Dye is inserted into the Fallopian Tubes to see if there is blockage), they finally decided to test the man.  Eureka!  It was discovered that he had virtually NO SPERM!

My admiration for this man knows no bounds, as indeed for ANY man who is willing to overcome a suspected psychological and emotional attack on his masculinity and virility, by admitting that HE may have the problem, not his female counterpart!  AND –  he went on TV and told the world!  Not only did he openly admit the problem was his, but instead of shrinking into denial and depression, he was man enough to admit there was a problem, and ask HOW it could be fixed! If he did retire to his cave, it was only temporarily while he licked his wounds and then he came out fighting and  decided to try and FIX things!  Well done him!

With advice he went down the route of making positive  Lifestyle changes.

He stopped  smoking –  (research has shown that smoking can affect the quantity and morphology (quality) of sperm), changed his diet from a junk food diet to a whole food, fresh,  low fat diet and in 3 months –  he lost 3 stone! (He had been quite “chunky”)! He incorporated exercise into his regime, and looked at ways of combatting the stresses in his life.

He included Acupuncture as part of his lifestyle change which research has shown can positively increase blood flow and improve sperm motility and quality (morphology). This is particularly important around a womans ovulation time. It takes approximately 3 months for healthy sperm to form in the testes, and according to this man and the changes he made, he went from having NO sperm (azospermia) to having just under the desired amount for conception in 3 months!

Changes in Diet and Lifestyle also apply to women with Fertility problems, and huge benefits can be achieved in a relatively short time by having  Acupuncture and by addressing stress factors, diet and lifestyle issues.

Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow, improve the quality of eggs, improve follicular stimulation, benefit ovulation, thicken the uterine lining and balance hormones.

Because we women are so dependent on Hormones  (men….its a FACT- not an excuse!!),  stress hormones like adrenaline, can adversely affect the sex hormones and may lead to an irregular menstrual cycle, Dysmennhorea (painful periods), High Prolactin levels, and ovulation problems, any of which can cause problems with natural conception. Acupuncture  can play a hugely beneficial role in Fertility problems, both male and female and together with changes in diet and lifestyle, can often result in natural conception.

I wish my TV couple well and hugely admire their strength and courage.

Fertility treatment

The infertility trap!


Youre 32yrs old and finally you’ve found Mr. Right!! Hes 36yrs old, tall, dark, and drop dead gorgeous! You cant keep your hands off each other, and you want him to be the father of your children…all 10 of them! So you come off the pill, and your periods are all over the place, no regularity….you don’t use protection either, but still after 18mnths of sex any rabbit would be proud of… nothing!


You decide to go to the GP and get tested. After all, feeling as tired as you do may not just be because of your night time frolics, enjoyable as they are! And isn’t it funny how your back pain tends to get worse at the time of the month?


The GP does a range of blood tests on day 3 of your cycle and day 21 of your cycle, and everything comes back normal! He tells you to go away, relax and keep practicing! But now the fun has gone out of it, it becomes an obsession…will your period come or……!!?!


So you begin researching into what may be wrong, and you come across a lady called Zita West, an English fertility expert whose holistic approach to fertility has helped numerous couples achieve beautiful healthy babies, the only thing in life you really want now. And you learn that she advocates Acupuncture as a method to aid conception, and that there are a list of affiliated acupuncturists in Ireland who are trained in and also use her methods….and whats this?…theres one in Gorey?? Mairead Fahy….o yes you’ve heard of her! Your friend went to her with migraines and after 6 sessions she was floating down the street giving flowers to complete strangers! (Strange considering she suffers from hay fever, but that got cured too!!)


Anyway you make an appointment, and youre amazed at the amount of questions she asks in the initial consultation. You never thought about how your diet could be affecting things, so you decide to throw out the deep fat fryer, and clean out your fridge! (Mmmm…you never knew THAT was in there! ) You decide to cut down to one bottle of wine a week instead of the obligatory 3 buckets a night!! But how will you deal with the stress youre under at work now? The wine was the only thing that helped to relieve that… but Mairead shows you different ways of  handling it. You never knew you could breathe so deeply, or that your lugs went that far, and as for the needles…youre asleep before the last one is in! Mairead explains everything clearly and puts your lifestyle into a different perspective so that you can make comfortable changes. She explains it may take 3 months or more, but youre happy to go with that. After 6 sessions and the addition of supplements to aid fertility, youre more relaxed, your dog is happier because hes being walked every day, and youre feeling positive and at peace with the world.


