I live far away from Connecticut, how can I receive a treatment from you?

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I have difficulties getting pregnant, will Chinese Medicine help?

Yes. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Fertility Herbs is very effective treatment modality for infertility. In most cases Chinese Herbal Medicine will be the treatment of choice, however at times Acupuncture treatments will be administered as well.

How long will I have to take herbs for?

On average fertility herbal treatment is 5-6 months.

Why is the treatment so long?

Chinese herbal medicine works gradually and decisively. The main goal with treating infertility is to restore and regain the patient's health. When the patient's health is at its best, conception occurs naturally. Since restoring patient's health and reproductive system ability are the goal, the scope of treatment is much broader, thus it requires longer time to obtain.

I am undergoing IVF treatment at the moment, should I get Chinese herbs?

Yes, however many IVF clinics don't agree and so we recommend you find a clinic that is more open to Chinese herbal treatment. We recommend herbal treatment especially if you have previously failed IVF and you want to try another protocol. The only precaution one must take is to stop any herbal intake three days prior to egg retrieval.

What is the Hunyuan Chinese Herbal Medicine protocol?

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a complete treatment modality to increase fertility. Many patients who have had several unsuccessful IUIs/IVFs resort to Hunyuan Herbal Medicine treatment and become pregnant. Even though some patients do not succeed with conception, the overwhelming majority of patients finish the treatment much healthier then when they started.

Protocol

First the patient's condition is being assesed correctly according to Hunyuan Medicine principles, and then a formula of herbs is being composed to fit the patient's individual condition. The patient then returns once a week for observation (long distance patients every 2 weeks) and the formula is being modified according to the progress made. The weekly formula is in raw herbs form and cooked at home according to instructions provided. The patient then drinks the tea once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day one breaks the herbal intake allowing the body adjustment time.

In addition Hunyuan FF Herbal Formula is given to the male and female partners to drink together (only available at our center). This formula is being taken for 3 months every evening (or until earlier pregnancy). This formula does not substitute the regular herbal treatment and is in addition to it. It targets improving the male's sperm quality and strengthening the bond between the partners.


Are there many side effects to this treatment?

There are rarely any side effects from the intake of herbal medicine if administered correctly. One of the reasons that treatment takes long is the mild action of the herbs and the "body friendly" work they do. When taken without supervision of a competent herbalist the side effects can be significant and sometime dangerous.

I find it hard to believe that IVF failed and herbs will help?

Many patients we see, who have gone through several failed IVFs, get pregnant after taking herbs for 4-6 months and this is a fact. Success rate for herbal treatments does not fall below IVF success rate. The difference is that at the end of herbal treatment cycle, the patient's health is much better. Success rates for patients over 40 are actually much higher then IVF with patient's own eggs. It is important for every woman to exhaust her natural options first, before resorting to artificial medicine.



Do I have to make an appointment ahead of time?

Yes. Our clinic is by appointment only. Treatment times are usually filled two to three weeks in advance, so you are best to book ahead for a time that suits your schedule. Occasionally there are cancellations and you may get in with shorter notice if you are flexible. Appointments are made by telephone or email. Our phone number is (203) 325-2000 and our email is info@Hunyuan.org

I am suffering from night sweats, am I getting menopausal?

Night sweats, in Chinese medicine, represent a disharmony within your health. In our clinic, patients suffering nightsweats, see their health improves and nightsweats stop. It is not an indication of menaupause.

I feel very tired all the time can this affect my fertility?

Feeling tired may be caused by various factors, among which the most common ones are energy and blood deficiency. Feeling tired is frequently a sign that something in the body is lacking. This shortage of energy or blood can manifest itself in many shapes and forms including preventing the reproductive system from operating correctly. If you feel constantly tired you need to examine the following issues: Is your job too stressful, do you eat a healthy diet, do you exercise but not over do it, do you sleep well and finally how much emotional strain do you experience during these difficult trying times of infertility? After you have found the answers make some necessary changes to adjust and help the energy and blood recover. Very often it is recommended to use herbal treatment and acupuncture. This will allow rapid improvement and recovery. In fact the main reason that IVF success rates increase dramatically when administered in conjunction with acupuncture and herbs is the rapid improvement in the Qi (energy) following treatment.

