Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin. While traditional Chinese medicine focuses on how acupuncture balances the flow of energy, Western medicine has found that acupuncture can work as a treatment for many conditions, but has not fully determined how it does so.
According to New York City-based acupuncturist Noah Rubinstein, DCAM, LAc, “We are learning from science that there are real, physical tissues that not only mirror the same pathways of Chinese energy, but that tissue is incredibly reactive in the places we consider acupuncture points.”
While previously viewed as alternative medicine, acupuncture is growing in popularity among conventional practitioners as well. The FDA recently recommended that physicians consider acupuncture for their patients as alternative pain management to opioids, since acupuncture has only minor side effects when practiced by a trained professional. These include redness, minor bruising at the placement points and sometimes pain when needles are placed. While perhaps initially intimidating because of the use of the needles, acupuncture administered by trained and licensed professionals helps treat a number of medical conditions.
According to research published in the International Journal of Women’s Health, acupuncture “regulates uterine and ovarian blood flow,” and by doing so, alleviates pain. Additionally, by stimulating these systems in women experiencing infertility, a healthier uterine environment results, which promotes successful fertilization.
In Rubinstein’s practice, many patients receive acupuncture in conjunction with assisted reproductive technology. “Our patients are often already working with reproductive endocrinologists, and we interface with their Western doctors,” he says.
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