Can Yoga or Acupuncture Help me Conceive?
While Acupuncture and Yoga may remain somewhat a mystery to mainstream fertility science, most experts agree that they do work in helping women conceive or, at the very least, are quite supportive in abetting IVF or ART treatments and/or associated drug therapies.
In short, Fertility Yoga and Fertility Acupuncture are holistic, therapeutic approaches that integrate body, mind, and spirit to promote reproductive wellness and increased fertility. Moreover, both acupuncture and yoga can alleviate the stress and anxiety that often surrounds prolonged efforts to conceive, thus breaking a vicious circle in which stress and anxiety causes imbalances (and frustrating delays), which in turn charge the body with more anxiety…
Fertility Yoga: While Yoga has a very long and very intricate history, for our purposes here we’ll briefly focus on practices of Fertility Yoga oriented toward establishing reproductive wellness. Fertility Yoga is loosely defined as a series of poses (or asanas) designed to strengthen both body and mind and tone areas of the body associated with reproductive function. What distinguishes Fertility Yoga from other techniques is the attention to specific poses and stretches aimed at ushering vitality and strength to reproductive organs and various “hormonal zones” within the body. Such postures are not only intended to aid reproductive function, but also diminish stress and relax the body in order to make the body (and the regulative flow of hormones) more “fertile” or conducive to a pregnancy.
As we will see with acupuncture below, Fertility Yoga can also enhance circulation, thus supporting the movement of blood and important nutrients to vital tissues and reproductive organs (particularly the uterus and hormonal support systems). At the same time, by improving circulation and vascular relaxation, Yoga can also help cleanse the body of toxins – particularly toxins associated with fertility drugs (which may be hard on the body and exert an array of negative side-effects). For women undergoing fertility treatments or IVF, Fertility Yoga can provide support by not only helping to purify the body, but also by relaxing the mind and energizing the spirit. As a holistic approach, Yoga is an excellent complement (or even alternative) to the more invasive, “body-centered” strategies of Western infertility medicine. Learn more about our Fertility Yoga DVD
Fertility Acupuncture: As with Yoga, fertility acupuncture provides a holistic (mind-body-spirit) solution to infertility issues. Acupuncture may be loosely defined as the nearly imperceptible placement and manipulation of quite thin (sterile) needles into specific acupuncture points that traverse the surface of the body. There are about two-thousand of such points in total.
When an acupuncture needle is inserted, it is painlessly placed into a carefully selected acupuncture point which is relational to a specific energy channel (or chi meridian). When the natural flow of chi is “blocked” or out-of-balance, it is typically associated with problems, a discomfort, or disorders surrounding a specific organ or an emotional state/symptom. In cases of infertility, an acupuncturist will closely examine your unique bodily and affective symptoms to determine if and how vital energies are being blocked and how problems might be arising. In the same way a Yogic posture “works” on certain hormonal zones or reproductive organs, acupuncture stimulates those same areas (globally-speaking) in order to address blockages and re-establish hormonal balance and overall wellness.
And as with Yoga, fertility acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs – supplying both a nutritive and detoxifying function. This is particularly important during those phases of the menstrual cycle when the uterine lining is vascularly “building itself” in preparation for pregnancy.
When it comes to specific infertility disorders, acupuncture is less likely to diagnose or label you with a general disorder and instead focus on a constellation of specific symptoms in order to provide an individualized treatment. Here, issues relating hormonal balance and cycle irregularities (irregular periods, problems with ovulating, long or short ovulatory phases) are particularly treatable with acupuncture (or a combination of acupuncture and fertility drugs). In fact, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and luteal phase defect (a disorder associated with low progesterone production) may respond to acupuncture, as well as ovulatory phase issues associated with follicle stimulation and egg maturation. With regard to progesterone-related issues like luteal phase defect, acupuncture may also help in preventing early miscarriage and quelling attendant fears.
The fact that some health insurance companies now extend coverage to acupuncture is a sure sign that this practice is no longer being relegated as the mere other of allopathic medical treatments. If you are interested in acupuncture treatments, you can discuss options with your doctor or a licensed acupuncture therapist.