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Acu-Believe It!

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013.  CD17, 1DPO.

Have you guys seen the movie Pitch Perfect?

Because if you haven’t, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore…

 

Anyway, this post is brought to you by my love for this movie.

And acupuncture, herbs, and all things TCM.

So really, a very strange combination of things…

Aaaaaaaaanyway…

Here’s the haps, gurlfrands.

Progress is being made in a big way over here, and I am about to get all OMG YOU GUYS HAVE TO TRY THIS on you for a minute.

So the first cycle I met with Dr. McStabby, I was about halfway-ish through the month, so his treatments couldn’t have had much of an effect on my cycle length at that time.  That was my August cycle, and I ovulated on cycle day 21 that month.  Auntie Dearest showed up ten days later.

September, the first full month of treatment, I ovulated on cycle day 19, and had an eleven day luteal phase.  Still not the greatest, but you know… progress.

And here we are in October, the second full month of my TCM treatment, and I just ovulated.

On cycle day 16, you guys.

SIXTEEN.

That’s amazing, right?!  I mean, in two months’ time, acupuncture and herbs, along with some dietary and lifestyle changes, have effectively moved my ovulation date up almost a WEEK!!!

Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked, both that this treatment path that I regularly refer to as “Chinese voodoo” is a legitimate, medically effective way to impact infertility, and that my body is responding – and responding well!

Now, I have to point out that many women need to follow the dietary and lifestyle guidelines, take their herbs consistently, and see their acupuncturist at least once a week for a good three or four months to see noticeable changes like this, so if you’re considering trying out the TCM lifestyle, plan on committing to at least six months of treatment.

Some women notice changes right away – there are several women in my FertilityFriend acupuncture group who became pregnant within a month or two of starting treatments!  That’s great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the norm by any means.  The average woman in that group who has gotten pregnant using only acupuncture and herbs, has done so in the third or fourth month of treatment, sometimes later, but noticed some differences, even small ones, sooner.

The fact that I’m in line with the rest of the class as far as noticing these differences makes me feel pretty spectacular.

Oh, and you know what else makes me feel spectacular?

NOT BEING LOADED UP ON HORMONES.

NOT EATING ALL. THE. THINGS.

NOT BEING HATEFUL AND RESENTFUL OF PREGNANT WOMEN.

FEELING SPECTACULAR MAKES ME FEEL SPECTACULAR!

Sorry for the OMGALLCAPS type-yelling.  I’m just excited.  You can’t be mad about that, right?

Right.

And if you are…

So really the reason for this post was to let you all know that if you’ve been banging your head against a wall with infertility treatments for a year, two years – God, four and a half years – maybe it’s time to give this a chance.

If you’re like me, and you have the horrifying plague known as Unexplained Infertility, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are very real, very effective treatment options.

Infertility isn’t always the end of the world…

…And Western medical treatment options aren’t the be-all end-all, either.

Look around, call around, and see what else is out there, especially if you feel like you’re not making any progress with meds and ART.

This could be the “silly little thing”, the “Chinese voodoo” that works for you!  You could be the girl in that story about “The Girl Who Tried Everything, and Then She Turned To Black Magic…”  

YOU COULD BE THAT GIRL.

Yes, ma’am.

Give it a shot (pun. intended.)… You could be a TCM success story!

And as always, thanks for reading!

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19 comments on “Acu-Believe It!

  1. Heidi
    October 16, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Tracy and Mike….Gettin it 🙂
    Love you guys, and that movie!

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      BAHAHAHAHAHA!

      So appropriate! Love you, MFFRM! 😀

      Like

  2. Aislinn
    October 16, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    First of all, I love Pitch Perfect and I just noticed you have a picture of Platform 9 3/4 in your house so we must be BFFs now. (Random side note, Daniel Radcliffe and I have the same birthday, so when I was younger, I thought I was the shit for sharing a birthday with Harry Potter.)

    Anyways, I’m so glad that TCM is working for you. I’m not at the point in my treatment that I’m ready to give up on Western medicine, but if I ever get there, I’m excited to know that there’s another path to take that works. Thank you for blogging about your journey with TCM; even if it’s not the path I’m currently taking, I find it really interesting to learn about.

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      Umm…

      DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS??

      YUP!!

      LOL, Aislinn, you are amazing! Also, the husband kind of looks like Harry Potter, so I have that going on. 😉

      I’m a huge proponent of Western medicine – it gave me my first pregnancy, and though that ended in miscarriage, it still gave me the hope that my body recognizes what to do. I just have to help my body get there, and for me, Eastern medicine seems to be what’s helping.

