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TCM Treatment methods : I.Chinese Herbal Therapy | II. Acupuncture and Moxibustion | III TCM Massage Therapy | IV. TCM Folk Therapies

Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Female Infertility

1. Body acupuncture therapy

2. Auricular acupuncture therapy
Moxa Stick

Chinese medicine views most diseases as a process of energy imbalance. Acupuncture is a therapy that applies fine needles on acupoints on the body's surface to achieve an activated energy flow (qi) in the meridians. There are different puncturing techniques such as fine needle, electric stimulator, intra-dermal needle, plum blossom needle, injection, laser, scalp acupuncture as well as blood letting.

This therapy is safe and mostly pain-free. In a given treatment, physicians will insert six to 20 needles and leave them for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the condition and the treatment required. Most individuals feel a sense of deep relaxation; some may even feel refreshed and have prompt relief from symptoms after the treatment.

1. Body acupuncture therapy

This is the basic technique of acupuncture. Physicians employ needling techniques on acupoints distributed along the meridians to harmonize the blood and qi (vital energy) movements and activate the organs' functioning.

For female infertility, acupuncture promotes a smooth menstruation and facilitates the conception process. Physicians will provide a full assessment and select certain acupoints believed to improve hormonal balance and increase energy flow. Fine needles are usually applied on the acupoints; however, electric stimulator or intra-dermal needles are often used depending on the facilities capabilities. Moxibustion therapy may accompany acupuncture too.

It is routine to select acupoints based on syndrome differentiation, the following are important points for some conditions:

  • On selected acupoints of guan-yuan & xie -hai, apply fine needles with a reinforcing technique; needle retention is for 3 to 5 minutes, once every four days. This is appropriate for all types of infertility.
  • On selected acupoints of he-gu, san-yin-jiao, zhong-ji, zi-gong & nei-ting, apply fine needles and use a rotation method in insertion. Reinforcing technique is applied in he-gu and san-yin-jiao especially. Needles are manipulated until the arrival of qi (deqi) , as opposed to using needle retention of a certain time. After acupuncture, apply ginger moxibustion on the selected acupoints and repeat this process once every four days. This is suitable for infertility associated with menstrual problems.
  • On selected acupoints are ge-yu, di-ji, xie-hai, san-yin-jiao, guan-yuan, zhong-ji & zi-gong, apply fine needles using an even technique for 15 minutes of needle retention time on the abdominal acupoints (see graphic for reference). Afterward, apply a moxa-roll for about 15 minutes on each acupoint. Doing this once every four days is suitable for functional infertility.
  • On selected acupoints of guan-yuan, zi-gong, zhong-ji, qi-hai & shi-men, apply fine needles by even technique until arrival of qi (deqi). Needle retention lasts for one hour and/or in conjunction with moxibustion therapy for three to five minutes on each of the acupoints. If done once every four days, this is suitable for infertility due to an inverted uterus.
Commonly selected acupoints for female infertility.
Electric Stimulators for accpuncture.

For cases using electro-acupuncture therapy:

  • Started generally on the 14 th day of a woman's menstrual cycle, selected acupoints of guan-yuan, zhong-ji, zi-gong & san-yin-jiao are chosen. The physician will decide the power and frequency of the electro-stimulator based on individual assessment. Each session typically lasts for 30 minutes and is done for three consecutive days. After one week, the cycle is repeated for another three days. This is suitable for infertility due to difficult ovulation.

2. Auricular acupuncture therapy

This involves needling points in the ear that correspond to different organ systems in the body. The ear points can be needled with conventional needles, sometimes, small seeds or specialized "press" needles are used.

The usual selected auricular points for fertility treatment are the kidneys, liver, spleen, ovary, uterus and endocrine system. Each time three to five points are selected and strong stimulation is applied on them.

Common aural points for infertility

1. Kidney
2. Uterus
3. Liver
4. Spleen
5. Ovary
6. Endocrine