A number of patients have been receiving our fertility acupuncture procedures to enhance their chance of successful pregnancy.
WHY CHOOSE US
- HISTORY: We’ve been in the same location since 1994 (Bloor-Yorkville, Toronto). We are one of the first few clinics in North America to develop acupuncture treatment program specifically for infertility.
- EXPERIENCE: Our acupuncturists have over 30 years of clinical experience in acupuncture and traditional East Asian Medicine.
- KNOWLEDGE: Our acupuncturist completed thousands of hours of post graduate courses in acupuncture and female health including Advanced Chinese Medical Gynaecology Program.
- RESEARCH: Our acupuncturist conducts clinical research on infertility and female health. One of the studies was presented at WFAS International Acupuncture Congress, in Beijing, China, 2007.
- CREDIBILITY: Our acupuncturist has been frequently invited as an expert referee in the field of acupuncture and female health by editors of many peer-reviewed medical journals.
- TRUST: Most of our patients are based on referrals. Several reproductive medicine specialists constantly refer their patients to us. In fact, many medical professionals (including some OB/GYNs) also selected our clinic to receive acupuncture for their own female health issues.
- SUCCESS: Countless babies and happy families over the decades. Just over the last several years, we have achieved hundreds of successful pregnancies by a single acupuncturist using our acupuncture fertility protocol.
(Note: Due to our reputation and long history of treating infertility patients, we attract many patients with highly challenging underlying fertility issues from all over Toronto, and other provinces and countries, whose success rates are very low even with advanced treatments in medical fertility centers).
The following information explains about specific fertility acupuncture methods we use in our clinic.
Update, November 2018: Important information on acupuncture during IVF
Natural Fertility Treatment Program at Our Toronto Acupuncture Clinic
How our fertility acupuncture methods could help you conceive
Some of the common concerns our patients have, and the reasons they visit us are:
- To enhance a chance of pregnancy naturally without drugs
- To compliment conventional fertility therapy such as IUI (sperm washing) or cycle monitoring
- To increase the success of upcoming IVF procedures (fresh cycle, frozen transfer, donor cycle etc.)
- Seeking complementary treatment for female health conditions such as: endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS, irregular menstruation, thin uterine lining, and hormonal imbalances (i.e. elevated day3 FSH, thyroid dysfunction etc.)
- Recurrent early miscarriages
Our Natural Fertility Program includes:
- Initial Fertility Evaluation – An initial session includes review of health and fertility history, Traditional East Asian Medicine examinations, and overview of our specialized treatment with a large screen presentation.
- Acupuncture – Traditional acupuncture treatment applied on specific fertility enhancing acupuncture points located on both front and back part of the body. (read scientific rationale for our fertility enhancement acupuncture treatment)
- Moxibustion – Comfortable heat is applied to selected acupuncture points. Indirect moxa increases local blood flow and induces a deep relaxation response.
- HRV Biofeedback Breathing Therapy – A patient’s respiration is gently guided to most desirable rhythm to optimize autonomic nervous system (ANS). A proper ANS regulation is important for reproductive organic function and hormonal balance.
- Acupressure Massage – Selected acupoints are stimulated utilizing heat generating natural herbal cream to stimulate circulation and enhance relaxation.
- Kampo and TCM Herbal Medicine (optional)
The acupuncture system used at The Pacific Wellness Institute is an individual based holistic approach while specifically designed to improve reproductive health. Acupuncture points and procedures vary between patient to patient and session to session. Within the same individual, the treatment is further modified, depending on the phase of menstrual cycle (or the phase of IVF), in order to maximize the potential effects and benefits of each treatment. Our natural fertility treatment protocols are developed by our acupuncturist, based on his extensive research and over 30 years of clinical experience.
In addition, the acupuncture session will often also include moxibustion, acupoint massage, biofeedback based breathing therapy, oriental diet and nutritional supplements/herbal remedies (for some individuals).
The exact treatment approach will vary depending on each individual situation. An initial treatment plan is presented at the first consultation appointment, and is modified periodically based on your progress.