      Keep up the good fight, friend, and I’ll see you on the other side one day SOON! 🙂

      Like

  3. Rose
    October 16, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    If you don’t mind me asking, how much does all of this end up costing you? I tried acupuncture twice but it was so expensive, I could only afford to do it every few weeks. I’m curious about the herbs too. I wish everything were more affordable. All of my vitamins end up costing me an arm and a leg as it is, although I guess compared to the price of IVF, it’s peanuts.

    Anyway, good luck and that sounds like great news that your body is definitely moving in the right direction!

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      I’m happy to share what I pay for treatments! I think that’s an important aspect of the decision-making process involved with choosing a form of treatment.

      I will tell you up front that NO. It’s not cheap.

      I have had intake/consult appointments with two different acu-practitioners, and those appointments cost me between $100 and $150. I know some APs have free consultations, but the full intake was two hours long, included an Eastern diagnosis and treatment plan, and an acupuncture session.

      For my weekly appointments, I’ve paid between $80 and $90 per session. These typically last an hour and include an acu-session and a review of any current symptoms or concerns. It’s sort of like therapy combined with needles and a nice nap. Well worth that price, if you ask me.

      Herbs are kind of all over the map… I currently take three different multi-herb formulas, one during cycle days 1-3, and two that I take all cycle long. The everyday blends last me two to three weeks per container, and cost $30 each. I average about $80 per month in herbs, typically.

      If we’re looking at this like the cost of seeing a doctor covered by insurance versus paying out of pocket for “alternative medicine”, then yes. Pricey.

      However, if we’re looking at TCM out of pocket versus IVF out of pocket – which for us, it would be – then like you said, TCM is peanuts in comparison.

      I hope this helps! 🙂

      Like

  4. damelapin
    October 16, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I’ve tried it 2 but, if the 1st I was all zen, the 2nd time not so much. I was completly dizzy. Plus, quite expensive here, and as the problem is on my husband’s side… Got good period, 28 days cycles etc… (yeah, lucky me but 2 IVF and 1 FET negative).
    Next step: hysteroscopy.
    But it’s good that it’s working for you!! Keep going with it!

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      I have heard that not everyone responds well to treatment right away, and there can be some adjustments to be made over the course of a month to find what works for each different person…

      I was lucky in that my treatments seem to be pretty standard. I’m sorry TCM wasn’t the thing for you, but it sounds like you said, the problem is on your hubby’s side!

      Just putting it out there – I’ve read some interesting studies showing that herbs and acupuncture, and specific supplements, can go a LONG way to increasing male reproductive health, too! 🙂

      Like

  5. Ashley
    October 16, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    I just started acupuncture last week and let me tell you – world of difference. I’m threatening to open my blog again and share that story soon. Ha!

    To answer ^^, I just recently found a place that prescribes to the “community acupuncture” theory. it’s uber affordable, though less private than the traditional method, but I like it it that way. Fees are between $20 and $40 each session. Definitely worth looking into.

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Oh Ashley, I hope you DO blog about it! 😀

      My previous practitioner had a community option, but unfortunately, their fertility treatments weren’t offered in the community format. 😦 My current AP sees mostly women for fertility, and all of his treatments are done privately, so for me, there’s no cost break.

      I do agree though, that community acupuncture can be a really amazing option! Don’t discount the herbs, though – they are a BIG part of why treatments are so successful! 😉

      Like

  6. Heather
    October 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Super, I am so stoked for you. I used acupuncture and it helped me get pregnant. And in answer to Rose, I managed to find someone (twice actually) who I could claim it back from the medical aid (health insurance) because the first one was a physiotherapist and the second one was a homeopath. So try and find a acupuncturist who has another side profession as well!
    Oh and I loved that movie too and I so love the way you incorporated it into your post. (How the heck did you do that?!)

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      It is SO inspirational to hear success stories! Thanks for sharing, Heather!!

      I agree that if you can find someone who can bill back to insurance (if your plan offers coverage), then that’s a huge cost savings as well.

      I will say one word of warning when receiving treatments from a chiro or another practitioner who only does acupuncture “on the side” – just be sure they have schooling to back up their experience, not just a state license.

      There are many practitioners who just receive the certification necessary (a certain number of supervised hours completed) and don’t have the actual Oriental Medicine education necessary to offer the most comprehensive treatments.

      There are many who are skilled in multiple areas, so if you find one, GREAT! Just be sure you do your homework before choosing a practitioner. 🙂

      Like

  7. For Love and Travel
    October 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    I love that movie!! “You have a musical bonner!” I am so happy things are working out for you. We are at a stopping point and it’s taking a toll on the relationship. My body can’t take anymore failed cycles and our wallet can’t take any more failed IUI’s. We just need a break. I don’t ovulate often, and when I do, for some reason unexplained, it just doesn’t connect. I’m one of those people. I’ve heard great things about acupuncture and I wish you best of luck. Maybe I’ll start looking into that soon.

