Female infertility

 Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to ease pain, treat disease, boost fertility, and prevent miscarriage. Known in the Western medical community by its acronym TCM, these traditional remedies include herbal preparations and acupuncture. Now Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that a combination of TCM therapy and intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a winning solution for hopeful mommies who are having trouble conceiving.

Conclusions In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.

Daniela Isoyama Manca di Villahermosa, Lara Guercio dos Santos, Mariana Balthazar Nogueira, Fabia Lima Vilarino, Caio Parente Barbosa

Conclusions: Using combined therapy of TCM and composite CPA followed by ovulation promoting agents of TCM and WM to treat patients of non-obesity PCOS could relieve the clinical symptoms, improve the abnormal blood level of sex hormones and significantly elevate the pregnancy rate.

Tao Li-li, Chen Xiao-ping and Gu Zheng-tian, Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine Volume 9, Number 2 / June, 2003

Conclusions: On the next day after the first needling, the basal body temperature elevated from 36.3°C to 36.8°C and the score of cervix uteri fell from 12 mark to 9 mark, and ultrasonic B examination suggested that part of the follicles were ovulated. After the l9th day of ovulation, the blood concentration of HCG started rising and after 40 days the blood level of HCG reached to 35.6 ng/ml. The ultrasonogram showed that the diameter of embryonic sac was 1.5 cm and early pregnancy was diagnosed.

Cai Xuefen Obstetrical & Gynecological Hospital, Zhejiang Medical University, Zhejiang Province 310006

Conclusions: Acupuncture was performed in 80 patients 25 minutes before and after ET. After controlling confounding variables, clinical pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group (42.5%) was significantly higher than the control group (26.3%).

Raymond Chang, M.D.[a,b] Pak H. Chung, M.D.[b] and Zev Rosenwaks, M.D.[c]

Male infertility

It is concluded that acupuncture may be a useful, nontraumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B.
Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

 By Dr. Carmelo Sgarlata

In a recent article in the journal Biology of Reproduction, healthy young men exhibited a small but statistically significant improvement in sperm health after adding walnuts to their diet.

The authors conclude that walnuts improved sperm development and function. Walnuts were also associated with increases in omega-3 ALA and omega-6 fatty acids. While walnuts appear to improve sperm function and development, it is not currently known if walnuts will help improve male fertility and improve birth outcomes. Further research is required.

Conclusions: These data suggest that higher intake of soy foods and soy isoflavones is associated with lower sperm concentration.

Jorge E. Chavarro, Thomas L. Toth, Sonita M. Sadio and Russ Hauser

Conclusions: The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general
improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after

Jian Pei, Ph.D.,a,b Erwin Strehler, M.D.,b Ulrich Noss, M.D.,c Markus Abt, Ph.D.,d
Paola Piomboni, Ph.D.,e Baccio Baccetti, Ph.D.,e and Karl Sterzik, M.D.b


Conclusions: Glycol ether exposure was related to low motile sperm count in men attending fertility clinics. This suggests that, at the time of the study, glycol ethers continued to be a hazard for male fertility. 

Nicola Cherry, Harry Moore, Roseanne McNamee, Allan Pacey, Gary Burgess, Julie-Ann Clyma, Martin Dippnall, Helen Baillie, Andrew Povey


Conclusions Moxibustion at acupuncture point BL67 is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation when used between 33 and 35 weeks of gestation. We believe that moxibustion represents a treatment option that should be considered to achieve version of the non-vertex fetus.

 Jorge Vas1,2, José Manuel Aranda-Regules3, Manuela Modesto1, María Ramos-Monserrat4, Mercedes Barón5, Inmaculada Aguilar1, Nicolás Benítez-Parejo6, Carmen Ramírez-Carmona7, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz2,6
+ Author Affiliations

 Conclusion: Vitamin D insufficiency was not uncommon in this group of pregnant women. Season and ethnicity were determinants of 25OHD but the magnitude of their effect was not large. Most women took vitamin D-containing supplements but this did not provide much protection against insufficiency. Consideration should be given to increasing the amount of vitamin D in prenatal supplements.