Mr. Drop Dead Gorgeous has changed too! He never brings work home any more, and has swopped those glove – like jeans for comfy baggies! He takes supplements too, and your relationship has become closer now that its not wine fuelled!


After 4 months of treatment, your periods are totally regular, the crippling pain you used to have has gone to Panadol consistency, and suddenly….no period!! Could it be?….? Get ready for sleepless nights for a different reason!

Pain Treatment

Article written by Mairead Fahy which appeared in ECHO newspaper February 2007

Lets face it…. We all abuse our bodies abysmally! We eat and drink to excesses we cannot sustain, we heave and haul in the garden and in the house, and still assume that everything will go on working as normal…just because it always has!

>What was normal behaviour for us in our twenties, we assume will still be functioning behaviour for us twenty years later. Unfortunately… and the reality is, -our bodies are getting older! The scaffolding is getting rusty from lack of maintenance, and instead of firing on all cylinders – the internal engine is starting to backfire!

In essence, we take our hard working, uncomplaining bodies for granted … so much so that we ignore the warning signals it gives us, and suddenly…. PAIN Strikes!

You can hardly get out of bed with back pain…. You can barely put on your clothes because of shoulder / arm pain…. You’re crippled due to pains in your knees or the nerve pain travelling down your leg… You can barely use your hand because of the numbness and tingling caused by “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”… and worse than anything else… your golf swing is affected because of “Tennis Elbow” or “Golfers Elbow”!

Red Alert! Action Stations! Sure… you felt a slight “twinge” when you lifted that piano on your own… or you felt a “niggle” when you were reaching for that goody on the top shelf! But you thought it would go away… after all – it always did before!

Acupuncture and; Chinese Medicine ClinicBut … the symptoms persist, and your first port of call must always be your GP who will advocate the most appropriate treatment. More often than not, this entails medication of the anti – inflammatory type, and sometimes something to relax the muscle spasm.… and quite often this will do the trick.

But sometimes – the symptoms merit still more aggressive investigation. and your GP will refer you for the most appropriate therapy for you.

If, however, despite medication, and despite the intensive conventional medical route, you are still suffering pain… its time to think Alternatively – and more specifically, … the Chinese Medicine route, which has Acupuncture as one of its branches.

Acupuncture is part of the ancient system of medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been in existence for over 3000 years. It is based on the theory that our bodies are made up of Meridians or Channels of energy or “Qi” (pronounced Chee), and when disease or injury occurs, these channels become blocked.

In Chinese Medicine terms –“ Qi and blood stagnation” occurs – and hence we get pain!

Imagine you have a stream at the bottom of your garden, and there’s a mudslide straight into it – the stream can’t flow as efficiently as it used to! Complicate this with dead leaves and rubbish -. and the stream stops flowing completely. The stream wants to proceed as normal but it can’t -. and trouble starts!

This is the same for the blockage of “Qi” within the body. Due to accident or injury – the stream can’t flow freely, and Pain results! By inserting sterile disposable small needles in points along this “stream”, the channel is freed, and the flow is restored!

In effect, just like you unblock a stream with a spade, your Acupuncturist is unblocking the Channel with needles. And no… the needles don’t hurt!

In Chinese Medicine, this blockage may often be complicated by “Damp”, “Cold” or “Heat”… you will often hear these terms in the Acupuncture clinic. and your treatment will be modified according to these findings.

Acupuncture can treat all types of pain, but the most common musculoskeletal pains it can treat include:

  • Acuppuncture and; Chinese Medical Clinic - Waterfallneck pain and related headaches,
  • shoulder pain including Frozen shoulder,
  • lower back pain and related nerve pain, (often called sciatica),
  • hip pain,
  • knee pain,
  • ankle injury,
  • arthritis,
  • tennis elbow,
  • golfers elbow,
  • carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • all sports injuries,
  • and many many more pains and aches.

So – the moral of the story is … maintain the scaffolding, or you may have to visit your Acupuncturist!

Migraine Relief

Article written by Mairead Fahy which appeared in ECHO newspaper March 2007

Question… when is a headache not a headache?

Answer………when it’s a migraine!
Acupncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic - Tai ChiMost of us at one time or another… has suffered a headache! It may be the result of a nagging wife, hot-headed husband, fractious children or cantankerous boss…. and all the associated stresses and strains that go along with them! We women… subject to hormonal influences as we are… may get them whenever it suits us!

