What is acupuncture?
Because of its proven effectiveness, acupuncture has been embraced throughout the world, and is steadily gaining popularity in the United States as a powerful complement to western medicine. In fact, the clinical research on acupuncture and its effect on fertility is so compelling that many reproductive endocrinologists and fertility clinics in the United States and Europe are incorporating it as a standard component of IVF protocols. Many people are intrigued by the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture but wonder, “How does acupuncture actually work?” While the mechanisms behind its effective results remain somewhat mysterious, here is one widely held theory about how acupuncture works.
Our bodies are made up of different kinds of systems. The Reproductive, Digestive, Nervous, Endocrine, and Immune systems are all examples of how our bodies organize in order to develop specialized functions. Each of these systems is made up of different kinds of parts. The female reproductive system, for example, is composed of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, etc. The Digestive System is made up of the mouth, stomach, and intestines.
According to the theories of Chinese Medicine, all of these systems and parts are inter-connected, and they exert a mutual influence upon one another. If one system of the body becomes sick, or weak, or stops performing its normal functions, it starts to exert a negative impact upon other related systems.
It is the view of Chinese Medicine, that the systems and parts of our bodies are connected to one another by a network of internal pathways called, meridians. In the same way that highways and streets connect different regions of a city together, this meridian network forms an intricate web that helps the systems and parts of the body to communicate and interact with one another.
Acupuncture works by stimulating specific sites along these meridian pathways. These sites are called Acupuncture Points or Acupoints. By stimulating these points with acupuncture, the body’s meridian pathways become activated, and this activation of the meridian system helps to strengthen the relationships among all of the systems and parts of the body. As the systems of the body return to their naturally balanced and harmonious state, the organs, glands and hormones are strengthened and regulated, and they are better able to return to normal function.
Our goal as acupuncturists is to help your body to function optimally. As the systems of your body come back into balanced relationships, the reproductive system begins to function normally again, and fertility outcomes increase significantly.
Do you also prescribe Chinese herbs?
At the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture we recommend the use of Chinese herbal medicine to most of our patients. In conjunction with acupuncture and nutritional therapy, herbal medicines help to regulate the movement of blood in and around the uterus and ovaries. Herbal medicines also help to strengthen and improve the function of organs and glands so that they are able to perform optimally.
By regulating blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, and correcting weaknesses in the organs and glands, herbal medicines form a very effective adjunct to acupuncture treatments, and play an integral role on the journey toward improved fertility outcomes.
The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture works very closely with many of the area’s leading Reproductive Endocrinologists and Fertility Specialists. We are deeply committed to a harmonious integration of Chinese Medicine with Western fertility treatments, and believe that these two systems of medicine work best when they are used to complement one another. If your doctor recommends that you do not take herbs during certain phases of your fertility care, you do not have to feel conflicted. You will never be forced to choose between the advice of your fertility doctor and the advice of your acupuncturist.
Are the herbs safe?
The term “herb” is something of a misnomer. A more accurate term would be “Medicinal Substance.” Most of the medicinal substances used in Chinese Medicine are plant based, and include things like seeds, roots, leaves, barks, etc. These things are what most people think of when they hear the term, “herb.”
These plant based herbs, however, are not the only medicinal substances used in Chinese Pharmacology. Other commonly used substances include minerals, shells, resins, and even some animal parts (such as gelatins, bones, exoskeletons, etc.).
At The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture, we use over 200 different medicinal substances that are known to be clinically effective in the treatment of infertility and reproductive disorders. Sometimes herbs are used in combination to help strengthen or enhance the properties of another group of herbs. Other times, substances might be used in combination to help to restrain or limit the effects of some other herb.
For these reasons, herbal substances are rarely prescribed alone. Instead, they are almost always combined into formulas. An herbal formula is a collection of several individual medicinal substances that are mixed together. Each formula is carefully crafted to enhance and balance the effects of the formula’s individual constituents, and produce the maximum therapeutic effect. Most of the formulas used at The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture contain between 10 and 30 individual herbs.
How do I take my herbs?
At the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture, we use herbs in their whole form. Rather than being synthetically derived or created, whole herbs maintain the integrity of the plant from which they came. We have worked for over 10 years developing our formulas using classical references that are over 2500 years old. Our acupuncturists compound all of our custom formulas in our own personal herbal pharmacy to ensure that we know exactly the dose and quality of the products that we recommend. The formulas recommended to you will be part of a comprehensive, customized treatment program.
You will receive a vial of liquid called a tincture from the acupuncturist. We have taken the formula and processed it for over a month to produce a highly concentrated version of a tea. Your acupuncturist will prescribe a dose for you to take. A common does might be 2 dropperfuls 3 times per day. On an empty stomach, put 2 dropperfuls directly into your mouth. If the taste is unpalatable, you can drink some water or dissolve your herbs in a small glass of water. Our herbs should not produce any negative side effects. They have been specifically designed to meet your particular health needs. If you experience any side effects whatsoever other than something positive, you should discontinue your herbs until you can speak with your acupuncturist so that he/she can adjust your herbs.
