Fertility and Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine | My name is Andreas Feyler, and I am an Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner with over 12 years experience and specializing in all aspects of female and male fertility
Fertility and Acupuncture

At Cheshire Natural Health we are committed to providing every chance of success for our patients undergoing fertility treatment. Our team at the Natural Fertility Clinic are all highly trained specialists in their field and work together to provide an individualised, communicative service to the patient. We offer treatment at the Cheshire Natural Health clinic in Stretton in dedicated acupuncture rooms designed to provide a quiet and relaxing atmosphere.

Over the last few years there has been increasing evidence to show the benefit of using acupuncture during fertility treatment. A British Medical Acupuncture Society study concluded that three out of four Randomised Controlled Trials reveal significantly higher pregnancy rates in the acupuncture than control groups.

We believe that it is really important that our patients feel physically and emotionally supported through their fertility treatment.

Mandy Laing
B.A. (Hons). Member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)
Carl Reynolds
Lic. Ac. MBAcc

Acupuncture can be used to treat range of health problems and I personally have witnessed through experience just how effective it can be. An increasing number of Western medical research trials now acknowledge the clinical value of Acupuncture.

Five Element Acupuncture

My passion for Five Element Acupuncture stems from its philosophy to find and treat the root cause of illness. It is believed that this approach works at a deeper level, to help patients not only with the symptoms of illness, but to actively encourage wellness. Once the root cause of the presenting problem is identified and treated accordingly, balance and harmony in the body is promoted and people often report an overall feeling of wellbeing as a result.

About Mandy

I graduated from the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Warwick with a first-class B.A. (Hons) degree and am a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the leading regulatory body for the practice of acupuncture in the UK.

In 2010, I helped to establish the Manchester branch of the London-based 'Kite Clinic' in Harvey Nichols. The Kite Clinic is one of the UK's leading Acupuncture practices, specialising in fertility problems. I have myself treated many patients (of both sexes) with great success. I am also a member of the Northwest Acupuncture Fertility Network.

I consider myself to be a very dedicated and enthusiastic Practitioner and I enjoy expanding my knowledge and practice of Five Element Acupuncture by attending advanced courses run by Niki Bilton, who is considered to be amongst the best Acupuncturists in the world. I have also attended a number of post-graduate training days on women's health, infertility and pain management. I enjoy treating all different types of conditions and feel that Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial for patients with emotional issues. Recently I have been working with the marketing department of the BAcC, providing case studies for them for the national press.

I also practice at 'GyneHealth' working for Mr Luciano Nardo, a leading Consultant in Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine. Mr Nardo is also a Director of 'North West Fertility', one of the largest and most successful private IVF clinics in the UK.

My acupuncture treatments are tailored to each individual patient's needs and I work at a deeper level of seeking to establish the true, underlying cause of disease, rather than simply treating the patient's presenting symptoms. I am keen to see patients not only as they present themselves in illness but, more importantly, as they would be in perfect health and balance; in full discovery of their true nature; unique in body, mind and spirit.

About Carl

I graduated from a 3 year full time course at the College of Traditional Acupuncture in 1999 (Lic.Ac.) and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC).

From 2003 to 2010 I taught acupuncture at the College of Traditional Acupuncture and also worked there as Head of First Year of academic studies until July 2010.

I am affiliated member of the Zita West Clinic Network, specialising in enhanced fertility and improved pregnancy. In addition, I work alongside leading consultant gynaecologist and fertility specialist  Mr James Armatage, at Cheshire Fertility and Gynaecology.
I have a great deal of experience with sports injury treatment. In addition to treating at Chester Rugby Club I have treated a wide range of sports injuries in many sports including triathlon, golf and martial arts. I am the also the regional continuing professional development facilitator (CPD) for the British Acupuncture Council, helping to support local practitioners with their continuing professional development and l work as part of the Leeson Reynolds Hope Academy delivering post graduate acupuncture and complementary medicine courses.

For further information about Carl please visit his website: www.amblesideclinic.co.uk

Acupuncture and Early Pregnancy: A Possible Treatment Choice?

For some couples, it can take months and possibly even years to conceive.  
Understandably, difficulties in conceiving can take their toll emotionally.  Indeed, I witness in my practice on a daily basis the heartache caused by on-going, and in some cases, long-standing, difficulties in conceiving.  So, when you do receive the wonderful news that you are pregnant, why would you choose to undergo acupuncture during the term of your pregnancy? Is there a risk that acupuncture could harm me or my baby, or can acupuncture help where conventional medicine cannot?

What is Acupuncture and How does it work?

Acupuncture has been practised in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years, its purpose being to restore, promote and maintain good health.  Traditional Chinese philosophy states that our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy - known as ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) - moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin.  The flow of qi can be disturbed by a number of factors including poor nutrition, climatic conditions, infections, poisoning, trauma, hereditary factors and emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief.  By inserting fine needles into the channels of qi energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural equilibrium.  The principal aim of acupuncture is to restore equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual elements of the whole person, rather than just the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.  Whilst the exact biomedical mechanism is not yet fully understood, scientists suggest that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to influence the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, resulting in biochemical changes that activate the body's natural healing ability.

The benefits of acupuncture are now widely acknowledged all over the world and the past decade has seen traditional acupuncture beginning to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare in the UK.  Since 2011, acupuncture has been available on the NHS in some areas of the country for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. There are currently over 3,000 members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAaC), the professional body for acupuncture practitioners.

