acupuncture

Infertility Alternatives to Last Week's Infertility Alternatives (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It's Friday. Only fanatics do any real work on Friday.) (And don't forget to check out the new "Health Experts" feature at the top if you get a sec.)  So what were we talking about? Oh right. Chiropractics, acupuncture and yoga...  And whether or not any one of them offers a huge amount of  help on our quest to become pregnant...or even a little.

I think all three come from the same basic principle: We're screwed up. If we can only get our bodies back to their natural state:

What they were before we started shlepping six bags of groceries from the car at one time so we don't have to make two trips, carrying a twelve pound pocketbook on our shoulder because it's cute, matches our favorite pants, and holds three pairs of footwear;

Carrying gigantic laundry baskets up the stairs while bending to retrieve stray socks that tried to jump ship, or (as in my case) grew breasts three sizes too big for our bodies.

Not sitting upright at the computer, not doing exercise, (or not doing it correctly), eating the wrong foods, dating the wrong people: I'm sure all of the above have contributed to our demise.

Now we're all just a bunch of slouchy, hunchy, unbalanced, heaps.

If you've read my posts this week, you know that I'm far from objective: I'd be open to acupuncture, I love yoga and I'm fed up with chiropractors. But I like that none of them claim to get you pregnant.

They all claim that, depending on what causes your infertility: 1)They might work well in conjunction with IVF and 2) Regardless of what other treatments you are or aren't getting: They create the opportunity for your body to be repaired and restored to allow it to, in essence, be available to become pregnant.   

What I do like about both yoga and acupuncture is that their proponents always mention creating positive energy in your body and mind. This I completely buy into. When, in our infertililty treatment-filled lives do we ever get a needleful of positive energy?

In the Gonal-F vial? On the examination table with our feet reaching for the skies? When the bills arrive?    

Isn't it interesting, though, that when someone is "in the business', whatever business they happen to be in, all roads lead to them?

"Hi I'm an acupuncturist: Oh, you're infertile? You really need acupuncture. You have headaches? You really need acupuncture? You have jock itch? You really need acupuncture. You can't open the sealed plastic wrap from the turkey breast you just bought at the deli? You really need acupuncture."

"Hi I'm a chiropractor. Oh you're infertile? You really need a chiropractor. You have headaches? You really need a chiropractor. You have pink eye? You really need a chiropractor. You can't break uncooked spaghetti so it's small enough to fit into your pot? You really need a chiropractor."

It makes you wonder:  Is it a passion for what they do or what they charge?

Listen, I gotta go. I've got a bunch of juicy, red, nasty-looking bug bites on my leg. I can't wait to have the whole neighborhood pool to myself this weekend.  

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

Infertility Alternatives to Last Week's Infertility Alternatives (Thursday)

 (Start with "Monday" if you can. A short trip back in time. It'll be like running into someone from high school whom you barely knew, didn' t really like, and never said more than two words to... but without the awkwardness.) Also...Be sure to check out the new "Health Experts" feature above. (Geez, I do ask a lot don't I?) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Yoga. I actually have a friend who's a yoga instructor. Apparently a big white elephant in the yoga studio is that it's common for women to emit certain bodily noises during various yoga poses. It must be like teaching at a kazoo convention.

Alright, alright. I'll get to today's point: What, if anything, can acupuncture do for infertility? Well, the scoop is this:

According to an article on Fox.com from 2005: 

"In general, studies seem to indicate that doing acupuncture about 30 minutes before and after in vitro fertilization can increase the chance that the embryo will be implanted successfully and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

There are also indications that the effectiveness of the IVF drugs and procedure may improve if acupuncture is done about once a week in the month or two leading up to the start of IVF and then continued regularly — once or twice a week — during the whole cycle."

Reuters Health reported about a study done just last month:

The gyst is this: (I'm quite the journalist aren't I?)  Recent research done at Northwestern divided a group of women. Some  were given real acupuncture treatments before and after their IVF treatments.

The rest of the group just had needles arbitrarily stuck into them wherever. Maybe they spelled out "sucker" in their shoulder blades.

Anyway, 45% of the ones with the real acupuncture got pregnant. But a whopping 53% of the shoulder blade suckers got pregnant. The researchers took this away from the study:

1) Glass half empty theory: Acupuncture doesn't do diddly for infertility.

2) Glass half full theory: Maybe there are places you can stick needles that are outside the standard acupuncture pressure points, that even ancient Chinese acupuncturists may not be aware of,  that can help with infertility.

So, maybe it will help. Possibly by increasing circulation around the reproductive organs... Nobody in anything I've read seemed to think it could do any harm ... unless of course you're afraid of needles and you'll just get more anxious. 

I'm not afraid of needles. I know a few women who have done IVF who are terrified of them. How in the world do they do it? It's like being afraid to bungee jump and having someone push you off the cliff at the same time every night for two years.

I'm just afraid that I'll get a quack acupuncturist, or worse: The world's one and only acupuncturist smart ass.

He'll carefully place a needle in my ear and my leg will fly over my head. Or one in my knee and my head will spin around like Linda Blair's. I'll be like an out- of- control garage door.  

Or maybe he'll somehow use a needle to implant a subliminal message just for his amusement. Like I'll leave his office or lair or whatever it's called feeling relaxed and in harmony, and two days later I'll be walking in the park and decide to sit down and eat dirt.

Or maybe he'll forget and leave a needle in and I'll be picking up radio Guam signals through my neck.     

When I was a kid, my parents used to say I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. I always thought it was an insult. Now I realize they were just keeping accurate shot records.

Listen, I gotta go.  I taped "So You Think You Can Dance?" days ago and still, miraculously, haven't heard who won. How much longer can I look at the internet with one eye open and walk through the streets humming with my hands over my ears? 

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.

Infertility Alternatives to Last Week's Infertility Alternatives (Monday)

Okay, so last week we discussed possible alternatives to your basic, standard, mainstream, IUI- IVF path to combat infertility.   Massage therapies, herbal therapies, and sperm boosters that all but guarantee to squeeze, cleanse, and macho the infertility right out you.

They may be alternatives and truly have something of value to us to sell. Or they may be scam artists with nothing going for them but a shiny website.

The alternatives we'll be discussing this week are bonafide professionals. They're people with real schooling and real licenses. So you may see them as legitimate alternatives to the usual roads those fighting infertility take. Or you may see them as scam artists with a shiny shingle to go along with their shiny websites.

Some of the areas I'll be mocking, (that wasn't very journalistic was it?) I meant to say some of the areas I'll be exploring are: 

A) Chiropractics: Solve my fertility issues? I'm not sure. I just have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be marking my calendar: Two big events coincidentally happened on the same day:

1) In the morning, my insurance company informed the chiropractor that they were pulling the plug on anymore visits. 

2) In the afternoon, my chiropractor informed me that whatever was blocking me getting pregnant has been fixed.

 B) Acupuncture: Could it help my fertility issues? I've done IUI and In Vitro. What's another dozen or so needles in my body? For Halloween I'm going to just dress normally and go as a voodoo doll.   

C) Yoga: Could it help my fertility issues? I don't know. Yoga's come along way. When I was in college, the only girls who did yoga, spent the rest of their time not shaving, eating granola and sleeping naked on the floor.

They're probably all somewhere running software companies now.

Listen I gotta go. I'd better call my chiropractor and tell him that I didn't mean him, before he threatens to put my neck back where he found it. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.