VCRM was the first IVF program to start offering acupuncture in conjunction with IVF in the Washington area in 2003. Since then, many clinics around the country have added acupuncture. A recent meta-analysis showed a benefit of adding acupuncture to IVF in improving pregnancy rates. Couples, especially those who failed prior cycles or are "poor responders" are strongly encouraged to add acupuncture to their treatment cycle. Recent data also show that acupuncture can improve the pregnancy rates in "good prognosis" patients, and in the largest trial to date, researchers at RMANJ have very recently shown that acupuncture increases the pregnancy rate in IVF even in good prognosis patients. We now strongly encourage all our patients to consider doing acupuncture during their ART cycles.
Hon K. Lee, L.Ac, VCRM's acupuncturist, is a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, and an NCCAOM nationally certified and Virginia Medical Board Licensed Acupunturist. He graduated from the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, having studied with some of the most respected faculty in the country. He has had clinical training at the prestigious Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, and completed post graduate studies in Chinese herbal medicine at TAI Sophia Institute in Maryland. CEO of Sports Edge Acupuncture (www.sportsedgeacupuncture.com) and co-founder of the Jow Ga Shaolin Institute, he practices preventive medicine and believes in a holistic approach to healing through the use of acupuncture, chinese herbs, diet, massage and exercise.
What Is Acupuncture?
Most people know that acupuncture is an excellent remedy for many types of pain. But acupuncture can also reduce stress, help with weight loss and addiction problems, and alleviate cold and flu symptoms. Along with or as an adjunct to Western medicine, acupuncture provides highly effective treatment for many common complaints, and may provide additional relief for problems that do not respond completely to Western medical treatment. Recent studies have shown an improvement in IVF pregnancy rates with the use of acupuncture.
What other problems are commonly treated?
A partial list includes: Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Cold & Flu, Constipation & Diarrhea, Depression, Eczema, Fibroids, Fibromyalgia, Headache & Migraine, Herpes Zoster, Immune Disorders, Impotence, Ingestion, Insomnia, Irregular Menstruation, Knee Pain, Menopausal Syndromes, Neck & Shoulder Pain, PMS, Sciatica, Sprains, Stress & Anxiety, Tendonitis.
Do I have to be ill to benefit from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine can be used to boost the immune system to prevent illness. Many patients receive periodic treatments to increase vitality and to stay strong and healthy. According to an old Chinese saying, "A mediocre Chinese physician may be able to treat ill patients, but a good Chinese physician keeps his patients from getting sick in the first place."
How does it work?
According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture promotes the body's innate ability to heal itself by balancing the flow of Qi(Chi) - the body's electromagnetic energy or life force - along channels identified over centuries of meticulous clinical observation by Chinese practitioners. Tiny disposable needles are inserted along these channels at areas of maximum energy - the acupuncture points.
Does it Hurt?
Often people want to try acupuncture but are afraid of needles. However, the tiny disposable and sterile filament needles used for acupuncture bear no resemblance to painful hypodermic needles, and insertion is virtually painless. Brief needling sensations vary from a pinching or stinging sensation to a feeling of numbness or distention and are a sign that the treatment is having a positive effect. In fact, most people find acupuncture treatments relaxing and refreshing.
How Long Does it Take?
The initial visit takes about 90 minutes and consists of a complete consultation and treatment. Follow-up treatments last about 45 minutes. Most patients feel beneficial results within five to ten sessions. Chronic conditions may take longer.
The National Institutes for Health and the World Health Organization have both found acupuncture to be effective in treating the following conditions:
- Back, Neck & Shoulder Pain Women’s Health Issues
- Sciatica Headaches, Migraines
- Acute & Chronic Pain Digestive Problems
- Stress Post-Stroke Recovery
- Fatigue, Insomnia Surgery & Injury Rehabilitation
- Anxiety, Depression Sprains & Sports Injuries
- Infertility Carpal Tunnel
Acupuncture is relaxing and nourishing. It is not painful. Needles are used only once, and then discarded. Courses of treatment vary according to the condition.
We encourage our patients to explore the benefits of Yoga as an adjuvant. There are many known benefits of Yoga, including physical and emotional wellbeing. We recommend Bikram Yoga during the preconception phase, but not during the first few weeks of pregnancy. For more information, please visit www.restonyoga.com.