Wangyang Li, Timothy J. Green, Sheila M. Innis, Susan I. Barr, Susan J. Whiting, Antonia Shand, Peter von Dadelszen


Eighty-four prenatally depressed women were randomly assigned to yoga, massage therapy or standard prenatal care control groups to determine the relative effects of yoga and massage therapy on prenatal depression and neonatal outcomes. Following 12 weeks of twice weekly yoga or massage therapy sessions (20 min each) both therapy groups versus the control group had a greater decrease on depression, anxiety and back and leg pain scales and a greater increase on a relationship scale.

Wrist-ankle acupuncture during the postpartum period is effective for perineal pain relief after mediolateral episiotomy.

Source Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Conclusions: Among primigravidas with breech presentation during the 33rd week of gestation, moxibustion for 1 to 2 weeks increased fetal activity during the treatment period and cephalic presentation after the treatment period and at delivery.

JAMA 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1580-4

Injuries and pain

Conclusions: Acupuncture seems to provide improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee when compared with credible sham acupuncture and education control groups.

Brian M. Berman, MD; Lixing Lao, PhD; Patricia Langenberg, PhD; Wen Lin Lee, PhD; Adele M.K. Gilpin, PhD; and Marc C. Hochberg, MD

Conclusions. Trigger point inactivation by dry needling is a valuable supplement to the list of migraine prophylactic tools, being equipotent to metoprolol in the influence on frequency and duration (but not severity) of attacks, and superior in terms of negative side-effects.

Hesse J, Mogelvang B, Simonsen H. Journal of Internal Medicine. 1994; 235: 451-456. 

 Acupuncture reduces post-operative pain following gynecologic and abdominal surgeries. A new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology concludes that, “Pain control after hospital discharge is suboptimal for many women after both vaginal and abdominal surgery.” The researchers add that there is a need to improve post-operative at-home pain control measures, “Given increasingly rapid hospital discharge….” Acupuncture helps to improve recovery times and improves at-home pain control.

Conclusions: Acupuncture fared most favorably when compared to sham treatments. Nine of the 14 trials comparing true and sham acupuncture in migraine and tension-type headache patients either "showed trends in favor of acupuncture" or had patients who "did significantly better than those in the sham acupuncture group."

Conclusions: Short-term acupuncture treatment is as effective as short-term low-dose prednisolone for mild-to-moderate CTS. For those who do have an intolerance or contraindication for oral steroid or for those who do not opt for early surgery, acupuncture treatment provides an alternative choice.

Abstract Source: Clin J Pain. 2009 May;25(4):327-33. PMID: 19590482
Abstract Author(s):Chang MH, Hsieh CL, Hwang KL, Li TC, Wang NH, Yang CP, Yu SC

General Health

Conclusions: DBT preparations at 6.0 g/day significantly improve physical and psychological scores and significantly reduce vasomotor symptoms from baseline. The treatment was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events noted during the 12-week intervention period. The changes do not affect hormones and lipid profiles.

Wang, Chi Chiu MD, PhD; Cheng, King Fai MD; Lo, Wing Man RN; Law, Cindy BNurs; Li, Lu MD, PhD; Leung, Ping Chung MD; Chung, Tony Kwok Hung MD; Haines, Christopher John MD

 Acupuncture and physical activity improved hormone levels and menstrual patterns in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, according to a study conducted by researchers in Sweden.

Jedel E. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011;300:37-45.

Conclusions:  Subjects randomized to the true acupuncture group had a mean 63.30% (median = 65.99%) reduction in daytime accidents/day at 1 week postacupuncture and 67.47% reduction (median = 75.76%) at 4 weeks postacupuncture. In contrast, the mean reduction in daytime accidents was 18.88% (median = 19.64%) at 1 week and 16.67% (median = 0%) at 4 weeks post-sham acupuncture.

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;36(6):661-70. 

