Pacific Wellness Institute Clinic: Bloor-Yorkville Toronto

Treatment of infertility by acupuncture and breathing exercise: Part 5 Concept of Chronobiology

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Treatment of Infertility by Acupuncture According to Circalunar and Cardiac Variability Rhythms

Tim H. Tanaka, Ph.D.
Director, The Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Visiting Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, Tsukuba University of Technology, Japan

A part of this paper was presented at WFAS International Acupuncture Congress, cosponsored by World Health Organization, in Beijing, China, Oct. 2007.

Page updated on January 31, 2008

Concept of Chronobiology

Our internal physiological functions are constantly fluctuating in various rhythmic fashions. The most well known rhythm in chronobiology is the circadian rhythm – a roughly 24-hour cycle seen in the physiological processes of plants and animals. In humans, clear alteration of the hormone melatonin can be observed in a nearly 24-hour rhythm.  Ultradian rhythms are shorter cycles (<20 hr), such as the 90-minute REM sleep cycle. Female hormones alter according to the menstrual cycle which is approximately 28 days.  This rhythm is referred to as a circatrigintan or circalunar rhythm. Studies have suggested that disrupted circadian rhythmicity occurs in shift work or increased nocturnal exposure to light and is associated with menstrual irregularity and infertility [33].

Treatment of infertility by acupuncture and breathing exercise: Part 5 Concept of Chronobiology

Chronobiology is the study of these biological rhythms. “Chrono” pertains to time and “biology” pertains to the study, or science of life. Chronobiology examines periodic (cyclic) phenomena in living organisms and their adaptation to solar and lunar related rhythms. This field interacts with a variety of medical research fields such as jetlag, sleep disorders, endocrinology, sports medicine, cardiology and space medicine. Interestingly, the core concept of the rather newer field of medicine, mirrors the foundational philosophical paradigm of ancient Chinese medicine, which evolved over two thousand years ago.

Treatment of infertility by acupuncture and breathing exercise: Part 5 Concept of Chronobiology

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