Friday, May 6, 2011

tiny needles...

So... I think I'm going to try acupuncture folks. I am pretty excited about it actually. Back in my teaching days, during my student teaching phase, I was so stressed out by my lead teacher that I had huge TMJ issues. My jaw just would not open. I went to the TMJ specialist...his only option was for surgery- and it sounded like once you screw with that massive joint it will never be the same. So, I opted for acupuncture and deep tissue massage instead to take care of the heart of the stress levels. I alternated every week between the two. I was a I had no medical insurance and relatively no income (ahhhh, teaching days).... but thankfully I was in Boulder, Colorado. They had the most wonderful acupuncture school next to the massage school so my treatments were extremely affordable- and wonderfully relaxing. Within about 2 months I was better than ever, and more importantly I was able to recognize when my body starts to tense up and figure out how to better deal with my stress levels.

Now, here in Idaho, my medical insurance does not cover acupuncture (not too shocking) and those froofy acupuncture treatments are a little pricey (unlike the more-liberal Colorado, where acupuncturists are on every corner)...but I think it could do wonders for me. I found a practitioner (is that the right term?!) who specializes in women's health and fertility. Perfect right?! I will tell you all how it goes this Tuesday, but from her website and information it all sounds great. I think I am a little stressed out. I don't feel stressed but I also have a crazy hectic schedule that probably takes a toll on my body and more specifically my ovaries. And if that wasn't too much information, this will be... I think with my cycles being anywhere from 23-52 days....I need some de-stressing and getting more in-tune with my body. I know I am nowhere near having "fertility problems" but why wait to de-stress my body and get rid of this "dis-harmony"? If I can at least get more regular that would be exciting! I think I need to train my body how to just be, without the synthetic hormones from 8 years of birth control pills.

Here is a little information on fertility and acupuncture from her website that I liked...
•Acupuncture stimulates and influences hormonal activity, thus regulating menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy. Acupuncture triggers the release of prostaglandins into the bloodstream, which in turn lead to the production of a substance that transmits messages to the hypothalamus.
•A 1996 Swedish study reported that acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Decreased blood flow through the uterine artery correlates to lower pregnancy rates and acupuncture’s ability to increase pelvic blood supply dramatically improves the outcome of ART techniques.
•Acupuncture helps to reduce stress and decrease the hypersympathetic nervous system response, relaxing the neuroendocrine system and regulating hormones. Studies have shown that high stress levels decrease the likelihood of conceiving.
•Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate chemical changes within the uterine lining, thickening the endometrium and preparing the uterus for implantation.
•Research shows that acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis.
•Acupuncture helps to decrease uterine contractions and improve implantation outcome. Increased uterine contractions at the time of embryo transfer of an IVF procedure negatively affect implantation outcome.
•In men, acupuncture can improve the concentration, volume, and motility of sperm.
My first appointment is Tuesday. After our talk on the phone she recommends frequent treatments (I'm all for spoiling myself a little), perhaps some herbal supplements (sounds fun), and the basal body temp (which I already told her that I don't want to do we will see if she changes my mind. I work three night shifts a week...that throws off any consistent temp sensing in my opinion- and she informed me that night shifts may also effect my cycles, fertility, & health- super...right?! These little needles are going to have to compensate for a lot). So... I'm game!! And I'll keep you posted.


  1. I had never thought of acupuncture as helping with stress issues. I am not sure if my insurance covers it either but I am going to look into it. I would have to close my eyes the entire time however because I am not so fond of needles ;)

    Good luck with the de-stressing!

  2. Hey, it can't hurt, right?
    Can't wait to hear how it works for you.
    Sounds interesting. Good luck!


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