Acupuncture and Fertility
Acupuncture is the most popular aspect of integrative medicine applied to fertility treatment. That’s because it has a three-fold benefit for fertility, and it’s also a natural, non-toxic and relatively affordable treatment. Acupuncture’s proven success has led to growing acceptance by traditional Western medicine and patients alike.
In practice, acupuncture is the application of thin needles inserted into the skin at defined locations to affect specific bodily functions. These points have been shown to have greater electrical conductance as well as a higher metabolic rate, temperature and concentrations of calcium ion. Acupuncture has been an element of Chinese medicine for thousands of years
Benefits of acupuncture for fertility
Acupuncture improves in vitro fertilization results, it aids in treating infertility and it reduces stress that has a negative effect on fertility. According to one study, women who received acupuncture treatment after IVF implantation were 65 percent more likely to conceive than those who did not. While not all studies have shown the same benefit on pregnancy rates, patients receiving acupuncture treatment often experience less stress, more control and greater satisfaction with their conventional fertility treatments.
Such scientific qualification is one reason why acupuncture has gained acceptance, as proven results are the baseline of Western medicine. Here’s how scientists who study acupuncture believe it aids infertility treatments:
Acupuncture aids infertility
- Acupuncture promotes stabilization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, helping regulate the reproductive system Acupuncture helps regulate the blood levels of several fertility hormones
- It stimulates blood flow to the pelvis. This may help ovarian responsiveness and thicken the endometrium, thereby making a more welcoming environment for an embryo
- Electro-acupuncture (electronic stimulation) normalizes the secretion of reproductive hormones
- It has been shown to have a positive effect on women with polycystic ovarian syndrome; increasing the opportunity for regular periods and ovulation.
- It stimulates production of endorphins, affecting the gonadotropin-releasing hormone that helps regulate reproduction
Acupuncture reduces stress & increases fertility
In several studies, scientists have shown that acupuncture lowers stress hormones that may negatively impact fertility. More generally, anyone who has ever had an acupuncture session knows that it reduces overall stress level and brings on relaxation. It is not uncommon for a patient to fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment.
“Reducing the stress of being infertile or going through infertility treatment will be very beneficial,” says Dr. Sgarlata. “I do not perform the acupuncture myself. We refer patients to local acupuncturists who are formally trained and licensed. Working with a properly trained acupuncturist is important. Look for a practitioner certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM).”
At RSC, we work closely with your acupuncturist to ensure the treatments are the best available and customized for the needs of each patient.
More studies are underway to determine the extent of acupuncture’s benefit in treating infertility, as well as how it works to increase fertility. The lack of standardization in acupuncture techniques often makes it difficult to conduct studies.
Dr. Sgarlata believes that such research will continue to show that acupuncture holds tremendous promise in treating infertility. It is an effective, non-toxic and affordable treatment and an important aspect of integrative medicine.
Nurture Acupuncture for fertility
Complementary care for fertility has long been recognized as an ancillary approach to increasing a woman’s fertility through a variety of programs such as acupuncture and reproductive massage.
The physicians at RSC believe that offering these disciplines along with conventional fertility treatment will enhance a couple’s chances to achieving a successful outcome “taking home a baby.”
Fertility issues can be very stressful. That is why Reproductive Science Center supports the concepts to look at the whole person and not just focus on the physiological aspects of fertility.
The Nurture Acupuncture panel works in partnership with your RSC physician to treat your mind, body and spirit. They are available on site in San Ramon to assist you with Pre- and Post-IUI and IVF treatments. Current research released in 2008, shows doing acupuncture with reproductive technologies increases your success by 65 percent.
Nurture Acupuncture offers a FREE 30 minute consultation.
They can be reached at nurtureacupuncture.com or in San Jose at 408-287-1390, San Ramon 925-395-7823, San Francisco 415-752-5638.
Nurture Acupuncture staff
Dr. Po-Lin Shyu, Professor, L.A.c, OMD, Ph.D
Dr. Po-Lin Shyu, L.A.c, OMD, is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Po-Lin is, also, certified Nationally and holds a NCCAOM certificate. For the past 20 years, Dr. Shyu has maintained a practice that is exclusive to Fertility and Reproductive Enhancement, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Women’s Health, Male Infertility, and Pain Management.