It may be an excuse… it may be genuine…but until you know differently…it’s a headache guys! It may even be the result of a “bad pint” for all you guys and gals out there who indulge… but of course…never the result of the nine good pints …AND THEN SOME… that went along with that! (That’s dehydration by the way… but that’s another story for another day)!

Anyway… the point is.. that for most of us… the headache eventually goes! Two Panadol, a hot shower, a change of scene and some peace and quiet ..(and lots of water!)…and your life continues as normal!

Acupuncture & Chinese Medical Clinic - ScreamNot so however for the poor Migraine sufferer! What may start as a mere headache for them inevitably develops into an insufferable debilitating pain which may last for two days or more.. despite medication! Add to that.the symptoms of nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, and life becomes intolerable for the victim of a Migraine attack! Work, home and family life all suffers!

Sometimes the only thing that will help (not relieve) the pain is to lie down in a dark room and try to sleep… not always possible however! And worse than this…. It could happen more than once a week! And – it doesn’t even end there….when the pain eventually goes.. the migraine victim is left with a dull heavy head similar to a hangover…but the problem is… they haven’t actually enjoyed the getting of it!

Ok… so what can be done? Conventional medicine will tell you … nothing! Your GP will prescribe medication and may even have to give an injection … and hopefully this will minimise the pain. However … this may or may not work! So when all conventional avenues for pain relief have been exhausted … look to the East … and to acupuncture!

What makes Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) different in so many ways to conventional or Western medicine.. is that it looks to the CAUSE of the problem… not just the symptoms! And again … because we are dealing with such an ancient system of medicine… a diagnosis for the CAUSE … may tend to sound a bit abstract… almost nonsensical to those of you grounded in the theories of the West! In the case of Migraine… the CAUSE is determined by the theories upon which all of life and nature is based…. The theories of Yin and Yang!

Ok I hear you say … That’s Chinese stuff… and indeed it is! But let me explain a little about Yin and Yang! Not only are they good names for dogs and cats… The Yin and Yang theory of opposites, despite being a concept more than three thousand years old, is actually the principle upon which all modern Physics is founded! Everything whether material or abstract has an opposite. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t exist! Confused yet?

More than two thousand years ago, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tse used a cup to demonstrate the principle… the material of the cup was Yang, the inside of it Yin. Although there was nothing inside the cup but space, – if the space wasn’t there… it would have no use as a cup!

The original meanings of Yin and Yang, referred to the sunny and shaded sides of a hill, Yang being the sunny side and Yin being the shady side. Also, because in Ancient China, men worked in the fields and in the sun, and women worked indoors and in the shade… the terms also came to mean Male and Female!

However… apart from being a theory of opposites… it also encompasses the theory of co – dependence for a harmonious life!

sunset over lakeThis means for example, Daytime MUST flow into Night time and vice versa (Yang into Yin), otherwise natural law would be affected. Hot must have its opposite cold – and not a dominance of one over the other but a balance between the two, otherwise again, natural law is interrupted. Likewise Man MUST have Woman. Apologies to all you feminists out there… but again, it is natural law!

The Yin Yang theory can even explain why men are from Mars and women are from Venus! Basically…Yin and Yang nurture each other and depend on each other!

So what has this got to do with a Migraine attack? Well, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine most organs of the body also have a Yin and Yang aspect to them… and when this goes out of balance due to stress, diet and numerous other factors, pain can be the result.

In the case of Migraine, – it is the Yang energy of the Liver organ, which goes into excess and rises to the head causing pain! This does NOT mean however that there is something functionally wrong with your Liver…no need to go racing off to your GP saying … “that Acupuncturist down the road says there’s something wrong with my liver”… no I’m talking purely from a Chinese Medicine perspective!

It is the excess of Yang in the head which causes the pain… and it is this which over time the acupuncturist can bring back into balance and allow it to become “anchored” once more by the Yin.
Quite often acupuncture can relieve an ongoing Migraine attack… and it will certainly minimise the frequency and intensity of subsequent ones!

So for all you Migraine sufferers…there is hope!