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      If you’re looking for someone to be your Acu-Cheerleader, then baby – you’ve got it! 😀

      I definitely think that everyone going through the draining stress of these treatments should give TCM a chance. The hard part is that you have to fully commit four to six months, and I could NEVER have done that in the past.

      I keep saying that I wish I would have tried this route first, but honestly, I was so hell-bent on OMGPREGNANCYNOW that I would never have been able to fully give myself over to the process. I even tried out TCM back in February of this year, and I flunked out because I lost patience!

      I think it took me this full journey to get to the point where I can honestly say, I’m ready to let this work for me. I’m ready to just be, and to have faith in my doctor and this process. I’m ready to let my body heal, and to help it return to its naturally fertile state.

      If you’re ready too, then please – look into Randine Lewis’ book, The Infertility Cure. You won’t be sorry. 🙂

      Like

  8. nonsequiturchica
    October 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m so glad that the acupuncture is making a difference. My husband thinks it was expensive and didn’t do a thing, but I am now sitting here 33 weeks pregnant so it couldn’t have hurt!!

    Like

    • Tracy
      October 18, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      Even if it wasn’t your only treatment, there’s SO MUCH data showing how beneficial acupuncture (and herbs) can be!

      Congratulations, and thank you for sharing the news of your little Acu-Bean! 🙂

      Like

  9. jj
    October 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Oops! Sorry about that blip above, I was just testing it out. I can’t believe how familiar this post is to my situation! Truth be told, I haven’t read your whole history, so I am not sure how parallel our situations are, but I will say that I totally believe in the power of acupuncture and herbs as well.

    My Story: I was diagnosed with PCOS in January, 2013, (everything else is perfect, including husband’s sperm). The only detectable problem I have is that I ovulate irregularly. I did one round of Clomid (ovulated, but the drugs made me crazy and thinned my uterine lining). Second cycle I did injections and all looked good on the ultrasound, but again, went crazy from the hormones and didn’t conceive. Decided to ditch the hormones and do lots of yoga to cleanse and re-think our fertility path.

    I started fertility acupuncture and herbs halfway through my cycle in September, 2013, and ovulated on day 24, but didn’t conceive. This is my first FULL month of A and herbs, and I ovulated with a gigantic temp spike on day 15!! I also didn’t have any of the usual crampy systems before/after ovulation as in past months, and I feel amazing now, 5DPO. Of course I hope to conceive this month (I am 37, husband is 41, and we have been actively trying for about 1 year), but I certainly feel like we’re closer than we have ever been. The fertility meds made me insane and amped up my stress like crazy. I now feel strong, grounded, balanced and held a newborn in my arms today knowing that the next one will be ours.

    NEVER GIVE UP.

    Chinese medicine makes the most sense to me because it treats to totality of who you are and your unique situation. Western medicine – while create seeming wonders for some lucky ones – is kind of a one fits all approach – which is kind of nutty and nutty-making. I can’t wait to hear how your journey progresses, as again, it seems like we started Chinese meds and acupuncture at the same time.

    Best of luck and never give up hope!

    JJ

    Like

  10. Samantha Saboviec
    October 30, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    I just stumbled upon your blog after doing a Google search for “why does progesterone make me feel like shit.” I don’t know you, but I figured you might find it amusing to discover you were the top result for that.

    I definitely haven’t struggled like you have with infertility, but my own struggle has been difficult for me. My husband and I tried for a year, and got pregnant. Except at 9 weeks, I had a miscarriage. Today I got my first period since the miscarriage but I have felt so awful. I suspect my hormones are out of whack–and were before. I am afraid it’s what caused the m/c. Yet my doctor says they won’t investigate until I’ve had 2 m/C’s. Uh. No thanks?

    But either way, I don’t want to go on synthetic hormones. Instead, I started taking Vitex the week after the m/c. I didn’t think of acupuncture. Perhaps I should.

    I do know one thing. Having an m/c was devastating, but even more so after obsessively charting and calculating and having “must get pregnant” sex. This time around, I’m forcing myself to let go of the control freakishness. Taking walks. Meditating. Writing.

    Good luck on your journey.

    Like

  11. Becky
    November 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    I guess we can be friends then, because I am IN LOVE with PP!!! I don’t even remember how I found your blog anymore, but I’ve been finding a lot of new IF blogs lately. Yours is one of my favorites, and I just want to say congratulations on your amazing award you received! I hope that I can inspire just ONE person, and you seem to have inspired many more than that!

    Thanks!

    Like

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