I was told that my FSH levels were high and was disqualified for IVF, can Chinese medicine still help?

Elevated FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels represent a reproductive system deterioration. This deterioration is a by-product of deteriorating health and inner harmony. Chinese Medicine works hard at restoring inner harmony and the innate natural health of the patient. When inner health is restored, it includes the health of the reproductive system and normal FSH levels. It is true that women at a certain age can no longer become pregnant, at which time the FSH levels are high. However in most cases it is prematurely elevated FSH levels that actually reflect a poor state of health, rather then inability to conceive.

When is the best time to conceive according to Chinese medicine?

According to Chinese medicine the best time to have intercourse and try to conceive is in the morning. This is a time when the body is most rested and refreshed as well as a time when Yang (active) energy rises. At this time sperm and blood circulation are at their best. At night the body is exhausted from a long day. It is Yin (passive) time when everything goes to sleep. That includes sperm and the circulation of Qi (energy) and blood. If mornings are very stressful and time is short, then night is good as well. Extra stressful mornings are not helpful for conception. However if mornings are not busy, this will be the optimal time for conception.



What about the German study that suggested acupuncture treatments half an hour before and after retrieval and transfer, do you recommend this protocol

There are many studies and recommendations for acupuncture and IVF. Having acupuncture half an hour before and after retrieval and/or transfer, might lend some good psychological help to the patient, however, acupuncture is not a quick fix. To really gain acupuncture benefits, a course of several treatments is needed. Chinese medicine has clear guidelines as for what it takes for a patient to recover and improve fertility. A course of several treatments is the correct choice and the patient may benefit from it greatly. On days of retrieval, transfer or insemination, our recommendation for patients is to go home, rest and have as little stress as possible. As it is, these days are plentiful already. Acupuncture treatments on other days, pre and post retrieval/transfer, will lend
adequate and even better support.



Does Chinese Medicine offer specific treatments for problems such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Elevated FSH, Fibroids and blocked fallopian tubes?

To gain the true benefits of Chinese Medicine the patient must understand that there is a difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Chinese medicine has a complete system of physiology and pathology, which is different then Western medicine. The ailments/disharmonies that Chinese medicine is assesing are different then Western medicine. In Chinese medicine there is no such diagnosis as elevated FSH levels or PCOS. The hormone system in the body belongs to Western medical theory. However, Chinese medicine has its own causes and patterns of infertility, such as Shao Yin deficiency, origin Yang deficiency, Jue Yin malfunction etc. These infertility causes belong to Chinese medicine and cannot be treated with Western medical technologies, because of a simple reason that these causes are not part of a Western medical system. Bottom line is that both medical systems try their best to diagnose and treat infertility, however, mixing the two together will not necessarily produce the best results. For 3,000 years Chinese medicine has worked wonderfully by following Chinese medical guidelines and treatment principles. A patient suffering elevated FSH levels or PCOS may think that these are the only causes, however, she must realize that elevated FSH levels are caused by her own body and the same goes for PCOS and blocked fallopian tubes. These problems, which are very real, come to life within the body. That means that your own body causes these problems and that they are not introduced from the outside. In Chinese medicine, the treatment is different then Western medicine. We aim at restoring the original correct body functions. Often times health problems are solved from within. In Chinese medicine we say that, for example, Jue Yin malfunction will cause intra-menstrual bleeding, which is a similar symptom occuring with fibroids. When Jue Yin malfunction has resolved, intra-menstrual bleeding stops and may not come back. This may or may not have implications in regards to fibroids, such as the body stop producing them. The treatment strategy is non-the-less different. Western medicine removes fibroid surgically while Chinese medicine aims at curing theJue Yin malfunction. Both might have similar result with different methods. The same is true with fertility. Western medicine will treat PCOS, blocked fallopian tubes and hormonal imbalances, while Chinese medicine will treat Jue Yin, Shao Yin etc. resulting in a pregnancy. Different methods, different strategies all with a same goal.

When I'll have acupuncture, where will the acupuncturist place the needles?

