We recently spoke to Sarah Liners, one of our newer practitioners who works in the Grand Ave clinic, about fertility, pregnancy, and acupuncture. Sarah is especially interested in working with pregnancy and fertility-related issues and is in the process of completing a certification with the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine.
What kind of pregnancy issues to do you commonly see at Oakland Acupuncture Project?
Usually each phase of pregnancy comes with its own set of usual issues. Fatigue and nausea are frequently seen early on in the pregnancy. During the second trimester many women feel good and their bodies can feel very strong. During this time, as the baby is growing larger, there can be some issues with discomfort in the joints, frequent urination, swelling in the lower extremities, heartburn, or other digestive upsets. Often feelings of discomfort can increase as the end of pregnancy draws close. The body begins to prepare for the delivery and joint pain can increase. Often at the end of pregnancy discomfort can start to affect sleep and fatigue can become an issue again. Building a human from scratch is hard work, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are useful tools to help support healthy and comfortable pregnancies.
How do you approach treating fertility with Chinese Medicine?
I look at the treatment of fertility and pregnancy as the practice of nurturing life, or “yangshen”. Early Chinese Medicine looked at the macrocosm (our environment) to treat the microcosm (our health). The growth and development of new life is a reflection of how our world works.
What kind of success have you seen treating fertility and pregnancy with acupuncture?
I have enjoyed treating women from preconception and fertility through their pregnancies all the way to the birth process. It has been my honor to observe and assist the body’s natural cycles throughout the childbearing process. I have treated various types of infertility with causes ranging from PCOS, hormonal insufficiencies, to non-specific female infertility. It is a process of reestablishing a woman’s natural cycles to support her body during conception and pregnancy. The success of fertility treatments vary and often depend on the willingness of the patient to commit to regular treatments.
How does acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is helpful in reminding the body how to function properly. Disharmony in the body can be seen as interruptions in the “normal” functions. Our bodies have pathways and delivery methods to circulate electricity and fluids, nutrients and chemicals, bringing nourishment and oxygen to our organs and tissues. When these pathways are interrupted, issues can arise which cause our bodies to function outside of what is “normal” or “usual”. Acupuncture can help reestablish the proper circulation of “Qi and Blood” to help our bodies function as efficiently as possible.
In celebration of spring, for the month of March, we are offering a discount on all fertility and pregnancy related treatments (including post-partum visits, up to 6 months after birth): $10 follow up treatment or, if you’re a 1st time patient, we’ll waive your initial $15 paperwork fee.