If you're struggling with infertility, like so many of the women and men I meet, there is hope. There is hope. And you are not alone. Use acupuncture to reduce your stress and you will do yourself, your family, and your future baby, a deep service.
Some practitioners believe that stress reduction is the most important and fundamental effect that acupuncture has on the human being. Stress has such a major effect on all of our body systems, and ultimately damages our health if we are experiencing it daily, that it becomes imperative to find modalities and self-care routines that reduce chronic stress. LIke acupuncture.
Let me explain. When your body is under stress the several things occur in rapid succession.
First, the nerves which perceived a threat or difficulty transmit the message to the amygdala, the part of your brain that aids decision-making and emotions. Should you run? Hide? Freeze with terror? How you respond to a threat is determined by your amygdala.
The amygdala let the hypothalamus know something might be up, and your adrenal glands flood your bloodstream with adrenaline. The hypothalamus produces a hormone which causes the adrenals to produce the stress hormone cortisol.
At this point, cortisone and adrenaline enter your bloodstream and travel to all of your cells. This happens within seconds of perceiving a threat, real or imagined. Your blood sugar levels will quickly rise and your heart will begin to pound, increasing the oxygen flow to your most important muscles. You're ready to fight or flee.
While an stress response to an acute situation can improve your health in some ways, everyday stress and sustained stress--like unemployment, deep grief, difficult relationships, toxic work environment, etc.--ultimately have a negative effect on your health.
Even thinking about stressful situations can increase inflammation.
Wear and tear occurs to the cardiovascular system when the heart is frequently told to be harder and faster when there isn't an actual life or death emergency. The adrenals can become weakened when producing cortisol and adrenaline every day.
If you're constantly activating the stress response, your body and brain can't reset your hormones and inflammatory response chemicals to normal levels. This weakens the immune system and can cause you to become sick more frequently.
While unproven, it is my belief that over time, after constantly experiencing a stress response on a daily basis, the immune system becomes so weak that its oversight of natural killer cells and other cells that attack viruses, harmful bacteria, and more, is reduced to a point where those cells can and may go on a rampage. These cells, under these conditions, can begin to attack the body's own tissues as if they were the enemy, resulting in autoimmune diseases like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. Autoimmune disease can cause recurrent miscarriages and a pregnancy that is fraught with danger.
Putting all of this together, we can see that stress can have a significant impact on fertility. For one thing, that part about resetting the body's hormones..that's extremely important. Obviously, if your pituitary isn't sending your ovaries or testes the signals they need to function properly, that's a major problem. If your body ceases to appropriately stimulate your glands to produce the complex dance of hormones necessary for reproduction, that creates a large hurdle.
On a more esoteric level--in the realms of the mind, heart, and spirit--when you're under stress you are less open to receiving and giving to your partner during sex, and in general. Whatever is upsetting you may create tension on all levels, along with mental distraction, and emotional overwhelm.
Chronic stress can also affect your libido. How? First, chronic stress is. exhausting and many people in this state just don't have the energy to make love. Secondly, stress can make you fee too tense to be present enough for emotional and physical intimacy.
Luckily, acupuncture is WONDERFUL for stress! It's one of the conditions I love treating because the patient and I both see results very quickly. Often immediately.
In 2013 a study was done that showed acupuncture lowered the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the blood. Woohoo! The results were published in the Journal of Endocrinology.
If you have never experienced acupuncture and you're suffering from infertility or any type of disharmony, disease, or difficulty, you owe it to yourself to try acupuncture. You will feel its effects after your first or second treatment and you will never want to be without it again.