The acupuncturist will place the needles in specific locations around your body. We call these locations acupuncture points. Each person has several hundreds of acupuncture points distributed on all parts of their body. Many points prove to be more useful then others when it comes to fertility treatments. Depending on the acupuncturist and his philosophy, some like to use local acupuncture points on the lower abdomen and on the lower back, while other tend to use distal points on the arms and legs. In my practice, I support a traditional view of the meridians and the idea that the farther the points are located from the inner organs, the more energetically impact there is. I thus tend to use different acupuncture points that are located on the arms and legs below the knees and below the elbows.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture does not hurt. In most cases the treatments are very relaxing and patients may even fall asleep. There are several sensations that are unique to acupuncture. Many patients who feel these sensations for the first time might confuse them with pain. However, with a short explanation the patient will be able to tell the difference. Swelling, tingling, warmth and electricity-like sensations are sensations we call De Qi (pronounced Chi). These are sensations of energy. Sometimes there is a slight sensation of pinching which is an undesirable sensation. The acupuncturist should be notified and the needle depth reduced until the pinching disappears. All in all, an acupuncture treatment should be a very enjoyable event.

Does the protocol of acupuncture for IVF uses the same acupuncture points every treatment?

The acupuncture protocol for IVF does not use the same acupuncture points for each patient. The group of points should be selected according to the individual disharmony pattern. During the protocol course the acupuncture points should be modified according to the patient's health and the progress of the IVF protocol. Certain points are more beneficial during the suppression cycle prior to stimulation. Other points are better during stimulation, while different points yet are preferred during post-transfer phase.

What can I expect from my first appointment with an acupuncturist?

At your first appointment you will likely be asked to fill out an extensive questionnaire. In this questionnaire you will be asked a variety of questions ranging from past medical history, life style habits, symptoms you experience and specific questions concerning your infertility issues. When you are done with the questionnaire you will meet with the acupuncturist. The acupuncturist will use the information you provided and in addition will ask you a series of questions to gather further necessary information. The acupuncturist will examine your tongue and palpate you pulse. The acupuncturist will determine the disharmony present and will explain it to you. You will then have the option to proceed with an acupuncture treatment and/or herbal treatment. If you are undergoing ART treatments, the acupuncture protocol for ART will be explained. If you are having an acupuncture treatment, extra fine disposable sterile needles will be inserted to specific acupuncture points. Normally 6-8 needles are used in each treatment and the treatment lasts from 30-40 minutes depending on the acupuncturist's assessment. The treatments should be relaxing, peaceful and not painful. Some acupuncture points are more sensitive then others and you might experience stronger sensations that we name De Qi (reaching energy). At the end of the treatment you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

How can acupuncture affect sperm quality?

According to Traditional Chinese Medical Theory the male sperm is part of the Shao Yin energy. There are two kinds of energy, which constitute the Shao Yin energy. One is called Yin energy while the other is called Yang energy. When these energies are vital, the Shao Yin functions are in order and the sperm tends to be vital and vibrant. On the other hand, when Shao Yin energies are lacking or deficient, the sperm tends to be deprived of life and ability. According to centuries long experience under such conditions, the acupuncturist will use the correct acupuncture points to strengthen the Shao Yin energies and by that help the sperm regain vitality. It is off course important to assess the harmony in the entire body, as disharmonies with other organs might affect the Shao Yin and sperm as well. Most commonly, acupuncture treatment will include the entire body and the general health. The Shao Yin sustains general health and in return general health will strengthen Shao Yin.

Can Chinese herbs improve poor egg quality?

It is important to understand first what poor egg quality means. Poor quality ovum (egg) is an ovum that does not perform well with fertilization. The ovum does not respond well and does not develop in most cases into an embryo. The reason that eggs have poor quality is not because we acquire them from an external bad source, it is because the body produces them not the way it should. Many ART patients who produce excellent quality eggs still do not succeed with conception, while other patients with few or only one poor quality egg might succeed in getting pregnant. The patient's age is a factor, yet the patient's health is even a bigger factor with the production of quality eggs and the success of conception and pregnancy. The goal of Chinese herbal formulas is to restore the patient's health and to increase by that the chances of conception and successful pregnancy. When conception rate increases then egg quality increases. We have had numerous patients who have reported bad egg quality who later on succeeded with natural conception or produced excellent egg quality by following cycles of ART.

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