Friday, November 21, 2008


I went Thursday for my first acupuncture appointment. The practitioner seemed very nice. A good mix of soothing and professional. She asked several questions about my history of infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and menstrual cycles, then about my sleep and whether I'm generally hot or cold (as Will will attest, I'm usually freezing). She proceeded to prescribe hot ginger tea with cayenne in it and went to work.

The acupuncture itself was strangely stimulating and relaxing. I thought it would be.

A little like this...(except I have much less hair on my legs):

It felt like she was putting the needles in along the nerve pathways in my feet, ankles, calves, thighs, wrist, face, and head. She remarked that I was not reacting at all to the placement of the needles and I told her that between IVF and lymphoma treatment, she was going to have a hard time fazing me. After she placed the needles, she covered me with a thin aluminum sheet, dimmed the lights, turned on some soft chanting music, and left for about a half an hour.

I felt relaxed and alert. Not sure if it will help with our IVF cycle, but it was actually fairly pleasant. She wants me to return twice a week once I start the stims. I'm supposed to see her again on Monday.

Those of you who've done acupuncture, what was your experience like? Do you think it helped?



  1. I've been to 2 acupuncturists during this process. I don't think it's going to make a difference in terms of the cycle working, but I do think it's good for stress. Also for other aches and pains. My insurance covers it, so why not. My current one is not available immediately around my transfer (hopefully Sunday), but I have an appt for Tues. Can't hurt.

    Sometimes I think it just helps feeling tended to.

  2. I went to an acupuncturist during a few of my IVFs. I have no idea if it did anything to help my body, but it was the best stress reliever ever. If it weren't so expensive and far from my work and home I'd still be going. I loved it. I almost always fell asleep during the treatments and left feeling so much more relaxed. Good Luck!

  3. There was a time when I would never have even considered acupuncture---but the more great reports I read from the blog world have left me oddly 'craving' it. I wanna try it too!

  4. Here from ICLW

    I love acupuncture. I find it relaxing and figure that if the needles do nothing else at least they make me feel peaceful and that is supposed to help with IVF treatment. Good luck.

  5. I'm a big proponent of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I've been to a lot of acupuncturists, and I know what I like and what works for me. I'm an old pro at this, so feel free to drop me a line anytime if you have any questions. I think it really helped me in the fertility department.

    From ICLW.

  6. ha ha! being in healthcare i was cautious. was i supposed to take this woman who felt a few bizarre places in my arm and proceeded to tell me that my liver pulse was weak and i lacked energy to my uterus?


    she had me lay on my stomach for the first 30 min. she put some needles in my back then hooked me up to "electricity". it was bizarre. the next half hour i was on my back with stuff in my lower abdomen, legs, and arms.

    i have no idea if it helped. i grew to find it "fine" at the end, but always felt weird that she did the same EXACT thing every single time without changing. i had to ASK her to reassess my "pulses" at some point.

    would i do it again? i don't know. maybe if someone could recommend a better one for me in my area, or maybe she would be better knowing that what i did the first time didn't work. also she was always trying to get me to drink the herbal "tea" that tasted like ass. maybe i will post a picture of it. it looked like dirt and sticks that were from my yard. i was super happy when my RE told me i couldn't take it anymore. :)

    sorry for the longest post in the world....

  7. cool, I've never had acupuncture but my friend has just had her first go and she said that it was already producing good effects!

  8. I LOVE acupuncture. I've read very good things about it in aiding an IVF cycle and the data seems to support that it does actually improve your odds. I've noticed definite (positive) changes in my cycle since beginning acupuncture, but no miracle "I started acupuncture and got pregnant!" for me.

    I figure that if nothing else, at least I am very relaxed (I fall asleep every time) and at peace at least once a week.

    I think it's most important to find an acupuncturist that specializes in fertilty and also someone that you're comfortable with.

    Good luck with your cycle!

    From ICLW

  9. I really like acupuncture I've been doing it for years. It helped me with many different issues (gastritis, headaches, back pain) and I did it for fertility purposes exclusively for the past six months. I never felt healthier, but then discovered that the problem of me not getting pregnant wasn't exactly me... anyway, I believe I am now in a very good place to do this IVF treatment, and I have still three sessions I'm doing around retrieval and transfer.
    I never had the aluminum blanket though.
    Enjoy your sessions.

  10. I'm really intrigued by acupuncture ... I was a non-believer until I read everyone's posts about it. It seems to work!
    I'd like to try it this cycle...


  11. I have not done acupunture but I am thinking about doing it before I start my IVF. I have been trying to read up on it. I have heard good things so I figure what can it hurt.

  12. I did acupuncture through my whole IVF cycle...and I definitely feel it helped. It was the one time in my day or week that I would feel serene and calm and healthy. I almost felt like I was in a semi-trance in my sessions... and I would just picture glowing sparkly light swooshing around my uterus...ok, that sounds so ridiculous and hippy dippy, but I swear, it made me feel so positive and good. Good luck! Here from ICLW...

  13. Here from ICLW ..

    So incredibly refreshing to find a his/hers blog!

    I work with a neurologist and felt really skeptical about accupuncture when I first started there. There's just SO much information and reproducible studies that show how well it works, though, that she won me over. When she translated "chi" into neuronal stimulation? It all clicked for me. Good luck!! I'll be following along with both of you! Thanks for finding me :)

  14. No info on acupuncture and IVF firsthand. I did search some fertility medical journals out of my own curiosity and they were not enthusiastic; they summed up by saying that there was no convincing evidence that acupuncture helped w/ fertility or implantation. However, they did say that reducing stress levels was helpful for about everything, so if acupuncture ends up at the least lowering your stress levels than it sounds like it can't hurt. The journals were more skeptical about taking the "teas" and such.

    I did have acupuncture a few years back when I was having some shoulder pain. During the treatment, I did feel very relaxed, very pampered. :)

  15. You have gotten me interested - I am one of those needle-phobic people but now that I have an IVF cycle under my belt it seems so silly. I have never tried acupuncture, but maybe I'll give it shot this next go-round. Good luck to you!

  16. I've never done acupuncture, but I've heard great things. I'm curious about the tea she suggested, I would love to hear how that works out!

  17. I haven't personally tried acupuncture partly because I have to do shots 2x's daily and I don't know if I can handle any more pins/needles in my body! BUT... I've heard nothing by good about its positive effects. I also strongly recommend a good massage therapist! :)

    Thanks so much for taking time to stop-by my blog to weigh-in the whole OB debacle I dealt with. After thoughtful, intelligent comments like yours, I've decided that I'm SO done with her!

  18. Im scared of needles but you all have me intrigued as well. I would try it I sounds about as good as a massage.
    Happy ICLW! and Happy Holidays :)

  19. I've never tried acupuncture, but I'm interested in it. I know lots of people it's helped....

    LOOOOVVVEEE the cartoon!! Thanks for the laugh!

    Good luck to you....

  20. I've done it for about 8 months now, and it has definately changed my cycles. I've had painful cramps every month (the 4 to 8 ibuprofin kind) since I first got my period at the age of 16, and the last few months nada. No pain, just a few twinges. I told my acupuncturist how surprised I was, and she said of course there's no pain. Crazy. And not to be too gross about it, but what shows up is definately "fresher". Highly recommend!


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