“Fertility support is a specialty of The Yinova Center,” Peacock says. “In fact, it’s in our name. ‘Yin’ derives from the Chinese principles of yin and yang—that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites—and ‘ova’ is the Latin plural for egg.”
Yinova’s team of licensed and board-certified practitioners have been trained by the center’s founder, Jill Blakeway, DACM, LAc, MSc, author of a well-regarded book on infertility entitled “Making Babies” (Little, Brown and Co., August 2009) and a pioneer in the use of acupuncture to address reproductive issues. Yinova’s staff works with clients to enhance fertility, either through natural means or with the assistance of artificial reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination.
The first step in promoting fertility is to determine the issues preventing it. Yinova’s diagnostic process works by identifying patterns of disharmony within a patient’s health.
“Acupuncturists are very good at identifying if body systems are failing to work together. Because we look at patients from a holistic viewpoint, we can maximize someone’s reproductive potential by adjusting how the different body systems work together,” Peacock says. “Acupuncturists ask a lot of questions and also look at a lot of markers (the tongue, the pulse and so on) to determine our treatment plan. We never rely on one single sign or symptom. After we do a thorough intake of health and lifestyle, the disharmony reveals itself and we can treat it accordingly.”
Yinova practitioners use herbs, nutrition and acupuncture to produce fertility programs tailored to the specific needs of individuals and couples. These customized treatment plans may include the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation to aid embryo implantation, increase blood supply to the pelvis and uterus to support a healthy ovarian follicle, balance and offset the effects of stress on reproductive hormones, and support and enhance the effect of artificial reproductive techniques. Yinova staff works hand in hand with a patient’s OB-GYN or reproductive endocrinologist to make sure all their reproductive care is coordinated and maximized.
The results of the Yinova method can sometimes be dramatic, as Peacock notes in the case of a 32-year-old woman with amenorrhea—an abnormal absence of menstruation.
“My client had not had a period for eight years, and she and her partner knew they wanted to have children in the future,” Peacock says. “So I asked her to commit to treatment for three months, and during that time, I told her that we were going to do acupuncture weekly, plus a few rounds of herbs. After two months, she became impatient that nothing was happening, but at three months to the day, she finally got her first period in years. The next month she got another period, and she was so excited by the progress. Then she missed her next period and feared there was something wrong—but the reason she didn’t get her period that month was because she actually was pregnant!”
With stories like that, it is understandable that acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as a means to address or augment fertility.
“Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used for centuries to improve fertility for both men and women,” Peacock says. “And more and more scientific studies are proving the effectiveness of these treatments as stand-alone methods or as complements to Western fertility treatments.”
An effective treatment for chronic pain