How does Acupuncture Work?
Traditional theory is that there are Meridian Lines running all over the body. It was believed that in a healthy person energy ran along these lines without hindrance. When a person becomes unwell, it was believed that channels became blocked, and the energy was unable to flow freely. Acupuncture needles were inserted into points along these lines, and stimulated at intervals to try to help the energy flow.
Modern science has not been able to prove the existence of these energy lines. However there has been some research looking into how acupuncture may help in the area of infertility.
Over the last eight years there have been a number of studies suggesting that acupuncture, when used alongside an IVF programme, may increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Other studies have not shown this benefit. It is thought that the acupuncture may work in a number of ways:
Firstly, by reducing the stress and anxiety which is inevitably associated with IVF. Some studies have shown that acupuncture treatment increases the levels of serotonin and endorphins in the bloodstream which in turn may give an increased sense of well-being and relaxation.
Secondly, in a number of studies, acupuncture has been shown to improve the blood supply to the ovaries and the uterus.
Finally there is some evidence that acupuncture may increase the levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), important to the fertility process.