Conclusions: In this study, based on a small outpatient sample of women with major depression, it appeared that acupuncture provided significant symptom relief at rates comparable to standard treatments such as psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy. The effect sizes observed in this small sample were at least as large or larger than those seen in trials of antidepressant medication or psychotherapy, and they suggest that a larger clinical trial is warranted.


by John J.B. Allen, Ph.D.

March 2000, Vol. XVII, Issue 3


Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that adding acupuncture to breast cancer treatment regimens may establish an integrative approach that is more effective in managing symptoms due to treatment with fewer side effects than conventional pharmacotherapy treatment.

E. M. Walker1, A. I. Rodriguez2, B. Kohn2, J. Pegg1, R. M. Bell2, R. A. Levine2

Breast Cancer

Recovery of the hematopoietic system by Si-Jun-Zi-Tang in whole body irradiated mice.
Hsu HY, Yang JJ, Lian SL, Ho YH, Lin CC.

Source: School of Technology for Medical Sciences, Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan, R.O.C.

The purpose of this article is to comprehensively summarize the associations between carotenoids and breast cancer and quantitatively estimate their dose-response relationships.

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jan;131(1):239-53. Epub 2011 Sep 7.


The findings suggest that higher mammographic density is associated with more aggressive tumor characteristics and also with in situ tumors.

 Affiliations of authors: Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, St Louis, MO (LY, GAC); Division of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences Research, Institute for Public Health, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO (GAC); Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (LCC, SJS); Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (BR, RMT); Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (CV) 
Correspondence to: Rulla M. Tamimi, ScD, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail:

Healthy lifestyle was associated with a reduction in the odds of having breast cancer. Primary prevention of this disease should be promoted in an integrated manner. Effective strategies need to be identified to engage women in healthy lifestyles.

Source: Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Electro-acupuncture is a possible treatment of vasomotor symptoms for women with breast cancer and should be further studied for this group of women.

Source Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital of Linköping, Sweden.



Stable preterm infants gained more weight and slept less after five days of massage therapy than infants who did not receive massage, according to a recent study.

- Source: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, and the Center for Prenatal Assessment and Human Development, Emory University, with support from Johnson and Johnson. Authors: John N.I. Dieter, Ph.D.; Tiffany Field, Ph.D.; Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D.; Eugene K. Emory, Ph.D.; and Mercedes Redzepi, Psy.D. Originally Published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 2003, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 403-411."Stable Preterm Infants Gain More Weight and Sleep Less after Five Days of Massage Therapy" was conducted by staff at the Touch Research Institutes, University of Miami School of Medicine; and the Center for Prenatal Assessment and Human Development, Emory University.

Infants who were massaged before bedtime showed fewer sleep delay behaviors than the non-massaged control group.

Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M., (2001). Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 168, 95-104.


 Conclusion: Depressed prenatal women who received massage therapy in addition to psychotherapy showed a greater decrease in depression and anxiety levels as well as a greater decrease in cortisol levels.

Field, T., Deed, O., Diego, M., Gualer, A., Sullivan, S., Wilson, D. & Nearing, G. (2009). Benefits of combining massage therapy with group interpersonal psychotherapy in prenatally depressed women. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therpies, 13, 297-303.


Depressed prenatal women who received massage therapy in addition to psychotherapy showed a greater decrease in depression and anxiety levels as well as a greater decrease in cortisol levels.

Field, T., Deed, O., Diego, M., Gualer, A., Sullivan, S., Wilson, D. & Nearing, G. (2009). Benefits of combining massage therapy with group interpersonal psychotherapy in prenatally depressed women. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therpies, 13, 297-303.


Women who received massage therapy reported decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain. Cortisol levels decreased and, in turn, excessive fetal activity decreased, and the rate of prematurity was lower in the massage group. In a study of labor pain, women who received massage therapy experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were on average 3 h shorter with less need for medication. An underlying mechanism we have been exploring is that these effects are mediated by increased vagal activity.


Field, T. (2010). Pregnancy and labor massage therapy. Expert Review of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 177-181.


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