Most people have heard of the word acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine. For those who are unfamiliar, with both, acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is used to ensure the free flow of the body’s energy in order to bring the body back into its natural balance. Acupuncture is an inherently Chinese medical alternative that uses filiform needles as a way to balance the body’s natural energy. Through the feet, arms, legs, hands, and ears, a practitioner can locate unbalanced energy and help begin the process towards balancing energy. Traditional Chinese Medicine combines the use of medical herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, massage and therapeutic exercise.
Another method of treatment used in Chinese Medicine is with the use of Earseeds. The ear is an easily accessible part of the body that when acupuncture is applied it can assist with balancing the body and energy flow in a form of therapy called Auriculotherapy. Auriculotherapy, also known as Ear Acupuncture uses points on the outside of the ear to help resolve conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, or even weight loss traditionally with the use of needles. However, what may be less known is the use of ear seeds in auriculotherapy. This therapy is not only used in conjunction with acupuncture but is also used alone to temporarily relieve and/or reduce pain or ailments or to assist with Western Medical treatments such as IVF or IUI.
What are Ear Seeds? Ear seeds are small pellets that come from the Vaccaria plant that are thought to enhance the effects of ear acupuncture. It is thought that ear acupuncture points may be stimulated for a longer period of time by using ear seeds or ear tacks. The seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape and may be left in the ear for a few days or up to two weeks. Some practitioners use ear seeds on patients to help alleviate issues such as stress and anxiety between treatments.
How are Ear Seeds used during the IVF process? Ear seeds are used during IVF to help to control stress, lower anxiety levels, plays a significant role in regulating ovarian functions, follicular growth and ovulation. Research supports ‘the results achieved with acupuncture may be due to alterations in the hormonal messages from the brain to the ovary’. With auricular (ear) acupuncture allowing for the stimulation to be directed straight to the ovary. It is thought that ear seeds along with Acupuncture ‘can increase the success rate of Western medicine and at the same time slow down the clock on a woman’s aging endocrine system.’
New Research supports the placement of ear seeds at specific reproductive points ‘and when stimulated by the patient throughout the day from around egg retrieval to embryo transfer, the study showed that in the ear acupressure group, clinical pregnancy rate, implantation rate and live birth rate were all significantly higher than the sham ear acupressure group and control group.’ In addition, *‘No side-effect was reported in either group during the period of research, demonstrating that Auricular acupuncture is a safe and non-invasive intervention to improve the outcomes of IVF patients and to reduce the associated anxiety levels.’ If Acupuncture does not appeal to you due to a fear of needles, the use of Ear seeds can be a great alternative enabling you to incorporate Traditional Chinese Medicine to support and enhance the IVF process. Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner Erica French from Cycle of Life Acupuncture uses Ear seeds on all of her patients and they have reported that their stress levels and side effects from the hormonal treatments such as stress, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, insomnia and bloating are lessened extensively.
If you would like more information on Ear Seeds and how they can help during an IVF cycle, contact Erica French at Cycle of Life Acupuncture. Ph. 0413 025 487 or via email at: [email protected]
References: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140522/srep05028/pdf/srep05028.pdf Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition by Larry Trivieri, Jr. The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural Treatments for Common Health Conditions by Alan R. Gaby, M.D., Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Forrest Batz, Pharm.D. Rick Chester, RPh., N.D., DipLAc. George Constantine, R.Ph., Ph.D. Linnea D. Thompson, Pharm.D., N.D. http://www.fssc.com.au/auriculotheraphy-and-the-use-of-ear-seeds-during-ivf/