Ancient Chinese Medical Literature referring to Obstetrics date as far back as the Ming Dynasty

Chinese medical writings relating to acupuncture in gynaecology and obstetrics have a history stretching back thousands of years.  A feature of ancient Chinese obstetrics was ‘foetus education’, which was based on the belief that making various changes to one’s lifestyle makes a positive contribution to the development of a healthy foetus. By way of example, at the beginning of gestation, an expectant mother would eat only the very best quality food, as it was believed that the good essences contained therein would renew her blood and body fluids, providing nourishment to the uterus.

What evidence is there relating to the Effective use of Acupuncture in early Pregnancy?

Of the many different complementary therapies which are available, acupuncture enjoys one of the highest levels of credibility for such therapies among western medical practitioners and health professionals and millions of people around the world are continuing to benefit from undergoing acupuncture. 

Acupuncture is regularly used to treat many of the conditions associated with pregnancy, including morning sickness, migraine, backache and constipation.  It can also be used with great effect to ‘turn’ babies in the mother’s womb to avoid a breech birth and for the induction of, and pain relief in, labour.

Many of the clinical trials on the use of acupuncture in early pregnancy were concerned with whether acupuncture (usually, in fact, acupressure, where the same points are pressed rather than being needled) could be an effective treatment for nausea (see, for example, Carlsson et al, 2000; Knight et al, 2001; Smith et al, 2002; Habek, 2004; Heazell, 2006; Shin, 2007; Aghadam, 2010). In five of the seven trials mentioned above, the groups that had undergone acupuncture treatment were found to have experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of nausea and to have therefore required significantly less western medical intervention (for example, anti-emetic drugs). These findings are endorsed by recent systematic reviews (Smith et al, 2009; Xu and MacKenzie, 2012), and by NICE: Guidance No. 62 on antenatal care states that acupressure on point P6 appears to be effective in reducing symptoms.

Smith et al (2009) also found promising evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture in managing back and pelvic pain. On the same subject, a Cochrane review concluded that acupuncture was better than usual care alone and also better than exercise and physiotherapy (Pennick and Liddle, 2013).

In 2010, Manber et al (‘Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial’) found that there had been a reduction in the symptoms of depression in those subjects who had undergone acupuncture treatment, the response rate being comparable to that which is observed in standard (i.e. western medicine) treatments for depression of similar length.  Acupuncture can therefore be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.

The Truth about Pills and Pregnancy

Every day, general practitioners and other health professionals work hard to protect the health of expectant mothers by giving them advice on what types of medicines are safe to take during pregnancy and which should be avoided.  Sadly, however, there have been instances where medicines taken before and during pregnancy have caused damage to the unborn baby.  ‘The Truth About Pills And Pregnancy’, shown on BBC One on 1 July 2013, looked a number of cases in which babies born to mothers who had been taking ether Cipramil (a SSRI ), Paroxetine (a SSRI) or Epilim (an anti-epleptic) before or during pregnancy were found to have been born with organ defects.  Whilst a causal link between the two has yet to be proven, further research is being conducted in the light of the allegations made within the programme.

If you are taking prescription drugs and have been concerned by these allegations, I would recommend that you talk to your GP, who will be able to help you to make an informed choice as to what is best for you and your baby.

What about the Risks in having Acupuncture in Early Pregnancy?

When carried out by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture is very safe and there is no evidence to date that it can harm you or your unborn baby.  If you are still unsure whether acupuncture is for you, you can always seek advice from your GP.

If you have not had acupuncture before, it is understandable that you might feel a little bit nervous doing so, especially in the early stages of pregnancy.  A number of acupuncture practitioners specialise in obstetrics; however, if you are able to find one in your local area, do make sure that they are registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and are suitably experienced.  It is perfectly acceptable to ask the practitioner for a short face-to- face consultation in advance of your first treatment session, particularly if you are a newcomer to acupuncture.  A consultation of this nature will give you the opportunity to ask about treatment protocols and potential outcomes.

Although acupuncture in early pregnancy can play a vital role in promoting a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, you will, of course, still need the care and support of your GP and midwife, whose advice helps to ensure the health and wellbeing of both you and your unborn baby.  Your acupuncture practitioner will want to work closely with your healthcare team in order to deliver the best possible care to you.

Healthy babies come from Healthy parents

Acupuncture is an effective, natural treatment choice in early pregnancy and there is no escaping the fact that many thousands of women worldwide are now having acupuncture during pregnancy, safe in the knowledge that this can be carried out without the risk of harm to either themselves or their unborn baby.  As a passionate advocate for acupuncture, it delights me to see acupuncture clinics being established in some NHS Maternity Units. 

So Acupuncture certainly seems to be a good treatment choice in early pregnancy and I believe starting to get the credit it deserves. One should not, however, underestimate the importance of both partners reaching optimum health before even beginning to try for a baby.  This might include regular acupuncture sessions to promote harmony and well-being, as well as making any necessary changes to both partner’s lifestyles.  I strongly believe that healthy and happy partners make for a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby.

Written by Mandy Laing B.A. (Hons), Lic. Ac., MBAcC

Mandy Laing is Five Element Acupuncturist specialising in Infertility and Womens Health working in Warrington and Chester.

If you have any questions or comments in relation to this article, please feel free to contact me.  My contact details can be found on my website: www.acupuncture-cheshire.co.uk. If you would like to know more about acupuncture or acupuncturists, visit the British Acupuncture Council website: www.acupuncture.org.uk.

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