If you’ve been suffering from infertility and have decided to try acupuncture to resolve your problem, what will you do if your physician does not have any referral sources or if you don’t know anybody who has been treated by an acupuncturist? Do you just pull out the phone book and start calling people or do you go online and search for a practitioner who’s offering his services near your area? How will you be able to locate an acupuncturist whom you can trust and has the experience and skill to treat your infertility?
It is not that easy to find the right practitioner who can address your needs. Some acupuncturists are very friendly and accommodating but unfortunately have poor medical skills. On the other side of the spectrum, there are practitioners who have excellent medical expertise but suffer from poor people and congeniality skills. Acupuncturists are human beings and so have personalities and abilities of their own. Some are contented with the skills and knowledge they already have and are not motivated in enhancing those assets while there are some who would devote a huge part of their energy and time to become better skilled practitioners.
When it comes to infertility, acupuncture has shown to be a powerful consistent modality throughout the years. Because of this, a growing number of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners are deciding to emphasize infertility treatment as their field of specialization when advertizing their services. Sadly, most acupuncturists receive inadequate training when it comes to infertility treatment. A lot of TCM schools usually do not offer specialized training for this type of problem. So, if a practitioner labels him/herself a “specialist” in infertility, this does not necessarily mean he/she has received the right amount of training in that particular field.
These days, Chinese medicine schools are now offering acupuncturists who wish to acquire more training in a particular field of specialization clinical doctorates in Chinese medicine. There are now colleges that offer specialized study on geriatric medici9ne, women’s health, cancer therapies, and so on. They provide the student a chance to have a more in depth study in certain fields of Chinese medicine where there demand is great and that will help them acquire a doctorate degree in that field of study. However, this will take a certain amount of time since most acupuncture schools are not-for- profit organizations and are usually small.
To help you find a practitioner that has the proper skills and experience to treat your infertility, you should be proactive and bold enough to ask them specific questions. The following are some important question that may help:
Have you received extra education and training in the treatment of infertility?
What kind of conditions do you usually encounter in your practice and how many of these conditions deal with infertility? An acupuncturist who has treated a substantial amount of infertility cases is more likely to have more knowledge in that specific condition. If the practitioner only encounters infertility problems occasionally ., he/she most probably will not have the right amount of skill or experience to provide the best possible treatment for the infertile patient; this does not mean, however, that the practitioner may not be helpful at all.
Did you have proper training in herbal medicine?
Where did you get your training?
How much training did you receive in the treatment of infertility?
There are TCM schools that offer acupuncture programs only and do not provide training in Chinese herbal medicine. Herbal medicine in China has been practiced for dozens of centuries and is a very important modality for infertility treatment in TCM. It is even used more for frequently than acupuncture for infertility treatment. Usually, women more commonly take a number of herbal remedies at specific times of their menstrual cycle based on their own unique condition. One shouldn’t be surprised if a woman takes 4 different or more herbal formulas throughout the month.
As with any form of medical treatment, you need to ask questions about the plan of treatment you will be receiving. The human body is perceived very much differently in Chinese medicine compared to the viewpoint of Western medicine. If you were raised in the West, reorienting yourself to Eastern medicine can be challenging in terms of comprehending TCM theory. It is the job of your acupuncturist/practitioner to explain to you what would be a reasonable prognosis and the process you need to undergo to treat your condition.
Your acupuncturist/practitioner should recommend that you be examined by a reproductive endocrinologist so that both you and your acupuncturist/practitioner get a better understanding of your condition. If you suffer, for example, from fallopian tube obstruction, the only possible option you have to help you conceive is to be treated by a medical doctor. If this is the case, Chinese medicine may be utilized as a complementary treatment to prepare you for IVF or other forms of assisted reproductive therapies. But if your practitioner does not know about that diagnosis it will just be a waste of your precious time and money to avail yourself of natural treatment.
What you need to avoid
Practitioners advertising implausible high rates of success (ex., 75% to 80% of all his/her patients attain pregnancy) should be avoided. You may need to ascertain the practitioner’s sample size. For example, your acupuncturist may claim a success rate of 100% although he/she has only treated 3 infertility patients all of whom were able to get pregnant. Does the practitioner list just pregnancies and not live births in his/her success rates? Does he/she consider patients who have undergone IVF and received acupuncture as success stories? These are all relevant questions when it comes to deciding if the success rates of the practitioner are helpful or not.
Practitioners who promise outcomes that sound too good to be true (ex. promising pregnancy within a month) also needs to be avoided. The truth is, when it comes to treating infertility, no one knows for sure, not even the practitioner, when results will manifest. However, in TCM infertility treatment, it takes at least three months for certain significant results to show. Of course, there will be patients who may require a longer care that may extend to up to a whole year. If after a year there has been no improvement in your condition, then it is time to seek out other options.
Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville , FL 32217