What about taking herbs with my medications?
The herbs work by influencing systems as a whole, not by targeting an organ through a specific mechanism of action, the way pharmaceutical do. Additionally, most herb prescriptions consist of four to twelve herbs, making it unlikely that any one herb has the potential to interfere with medication. However, please do not adjust your medication without checking with your prescribing physician, even if you feel the herbs help.
The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture works very closely with many of the areas leading Reproductive Endocrinologists and Fertility Specialists. We are deeply committed to a harmonious integration of Chinese Medicine with Western fertility treatments and believe that these two systems of medicine work best when they are used to complement one another. If your doctor recommends that you do not take herbs during certain phases of your fertility care, you do not have to feel conflicted. You will never be forced to choose between the advice of your fertility doctor and the advice of your acupuncturist.
How are your acupuncturists accredited?
At The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture, all of our acupuncturists are licensed by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. This is the agency responsible for licensing and regulating the practice of doctors, acupuncturists, and osteopaths in the throughout the state of Texas.
Each of our acupuncturists holds a Masters Degree in the science of Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and each have been nationally certified by NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).
The training to become certified as an acupuncturist is rigorous. In order to qualify for certification and licensure, an acupuncturist must graduate from an accredited college. These programs of study typically last four years and require over 3,000 hours of classroom and clinical training and see over 1,000 patients in residence.
Additionally, all acupuncturists in the state of Texas are required to take continuing education classes each year to maintain their license. This means that all of the acupuncturists at The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture are trained in the most current research and the best techniques in Reproductive Acupuncture available.
Our clinic's specialists and case managers are also Board Certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM). This means that they have acquired enough specialized training and expertise to pass the ABORM's national board examination. Our case managers were in the first group of 50 specialists in North America to pass the ABORM exam and become Board Certified as reproductive acupuncture specialists.
What makes your approach special?
With over thirty years of combined clinical experience, our team of acupuncture experts has developed a comprehensive treatment program that emphasizes a nurturing and natural, holistic approach to reproductive wellness. Our approach strives to balance and restore all the systems of the body in order to promote optimal reproductive health, and enhance fertility. In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, our Fertility Wellness Program includes nutritional consulting, stress management, and emotional support services. By taking a comprehensive approach and integrating a wide range of complementary services, we have been able to achieve an uncommonly high rate of success in helping women of all ages to become pregnant and have safe and healthy births.
At The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture, we recognize that the needs of each patient are highly individualized, and that no two patients ever share the same history, diagnosis, or personalized needs. Our staff will work with you to clearly identify the specific factors that may be inhibiting your fertility and then work to correct them so that pregnancy can occur naturally. Whether you are trying to get pregnant naturally, or you are using procedures like IUI and IVF, our reproductive acupuncture experts look forward to meeting with you to see whether our programs can help to make a difference for you and your future family.
Can I schedule online?
For your convenience, we keep our appointment schedule available online. With online scheduling, you can schedule and manage your own appointments. When necessary, you can use our online booking calendar to reschedule or cancel appointments at your own convenience.
This service is very easy to use. To begin using online scheduling, call the front desk or ask about it next time you are in the office. We will supply you with a User Name and Password that will give you access to the online schedule.
Online scheduling is not available for new patients. If you are new to our clinic, please call the front desk to schedule an initial consultation. Once you have completed your preliminary intake, you will be able to access the online schedule.
Do you accept insurance?
Many of our patients submit the invoices from their visits with us to their insurance company for reimbursement; however, we do not do any direct insurance billing. If you are interested in filing an insurance claim for your treatments with us, talk with our staff and we will be happy to walk you through the procedures that will help you to get reimbursement.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards.
How much will my treatment cost?
General acupuncture sessions cost $85. However, we also offer custom treatment packages that are available for purchase at a discount. We also offer discounts for active military.
An initial consultation is an opportunity for one of our specialists to review you entire health history and perform a comprehensive exam. After this initial visit, if you choose not to proceed with a follow-up visit, we will refund the charge for your consultation.
We provide this consultation at no financial risk so that those who are unfamiliar with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine will have the opportunity to see our office, get to meet our staff, hear what we have to say, and then decide if Chinese Medicine is right for you. If you find that acupuncture is not the right choice for you after the initial consultation, there will be no charge for the visit.
Once your acupuncturist makes a care-plan for you, you will be given several payment options to choose from. Fees per service may vary depending on which payment plan you choose.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. In order to make treatment affordable to everyone, we offer several different payment options. Once you have completed the complete intake and consultation, your acupuncturist will discuss payment options for the treatment plan that he or she recommends.
How often do I need to come in for treatment?
This will be determined by your acupuncturist in the first few visits following your initial consultation. Because treatment with Chinese Medicine is often individualized, different care plans are recommended to different patients. Once your acupuncturist has had an opportunity to review your health history and evaluate your condition thoroughly, a treatment plan will be created for you that best meets your needs and your goals.
I'm ready to start on my path toward pregnancy.
You can call our Practice Coordinator at 512-302-5600 to schedule your initial consultation or a free 15 minute informational session.