A recent study found that when in vitro fertilization as a treatment for infertility, acupuncture and infertility combined improved the success rate by as much as 50%. So what does acupuncture and fertility have to do with each other?

If you have read about or studied acupuncture, you know that acupuncture is intended to remove any blockages in the body and restore the flow of Qi, the vital energy of the body. Traditional Chinese acupuncturists treat the whole body, and so the concept is that when the body is in balance through acupuncture, the IVF process is more readily accepted.

But you do not need to believe in alternative or Eastern medicine in order to reap the benefits of acupuncture and infertility. There have been many studies done that have shown the therapeutic effects of acupuncture on the human body. Relaxation techniques frequently use acupuncture as a treatment. And many people believe you will not get pregnant if you are not relaxed.

Even skeptics have to take heed of researchers at Cornell University's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, who found that acupuncture normalizes the hypothalamic and pituitary hormones that give the signal for ovulation, reduces the stress hormones that may interfere with ovulation and increases blood flow to the uterus, improving the chance for the embryo to implant properly.

If you want to take advantage of this three thousand year old traditional Chinese medical technique to help in your infertility problems, or learn how acupuncture and infertility are related, you have a number of options.

There are now many fertility clinics that now offer acupuncture treatments as part of their overall infertility treatments. In addition, there are designated acupuncture infertility centers. And finally, you may simply contact a certified acupuncturist and s / he will explain to you how s / he uses acupuncture to treat infertility. You may want to consult with an acupuncturist who has had experience using acupuncture in conjuction with infertility treatments.

It is important that you put yourself in the hands of a professional, trained and reliable acupuncturist. There are a number of organizations that offer training and accreditation for acupuncturists. So in order to be as safe as possible, you should refer to one of them when choosing your acupuncturist. If they are accredited, you can be sure they have met the proper training requirements. Most of these organizations also have a list showing practitioners who are under investigation and should therefore be avoided.

If you contact any or a few of these organizations, you will be sure to locate a center that is convenient for you, and where you can learn more about acupuncture and infertility:

· Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (acaom.org)

· American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (aaaomonline.org)

· American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (aobta.org)

· Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ccaom.org)

· Federation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (faomra.com)

· National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine http://www.nccam.nih.gov