In 1990, Dr. Shyu began working with Dr. Angela Wu to develop Fertility protocols and herbal formulations to enhance fertility outcomes and pregnancy rates. Dr. Shyu, also, spends time in China every year teaching students and furthering his education in the area of Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health. For many years, Dr. Shyu has integrated Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine Fertility Protocols and is currently working exclusively with Reproductive Science in San Ramon as well as other fertility centers in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
For the past 6 years, Dr. Shyu has taught Acupuncture and has been a clinical supervisor at Five Branches Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine with emphasis on Obstetrics and Gynecology. Currently, Po-Lin is working on a book that integrates Chinese medicine with Western Medicine in the IVF clinics as well as writing articles for Medical Journals.
Judith Tognetti, L.Ac, DAOM, FABORM, Herbalist, Professor
Judith Tognetti, L.Ac., is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and Nationally Certified Acupuncturist. She received her Masters of Science Degree from the renowned Five Branches Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, California and studied both Western and Eastern medicine.
Ms. Tognetti has studied with many famous acupuncturists over her career and has continued increasing her knowledge in field of reproductive medicine. Ms. Tognetti’s main specialties are Women’s Healthcare, which includes OB-GYN, Infertility, Pregnancy and Menopause. She has, also, had extensive training in Sport’s Medicine and is currently finishing her Diplomate status in Orthopedic Acupuncture and her PH.d and Doctorate of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Ms. Tognetti is an active participant in the field of reproductive medicine: she has been included as an expert in panel discussions on fertility as well as providing on site care for patients in both fertility centers and hospitals. She also works as a master herbalist and medical consultant for Kan Herb Company in Scotts Valley, California. She maintains her commitment to the field through clinical research projects and has published many educational articles for both patients and the overall medical community. Ms. Tognetti is a member of Fertile Hope, Resolve, and ASRM.
George Lu, L.A.c, DAOM, Professor, Herbalist
George Lu began his Traditional Chinese Medicine career in San Francisco since 1989. Taught by respected Angela C. Wu, LAc., where George built up his solid foundation and learned to treat patients with HIV/AIDS and Gynecological Disorders.
After George graduated from San Francisco State University with Bachelor Degree in Business in 1993, he continued his study in Traditional Chinese Medicine with Academy of Chinese Medicine and Cultural Sciences and received his Master of Science degree in 1995. Later that year, George wrote a doctoral thesis on Male Reproductive Enhancement and Fertility. In the same year, he received his California State Licensure and NCCAOM Certification.
George also interned at Shu Guan Hospital in Shanghai, China. He was fortunately trained with Dr. Shi style Orthopedic Tuina along with other topics such as Internal Medicine, Advanced Acupuncture Techniques, and Gynecology. George opened his first clinic with Dr. Po-Lin Shyu in Cupertino in 1995 and maintained his private practice after moving to Canada in 1996 and Southern California in 1998 with specialization in Sports Medicine, Tuina, and Fertility.
While in Southern California, George also served as teaching faculty at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica. George is currently teaching in the Department of Clinical Training at Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine – San Jose Campus.
Emily Rones, Certified Acupressure and Massage Therapist
Emily Rones is a Licensed California Board Acupuncturist and Herbalist. She acquired her Master of Oriental Medicine from Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in Berkeley California. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiology with minor in Holistic Health Science from San Francisco State University. Emily also acquired Acupressure certification from The Acupressure Institute of Berkeley California.
Her career spans for eight years wherein she practiced and developed her discipline under the tutelage of Dr. Angela Wu; attended Mantak Chia’s Cosmic Healing Workshops; and for the last 6 years she has been fortunate to apprentice with Dr. Polin Shyu learning to enhance fertility belly massage, Tui Na, and herbology.
She also manages her own clinic at Hercules Fitness Center where she performs Acupuncture, Acupressure, and Chinese Herbology specializing in women’s health, pain management, orthopedics, and stress management since 2008.
Brie Wieselman, L.Ac, MTCM, Herbalist
Brie Wieselman, L.Ac, MTCM is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist. She is also certified Nationally and holds a NCCAOM licensing certificate. With a passionate belief in the power of food as our primary medicine, Brie’s treatment style emphasizes fostering health and fertility through the use of whole foods nutrition, personalized to each patient’s needs.
