According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 10.9% of all women in their reproductive age and 6.0% of married women the same age are unable to get pregnant within a year of trying. Fertility acupuncture is a low-risk option that, when used in conjunction with IVF (in vitro fertilization) can dramatically improve your chances for success. However, not all acupuncturists are the same. Here are 6 things you should look for when choosing a fertility acupuncturist.
Every state sets its own licensing requirements for acupuncturists. In California, a rigorous program of training and examinations is required, and out of state licenses are not recognized. Choosing a licensed acupuncturist can dramatically boost success rates over choosing someone who has not met the licensure requirements. It also gives you legal recourse should you run into trouble with treatments.
While a license is an important basic requirement, licensure alone does not prove the acupuncturist’s skills. Look for someone who has specific experience in fertility acupuncture. Interestingly, some medical doctors are licensed to practice acupuncture, but may only have a few hundred hours of hands-on post-training experience. It is usually best to select someone whose primary focus is fertility acupuncture, as he or she is likely to have thousands of hours of experience.
3. Eastern and Western Training
Although it is not strictly necessary for a fertility acupuncturist to be trained in Western science, cross-training helps to demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the human body from different perspectives. The acupuncturist need not be a Western medical doctor, but some grounding in Western biochemistry is ideal, especially if you plan to incorporate fertility acupuncture as part of an overall treatment plan.
4. Working Relationship With Western Doctors
If you want to use both fertility acupuncture and IVF, it is important to select both a doctor and an acupuncturist who are open to working together. Increasing numbers of Western doctors are encouraging their IVF patients to seek acupuncture as a supplement, and many who do not specifically recommend it are open to the idea if the patient suggests it. Like any other profession, though, there are some people who believe that theirs is the only way. Look for an acupuncturist who has a working relationship with one or more Western doctors.
Training and experience are not always proof of knowledge. Take the time to interview your potential fertility acupuncturist. Ask detailed questions. Talk about other methods you are currently using or have tried in the past, and ask your acupuncturist how he or she can help. A knowledgeable fertility acupuncturist will have several ideas and suggestions, and will be able to explain those ideas to you.
6. Openness and Holistic Point of View
Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that takes your entire health profile into account rather than simply focusing on a single collection of symptoms. Yet some inexperienced or poorly trained acupuncturists skip the important steps of getting to know you as a whole person. Your initial appointment should consist of a thorough physical and emotional examination that takes a holistic look at your current health status.
It is also important to get a thorough workup from a Western medical doctor, even if you plan to focus your treatment solely on fertility acupuncture. Structural conditions, such as fibroid tumors and fallopian tube blockages, are best treated with Western methods. Let your fertility acupuncturist know if you have these or any other medical conditions, as well as any prescription medications you are taking.
Fertility acupuncture is a powerful solution for many couples, whether used alone or in tandem with Western treatment protocols. However, it is important to select the fertility acupuncturist who is right for you. With so much at stake, it is worth taking a little extra time to investigate.
Located in Pacific Palisades, with satellite clinics around the region, Thumos Health Center specializes in integrative treatment approaches that blend our expertise in Chinese medicine with the Western solutions of your outside provider. We pride ourselves on our compassionate and personalized approach to each patient, treating every person we see as a unique individual with a unique story. Contact us today to start your road to integrative wellness.