This page, Acupuncture treatment for infertility according to circalunar menstrual rhythm, further describes our acupuncture treatment procedure, with empirical and scientific rationale.
Not all acupuncture produces the same effects or benefits: Currently, acupuncture is performed by not only professionally trained acupuncturists or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners but also by a variety of practitioners such as physiotherapists, naturopaths, or chiropractors. It should be noted that even among qualified acupuncturists, the techniques used vary greatly according to each one’s background.
Should I have acupuncture on the day of my embryo transfer?
When someone mentions having acupuncture done on the day of the transfer, they are referring to a specific acupuncture treatment protocol used in a small clinical study conducted in Germany in 2002.The reported success rate among patients who had acupuncture 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after their embryo transfer was very impressive. The study became highly publicized and soon after the German protocol quickly became a “gold standard” IVF acupuncture protocol used by many practitioners who specialize in fertility acupuncture. In the meanwhile, the German protocol has been re-tested in larger clinical trials. The outcomes were inconsistent and even the original German group failed to replicate their findings. Several recent systematic review studies on German acupuncture protocol have been inconclusive. Despite conflicting evidence, the German protocol is still widely used among fertility acupuncturists during IVF. In the most recent systematic review by Schwarze JE et al. (2018), researchers concluded that this particular acupuncture protocol should no longer be recommended for IVF patients on the day of transfer.
The negative conclusion from this study is limited to the German acupuncture protocol performed on the day of transfer. It is not applicable to other forms of acupuncture administered in different phases of IVF cycle.
It should be noted that the German acupuncture protocol is a simplified, standardized acupuncture treatment. All patients in the treatment group received the exact same acupuncture treatments, completely ignoring each individual’s constitutional patterns according to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles and other crucial factors that influence acupuncture effects.
The acupuncture protocol that we have been implementing for IVF patients in our center is totally different (in terms of acupuncture methods used and timing of the acupuncture administrations).
We have been actively involved in the care of IVF patients from several fertility clinics since the late 90’s. Our fertility acupuncture system has been refined over many years, assisting thousands of IVF patients. Our protocol is based on the original concept of traditional acupuncture, combined with high quality experimental and clinical studies. Our IVF acupuncture protocol is consistent with the method used by fertility acupuncture experts who work closely with leading reproductive medicine specialists in the United States and Japan. Our acupuncture treatment can help improve ovarian function, increase blood flow in the uterus, and decrease excessive secretion of stress hormones. It promotes relaxation and provides overall well-being of the patient. These physical and emotional changes can positively impact the chance of pregnancy and carry to term.
One or two days prior to the embryo transfer, we use a specific acupuncture technique that can help maintain adequate uterine blood flow to assist implantation.
On the day of the transfer, we have been recommending that our patients go straight home, relax, and practice HRV based breathing with or without our original CDs (Calming Massage or Breathing for Relaxation).
More details about acupuncture and IVF (link to our sister site).
The Pacific Wellness Institute is conveniently located in central Toronto, at the north west corner of Bay and Bloor Streets. Several top-rated advanced reproductive medicine centers and fertility clinics are within close proximity which makes highly convenient for those receiving our fertility acupuncture while undergoing IUI, IVF, or other medical fertility treatments.
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 1100, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2V1
How to get started
If you are interested in receiving Fertility acupuncture treatments, please follow New Patient Application procedures or please call us at 416-929-6958.
Related links regarding infertility, acupuncture, and other treatments provided at The Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto Clinic:
- Frequent Asked Questions about Infertility and Acupuncture (alternate website)
- Acupuncture and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Commonly Used Acupuncture Points for Infertility
- Infertility Research Presented at the International Acupuncture Congress held in Beijing, China by T.H. Tanaka, Acupuncturist The Pacific Wellness Institute
- Randomized Controlled Trials of Acupuncture with IVF Treatment
Because of our reputation and the quality of acupuncture service we offer, many of our patients are not from our neighborhood, but in fact, travel from very far. However, if it is difficult for you to come to our clinic in Toronto, here are some resources and tips to find an acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner in your local area.
Learn More About Acupuncture Treatment at The Pacific Wellness Institute, Toronto
Why Acupuncture Works