Fertiity Acupuncturist

What is Your Acupuncturist Working On? Part I: Blood Flow

You've heard that your acupuncturist is working on the whole you, but how are they helping specific aspects of your fertility treatment? We'll answer these questions in a series of modules starting with the topic of blood flow to the uterine environment.

For such an important system, the uterus is only supplied by two main arteries, and uterine blood flow is directly related to endometrial receptivity, which is one factor in IVF outcomes. In recent years a growing number of studies have shown that acupuncture can influence pregnancy outcomes by increasing blood supply to the uterus.  

The mechanisms by which acupuncture can improve uterine blood flow are by promoting the formation of uterine endometrial blood vessels by modulating expressions of a variety of vessel growth factors, regulating nitric oxide level for inhibition of vascular smooth muscle contraction of the uterus and controlling the expansion of the uterine arteries by inhibiting the sympathetic nerves. Furthermore, when your acupuncturist is working on blood flow, their treatments are based on differentiating patterns that are unique to you and combining that knowledge with your western diagnosis for an even more tailored approach to your success.

The integration of acupuncture and Western medicine has shown to increase their combined effect, often resulting in higher pregnancy rates.

So, get some acupuncture to help you go with the flow. It'll relax you and your uterine arteries!

Guo J, Wang LN, Li D. Exploring the effects of Chinese medicine in improving uterine endometrial blood flow for increasing the successful rate of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2011 Dec;9(12):1301-6.

Ho M, Huang LC, Chang YY, Chen HY, Chang WC, Yang TC, Tsai HD. Electroacupuncture reduces uterine artery blood flow impedance in infertile women. Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 May-Jun;13(3):38-48.

Stener-Victorin E1, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.

Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7.

Member Profie: Beth Schiffman, L.Ac., FABORM

We are excited to introduce you to Beth Schiffman, L.Ac., FABORM , one of the acupuncturists in our network of complementary care providers.

A Little Bit about Beth Schiffman and Her Practice
Beth is very proud that Many Lives Chinese Medicine has been serving the mid-Peninsula and Redwood City for 15 years. Her connection to the community; working with physicians, naturopaths, midwives and other practitioners creates a powerful healing space for her patients, and she acknowledges that "it is not just her - it is teamwork.

How Beth's' Approach Fits Into An Integrative Model
Beth founded the NorCal Fertility Group, which is a group of acupuncturists who specialize in fertility and are primarily certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. In the spirit of patient compliance and ease during all sorts of fertility cycles these practitioners confidently collaborate so that patients can stay within their treatment protocols even if they're hopping to different locations. The NorCal group also strives to advance their clinical work together by sharing case studies and current research. 

Beth played three sports a year growing up and teams are second nature to her. As an extension of this, she has created an amazing team at her practice. Beth also helps families create their “teams” and has her own community and team through Integrative Fertility, ABORM and NorCal Fertility. Beth says she “thrives only because of her teams.”'

Beth's' Favorite At-home Fertility Tip
Beth emphasizes the importance of seeking a network of support systems through your fertility challenges. Beth encourages you to enlist professional folks to bolster your support such as counselors, yoga instructors or meditation forums. Beth recognizes that many people going through fertility feel very isolated and her patients have said that reaching out for assistance is the “best bit of advice they got along the way.”