Acupuncture Facelift

Article written by Mairead Fahy which appeared in ECHO newspaper January 2007
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clnic Gorey - Facial Rejuvenation
It’s the New Year! The “silly season” has come and gone – and all the festivities have left their mark on your face and body! What used to be vigorous and vibrant, is now bagged and sagged! All the birds have gone south, and so has your face!
For some, the rejuvenation process starts with Botox, Dermal Fillers, – even the knife!But for those with a more holistic approach to life, – there is an alternative and natural way to minimise and reduce the signs of aging.

Its called Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture. Yes… Acupuncture! The therapy that’s used so effectively for treating pains and aches, and indeed anything from asthma to vertigo, is also used as a cosmetic alternative to plastic surgery!

Sometimes also called an Acupuncture Facelift, – it is so much more than a cosmetic procedure. It is in fact a rejuvenation and revitalisation process designed to help the whole body look and feel younger!

The Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture treatment is based on the principles of Chinese Medicine. It involves the insertion of very fine sterile disposable needles into particular areas of the face, ears, neck, hands, trunk and legs, along channels of energy called Qi (pronounced Chee).

Specific points are chosen to manipulate the movement of energy in the body according to the individuals needs , so in effect, any underlying ailments get treated also, as the bodys Qi comes back into balance.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is not a new procedure! Thousands of years ago, – as early as the Sung Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), the Chinese discovered that many meridians, or channels, either begin or end on the face, while some have internal branches which go to the face.

Thus practitioners of Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, know how to specifically effect the face, while simultaneously treating the whole body, so that the underlying factors that contribute to the aging process are minimised also.

So – what can it do for you?
It can erase as many as 5 to 15 years from the face, with results apparent after only a few treatments. Fine lines may be eliminated and deeper lines lessened considerably, bags under the eyes can be reduced, jowls firmed, puffiness eliminated, droopy eyelids lifted and double chins can be minimised.

Other likely results include moisturisation of the skin due to increased local circulation of blood and lymph to the face, better muscle tone, increased collagen production, – naturally,- brightening of the eyes, improvement in the hormonal imbalance to help acne, and reduction of stress which always shows in the face first!

And because the underlying causes of aging are being addressed also – you look and feel fabulous, inside and out. So why not rejuvenate your life and try Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture! It reaches the parts other therapies just cant reach!

Fertility – How Acupuncture can Help

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine - Mother & Baby HandsInfertility in all its guises has long been an emotive and complicated issue for many couples, and with many couples now deciding to postpone starting a family because of lifestyle and / or financial reasons; infertility has become an increasingly prevalent problem of contemporary society.

There are many physiological reasons for infertility, many of which include Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and Uterine Fibroids, but Hormonal imbalances, which can include elevated FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) or Prolactin levels can account for a huge proportion of a woman’s inability to conceive, as can Anovulation (failure to ovulate) and irregular menstruation. However, there are many unexplained reasons for infertility also, which may have stress, diet and lifestyle influences as a portion of the causative factor.

The male role in this cannot be underestimated either. Good quality and quantity of sperm with adequate motility is essential also for conception to occur.

How can Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine enhance fertility?

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine - Ying & YangChinese Medicine has been treating infertility for over two and a half thousand years, and its effectiveness cannot be underestimated. Its main function is to bring the body back into balance in every way, harmonising Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood and because of this it can therefore:

  • Normalise hormonal imbalances
  • Regulate menstruation
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase uterine thickness
  • Diminish chances of miscarriage
  • Improve sperm count, motility and morphology
  • Reduce stress and anxiety.

Many couples are now also choosing to use acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF fertility treatment. Recent research has been published to demonstrate the role of acupuncture in helping to increase success rates of IVF around the time of embryo transfer. The research, which was published in the British Medical Journal of 7/2/08, states…”acupuncture increased the odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% compared to the control groups”.

How can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help with IVF and ICSI?

  • Improves the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
  • Helps to regulate hormone levels to help produce a larger number of follicles
  • Increases blood flow to the uterus which in turn creates a thicker uterine lining which enhances the likelihood of implantation of the embryo
  • Relaxes the uterus during implantation to minimise painful cramping
  • Decreases the side effects of the drugs used in IVF, e.g., emotional instability, insomnia, palpitations, headaches etc.,

It is always advisable though not essential, for preparation with acupuncture to begin 3 months prior to commencement of IVF. In this way, the optimum environment for implantation can be naturally achieved. The treatment method will vary according to the patient’s individual diagnosis and degree of infertility, but it is not unheard of, for the lady to become pregnant naturally in this time!