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In the intricate journey of conception, many couples face hurdles along the path to parenthood. For those exploring assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF), the quest for effective adjunct therapies is ongoing. Among these complementary approaches, acupuncture has emerged as a promising ally, offering a range of benefits for supporting fertility and enhancing the likelihood of a successful IVF transfer. At Nguyen Wellness + Recovery, we work with patients both looking to support their fertility more naturally, as well as those who are undergoing fertility treatments here in Houston.

Acupuncture is a powerful tool within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine, and involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote a physiological response. For thousands of years, its been used to support many health conditions, including pain, insomnia, anxiety and more. Research suggests several ways in which acupuncture can positively influence reproductive outcomes, particularly in conjunction with IVF. This includes:

  • Reducing stress levels and anxiety

  • Increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs

  • Balancing hormones

How Acupuncture Supports Fertility & IVF

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress levels, a critical factor in fertility. The emotional toll of infertility and the rigorous IVF process can trigger heightened stress and anxiety, which may adversely affect the body, as well as the IVF process. By promoting relaxation and mitigating stress hormones, like cortisol, acupuncture creates a conducive internal environment for conception.

Acupuncture can also enhance blood flow to the reproductive organs, including the uterus and ovaries. Improved blood circulation optimizes the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to these vital structures, promoting their health and function. This enhanced blood flow may also contribute to the development of a thicker uterine lining, which is crucial for embryo implantation and successful pregnancy.

Additionally, acupuncture has demonstrated the ability to regulate hormonal balance. By balancing the levels of hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH), acupuncture may help better prepare your body for fertility treatment.

When preparing the body for IVF, acupuncture sessions may focus on priming the uterus, regulating menstrual cycles, and optimizing egg quality. It is advisable to begin acupuncture sessions before undergoing IVF, to improve the outcome. This can help to strengthen your constitution, improve your internal reproductive environment, and support your overall wellness, by addressing issues that may indirectly affect fertility, like insomnia, digestive issues, chronic pain or immunity,

During the IVF cycle itself, acupuncture is often performed before and after embryo transfer to enhance relaxation, reduce uterine contractions, and support implantation.

While individual responses to acupuncture vary, several studies have reported promising outcomes regarding its efficacy in conjunction with IVF. Research indicates that women undergoing IVF who receive acupuncture may experience higher pregnancy rates, increased implantation rates, and lower rates of miscarriage compared to those who do not.

If you'd like to experience the benefits of acupuncture for supporting fertility, or if you simply have questions, we invite you to contact our Houston clinic for a brief consultation. Appointments can also be booked online here.

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Bell's palsy, a neurological condition that causes sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the face, can be an alarming experience for those affected. In recent years, alternative therapies have gained attention for their potential to complement Western medical treatments. Acupuncture is one such therapy that has emerged as a promising option for Bell's palsy.

Understanding Bell's Palsy and its Challenges

Bell's palsy is characterized by the sudden onset of facial paralysis, often accompanied by difficulty in making facial expressions, speech, eating, and even closing the eyelids. Its cause is believed to be linked to inflammation of the facial nerve, which controls the muscles of the face. This inflammation can be a result of viral infections, or other factors that affect nerve function. Western medical approaches typically involve antiviral medications, corticosteroids, physiotherapy or facial massage to aid recovery. Beyond these recommendations, patients are sometimes offered surgical treatment options.

Recently, however, more individuals with Bell's palsy have been seeking alternative treatments to enhance their healing process and regain facial function more swiftly. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, is gaining recognition as a potential avenue for addressing the challenges posed by Bell's palsy.

Acupuncture's Potential Benefits for Bell's Palsy

Acupuncture is rooted in the concept of balancing the body's energy flow, known as qi (pronounced "chee"). By inserting needles into specific acupuncture points, practitioners aim to restore the balance of of this vital energy, promoting overall health and wellness.

From a Western perspective, acupuncture offers several potential benefits:

  1. Improved Blood Circulation: Acupuncture has been shown to enhance blood circulation, which can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healing. By increasing blood flow to the affected area, acupuncture may contribute to the restoration of damaged nerve tissues.

  2. Muscle Relaxation: The insertion of acupuncture needles can stimulate nerve endings and trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. This can lead to muscle relaxation, potentially helping to alleviate the tension and tightness often experienced in facial muscles affected by Bell's palsy.

  3. Nerve Regeneration: Some studies suggest that acupuncture may play a role in nerve regeneration and repair. By encouraging the body's natural healing processes, acupuncture could support the regrowth of damaged facial nerves.

  4. Stress Reduction: Dealing with Bell's palsy can be emotionally challenging, and stress may exacerbate symptoms. Acupuncture is known for its stress-reducing effects, which can contribute to an improved overall sense of well-being and potentially aid in the recovery process.

  5. Facial Muscle Re-education: Acupuncture sessions can involve gentle stimulation of specific facial muscles, aiding in muscle re-education. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing difficulty with facial movements after Bell's palsy.

Scientific Support and Practical Considerations

While research on acupuncture's effectiveness in treating Bell's palsy is ongoing, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that early intervention with acupuncture improves the outcome of patients with Bell's palsy. Studies have demonstrated positive outcomes in terms of improved facial muscle function, pain reduction, and overall recovery when acupuncture is used as an adjunct to conventional therapies. It's important to note that while acupuncture (or electro-acupuncture) can be beneficial in improving recovery time, it's often best to take an integrative approach, working in collaboration with both Eastern and Western healthcare providers.