Her post-graduate studies have focused on both deepening her knowledge of Fertility and Women’s Gynecological Health, and also on the study of Functional Integrative Medicine and Nutrition. She has studied with and apprenticed many world-renowned practitioners such as Holly Guzman, OMD, Micheal Tierra, OMD, Kiiko Matsumoto, L.Ac, and Dr. Jeffrey Yuen.
Brie received her Masters of Science Degree from Five Branches Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, California and focused on specialized paths of Eastern/Western Integrative Medicine, as well as Women’s Reproductive health, including OB-GYN, Infertility, Pregnancy and Menopause. Prior to getting her Masters, Brie studied at both the American School of Herbalism and at the California School of Herbal Studies in Northern California, where she received her certification in Clinical Western Herbal Medicine.
She has worked as a Licensed Herbalist/Medical consultant for Kan Herb Company, has been a guest lecturer at the annual Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, and enjoys publishing educational articles on Asian Medicine, Wellness and Nutrition for her patients and for the general Bay Area community.
Mark Watan L.Ac, Herbalist
Mark is a Licensed Acupuncturist under the California State Acupuncture Board, Herbalist and Certified Massage Therapist. He earned his Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, California in 2006, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University in 2000.
He was an intern-assistant for Dr. Angela Wu, the world-renowned fertility expert and founder of Wu’s Healing Center in San Francisco from 2002-2005. In addition, Mark trained under Dr. Po-Lin Shyu of Nurture Acupuncture, a fertility specialist and teacher at Five Branches University. Mark is a member of the California State Oriental Medicine Association (CSOMA).
Outside the healing arts, Mark spends time with his wife and baby as well as family and friends. He enjoys a good game of pool and also trains in the Internal Martial Arts. He has studied and teaches Tai Chi, BaGua, XIng YI, I Liq Chuan, also practicing different forms of Filipino Martial Arts as well as Qi-Gong for health and wellness. He is also a musician who loves to express himself creatively through the guitar, piano, trumpet, percussion and the Igorot gangsa.
Mylinh Tran, L.Ac.
Mylinh Tran, L.Ac., is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She earned her Masters degree in TCM from Five Branches University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Asian Studies from Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, NY.
Mylinh continues to work in the biopharmaceutical industry, providing a unique perspective of both Western and Eastern Medicine. She combines her wealth of knowledge in the biopharma industry, diet and nutrition, studies in China, and Tui Na, with her Eastern background to provide a comprehensive style of treatment. Mylinh believes in the philosophy of treating the root of an issue and getting the body in balance are the keys to health and well-being.
Greg Klein, Chi Nei Tsang Practitioner
Greg Klein started his fertility massage career in 1999 after a successful career as a recruiter. He was offered an internship with Dr. Angela Wu of Wu’s Healing Center in San Francisco. Shortly after starting his internship, he pursued acupuncture getting a Masters of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM).
In addition to studying with Dr. Angela Wu and Dr. Po-Lin Shyu he has studied directly with Grand Master Mantak Chia in San Francisco and at Master Chia’s campus near Chiang Mai, Thailand. Greg is proficient in abdominal massage (Chi Nei Tsang), deep-tissue massage (Tui Na) and Thai massage. Greg is furthering his studies in fertility with a focus in Men’s Health.
Crystal Lindley, Chi Nei Tsang Practitioner
Crystal Lindley attended the University of California, Irvine, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Five Branches University in San Jose, with a special interest in fertility and pediatrics. Ms. Lindley is proficient at Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal massage), with focus on the female reproductive organs, as well as Tui Na (deep tissue massage).
Grace Bolton, Chi Nei Tsang Practitioner
Grace Bolton has a background in massage therapy and acupressure from The Body Therapy Center in Palo Alto, CA. Ms. Bolton has many years of experience in abdominal massage (Chi Nei Tsang) for fertility and reproductive health. Grace is currently working on her Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine, with a focus in woman’s reproductive health and fertility at Five Branches University in San Jose, CA. Grace is a San Francisco State alumni with a Bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Communication.
The Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area is a leading pioneer in infertility treatments including IVF with egg donation and LGBTQ family building. We’ll work with you to help you achieve your dreams of having a baby.