Rachel Weissman

Increased Fertility with Acupuncture

Sperm quality (e.g., morphology and DNA integrity) is correlated with more than just fertilization rates, but also with factors such as development of the fertilized egg, implantation, and development of the embryo itself. These findings indicate that the health of a man’s sperm not only impacts the chances of pregnancy, but directly affects the health of a potential child. A recent study published in Fertility & Sterility shows that acupuncture significantly improved both sperm count and quality in men with infertility of unknown cause. Previous studies support these findings, reporting improvements in motility (forward movement), morphology (shape), and overall higher rates of successful pregnancies. "In conjunction with ART [assisted reproductive technology] or even for reaching natural fertility potential, acupuncture treatment is a simple, noninvasive method that can improve sperm quality," the authors concluded.

An additional landmark study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture dramatically improves the chances of becoming pregnant when used in conjunction with other assisted reproductive techniques (ART). Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York reviewed studies and concluded that acupuncture: increases blood flow to the uterus which improves the chances of an ovum implanting in the uterine wall, reduces anxiety, stress and hormones secreted during stressful situations that may significantly decrease fertility. Acupunccture normalizes hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation, especially in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Acupuncture is also shown to positively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which plays a key role in fertility.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a safe, effective, drug-free and natural approach to treat subfertility and experience a healthy pregnancy. Also consider acupuncture during your pregnancy and birth.

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Clinical pregnancies were documented in 42.5% in the acupuncture group, whereas pregnancy rate was only 26.3% in the control group.

- Fertil Steril. 2002;77:721–4

 

Reproductive Health and Wellness: Addressing PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a complex collection of symptoms which affect millions of women each month. Symptoms of PMS can include bloating, cramping, breast tenderness, fatigue, headache, emotional upset, and constipation. It is believed that up to 80% of women of reproductive age experience some symptoms of PMS.
From an integrative perspective, there are many different approaches to tending women with PMS symptoms. Acupuncture, nutritional and lifestyle counseling as well as physical modalities of Oriental medicine are effective in treating women suffering from PMS symptoms.

In 1997, the National Institue of Health (NIH) issued a report suggesting acupuncture is effective in treating menstrual cramps and other symptoms associated with PMS. Typically the course of treatment for PMS spans 3 cycles. Treatments do not merely suppress symptoms, but rebalance the entire body. Whether you suffer from PMS symptoms on an occoasional or monthly basis, Rachel offers a safe natural and effective approach to alleviate these symptoms. Acupuncture and Chiense medicine may hold the key to a healthier, balanced and PMS-free life.

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There was a statistical and relevant reduction in PMS symptoms with the acupuncture treatments... The success rate of acupuncture in treating PMS symptoms was 77.8%, whereas it was 5.9% in the placebo group.

- Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2002;67(1)

Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth

A pre-birth treatment involves a series of 3-4 sessions weekly from 36 or 37 weeks to prepare for labor. Acupuncture points are used according a woman's constitution and pregnancy history. These include points to ripen the cervix, to help position the baby in the best presentation for labor and to promote optimal energy and stamina for women to begin labor.
According to the World Health Organization [WHO], acupuncture has been found useful for relieving labor pain, nausea, vomiting and significantly reduces the duration of labor.

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For those women who received pre-birth acupuncture there was an overall 35% reduction in the number of inductions (for women having their first baby this was a 43% reduction) and a 31% reduction in the epidural rate.

- Debra Betts, The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Child birth

Positioning the Fetus

Breech babies are ideally treated between 34 - 36 weeks gestation. This is often a single appointment with women being shown how to continue treatment at home with a moxa stick (Artesmisia Vulgaris, an herb that has been shaped into a cigar like stick). The moxa stick is lit and held over specific places in the body to stimulate the acupuncture points.

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Pain relief during childbirth

When attending a series of pre-birth acupuncture treatments, we will schedule a special appointment for the mom-to-be and her partner to attend together. Rachel will instruct the couple on acupressure points outlined in a booklet prepared by Debra Betts, renown RN and acupuncturist. Using this approach not only promotes natural labor, it encourages close partner involvement.

Acupressure provides a dramatic reduction in pain perception. Women consistently report a reduction in their discomfort combined with an overall sense of calmness and a high level of satisfaction with their birth experience.

"I found using acupressure during labor brilliant. Having used acupressure I wouldn't even consider being in labor without it. The difference was amazing - I felt a lot calmer and able to cope and much more relaxed. It was really good for me to have my partner so closely involved with each contraction - I felt connected and supported. Acupressure helped me stay focused and calm. Acupressure is safe, effective, natural and I was in control. An ideal pain management technique."
- SD

"The simple technique of Acupressure enabled me to get through a short sharp labor without artificial pain relief. It also helped my partner to play an active part in the birth of our son - I've been recommending it flat out since my most positive experience with it! "
-RO


Treating Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause is not a disease, it is the normal physiological transition in a woman's life from a reproductive to a non-reproductive state. Indeed many women don't experience any uncomfortable symptoms, while others do experience symptoms to various degrees. From a Chinese perspective, emotional stress, such as worry, anxiety, and fear are extremely important causes of menopausal symptoms.

Conventional medical treatments only address symptoms associated with menopause. These are just one part of the whole picture. Rachel conducts a thorough evaluation and complete health history. Learning about your symptoms, signs and whole body health enables her to develop a unique treatment plan to address each individual's needs. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to address menopause symptoms including headaches, fatigue, lethargy, mood swings, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness or loss of libido.

A 2004 Swedish study shows acupuncture reducing the number of daily hot flash episodes by 52%


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