Additional Support for Bell's Palsy

In addition to acupuncture, Eastern medicine offers herbal medicine formulas as an adjunctive therapy to help nourish the underlying deficiencies commonly present in the body when a person experiences nerve-related issues. Here in our Houston clinic, we commonly treat Bell's palsy with both electro-acupuncture, herbal medicine, and vitamin and supplement recommendations. In addition to its potential to enhance blood circulation and aid nerve regeneration, acupuncture can promote muscle relaxation and reduce stress. As more research is conducted, acupuncture continues to hold promise as an effective complementary therapy for individuals dealing with Bell's palsy.

If you are experiencing Bell's palsy or another kind of facial paralysis, please contact our clinic, to find out if our treatments would be right for you. To book an appointment, please click here.

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Houston may have earned the 12th spot on the 2023 list of allergy capitals in the United States, but for seasonal allergy sufferers who have tried it all, promising modern research backs an unexpected, ancient solution for your sniffles and sneezes.

Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and promote wellness. While acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat everything from back pain to Bell’s palsy, did you know it can also help to ease your seasonal allergy symptoms?

Allergic rhinitis is a common issue affecting millions of people around the world. It occurs when the immune system overreacts to harmless substances, such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. This can trigger symptoms, like sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose or an itchy throat.

One 2015 meta-analysis in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, which examined 13 studies with 2,365 total participants, assessed the clinical efficacy of acupuncture for the management of allergic rhinitis, finding it to be a safe and valid option for allergy sufferers [1].

Pollen and mold are two of the most common allergens that affect our patients here in our Houston acupuncture clinic. When patients come in for regular acupuncture sessions, they often notice the severity of their seasonal allergies are much less than in previous year. Many patients also report being able to cut back on their allergy medication usage after beginning acupuncture treatments.

A 2018 clinical trial out of Germany supports this outcome often seen in many acupuncture clinics. The trial analyzed three groups of patients receiving treatment for their allergy symptoms: patients receiving acupuncture, patients receiving sham (fake) acupuncture, and a control group receiving only antihistamines. Patients receiving acupuncture were instructed to take antihistamines as needed. It was found that patients receiving acupuncture used half as much medication as the control group [2].

How Does Acupuncture Work?

From an Eastern perspective, allergy symptoms are a simple sign that the body’s immune system is out of balance and requires support. When specific acupuncture points on the body are stimulated, a biochemical reaction in the body occurs, which can help to stimulate the immune system and also reduce inflammation in the body, by regulating the body’s flow of energy, known as qi.

Modern Western research suggests that acupuncture works by supporting the down-regulation of serum IgE, IL-1 β, and TNF-α. These substances are all pro-inflammatory mediators, meaning they produce inflammation in the body and can sometimes make symptoms and diseases worse. IgE is an antibody produced by the immune system, but is also involved in hypersensitivity related to asthma, sinusitis, and allergic rhinitis. IL-1 β is a pro-inflammatory cell-signaling protein (also known as a cytokine) with fever-producing properties. TNF-α is another cytokine involved in systemic inflammation and acute reactions [3].

While acupuncture can help to manage allergy symptoms, one of the best ways it can be used is preventatively, to help modulate the immune system before symptoms even occur. There is even an ancient herbal formula that many acupuncturists commonly prescribe to patients leading up to cold and allergy season, that helps to strengthen and support the body to prevent seasonal illnesses altogether.

What to Expect During a Treatment

We always take a patient-centered approach in our Houston acupuncture clinic, targeting specific acupuncture points based on individual needs for seasonal allergy symptom relief. For example, we may use a point between the eyebrows called Yintang if a patient is experiencing sinus pressure. Congestion can quickly be treated with particular points alongside the nose, like Ying Xiang or Bitong. Inflammation can be addressed using points at each elbow.

During your appointment, you can expect a relaxing session that will often yield quick relief. However, with acupuncture, consistency is key when seeking prolonged relief. The frequency of treatments are dependent on a patient’s personal needs and the severity of their symptoms. While many experience relief with just a session or two, others may require regular sessions over the span of four to six weeks, to help re-balance the body’s immune system response and address potential gut health and digestive issues, which can also play a large role when it comes to allergies.

To complement acupuncture treatments, taking a high-quality probiotic, like this one, can be a great addition, to support gut health. To further support the upper respiratory system, we may prescribe traditional Chinese herbs to go hand-in-hand with your treatments; however, this product is another favorite that we often recommend, if patients are unable to get in to the clinic.

If you are considering acupuncture for your seasonal allergies, it is important to seek out a qualified, licensed acupuncturist. Similar practices, like dry needling, are not the same as acupuncture, as they lack the holistic approach required for helping to balance the body as a whole. A licensed acupuncturist will be able to evaluate your individual symptoms and recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.

Nguyen Wellness + Recovery in Houston offers many natural and holistic solutions to help support your body and address seasonal allergy issues, like acupuncture, express acupuncture, herbal medicine and infrared sauna. Contact us for more information, or book online!

**As an Amazon Associate we may earn commission from qualifying purchases. However, any product links are representative of our preferences as holistic healthcare providers, and have been individually chosen to be featured by us.


1. Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, et al. Acupuncture for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 2015;29(1):57-62. doi:10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116

2. Adam D, Grabenhenrich L, Ortiz M, Binting S, Reinhold T, Brinkhaus B. Impact of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering seasonal allergic rhinitis: secondary analysis of results from a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2018 Jun;36(3):139-145. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011382. Epub 2018 Feb 10. PMID: 29440045; PMCID: PMC6029641.

3. Zheng, X. L., Tian, Y. P., Luo, H. Y., Zhao, Y. D., Liu, X. Y., Jiang, Y., Ma, C. X., Wang, M. J., & Liu, M. (2018). Zhen ci yan jiu = Acupuncture research, 43(1), 35–38.

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