Monday, April 03, 2006

Poke this

I've been thinking of trying acupuncture in conjunction with the treatment I'm already doing. We have a couple of friends who are studying acupuncture (literally; they are a couple and they are both studying it), and they have been raving about the acupuncturist they see. My husband is strongly in favor of my trying it--in fact, his vote for our next treatment step is to continue Clomid for a couple more rounds but add acupuncture. I'm pretty open-minded about complementary medicine, and I figured it couldn't hurt to at least look into it.

This weekend, I finally got the name of our friends' "amazing" acupuncturist, and checked out her website, all aglow with the happy anticipation of taking! positive! steps! on behalf of my fertility. Although this practictioner doesn't specialize in fertility, she does have a section of her website on infertility/pregnancy. It doesn't really talk about specific acupuncture techniques, but it does talk about other things you should and shouldn't do while pregnant or trying to get pregnant. And this is where my optimism turned into irritation. Here's her list of things that are "absolute contraindications during pregnancy, or if having difficulty getting pregnant":

• Ice in drinks
• Cold foods including salads
• Raw foods including salads
• Studying too much
• Overwork
• Over thinking
• Going to bed late at night
• Spices, especially chillies
• Garlic
• Onion
• News or stressful movies

Besides "studying too much," "ice in drinks," and maybe salads (not a fan of salad), this list pretty much describes my whole life. Not to knock Chinese medicine, but I really don't see how I could possibly eliminate garlic, onion, spices, and cold or raw foods from my diet. What's left? Plain rice? Bland porridge?

Also, don't the non-food parts of the list sound suspiciously like "Just relax"? She also adds that "Ideally the first and last trimester should be spent away from work." Oookaaay. I'm only the primary breadwinner in my household, but I'm sure I can just take off the whole first and last trimester and go on maternity leave. My boss would totally understand.

Should I try to look past this and give her a shot? Keep in mind that I don't have insurance coverage for complementary medicine, and she charges $100/pop. Should I look for someone else? I know Wessel really likes her OMD. Maybe I just need to find someone else. This woman also told my friend that if she undergoes acupuncture treatment, it "doesn't matter" how old she is when she tries to get pregnant. Doesn't that seem like overselling to you? I know acupuncture can help a whole lot (again, see Wessel's example), but isn't it a little snake-oil-ish to tell someone that it makes no difference at all if she's 32 or 42?


Blogger Robber Barren said...

Well, if that's the list, I ain't never going to have a baby. I already severely cut back on caffeine and they want to take away the mainstays of my nightly dinners? I can probably give up the ice in my drinks, but the party stops there. Garlic? Onions? Chiles? What in the world would I eat?

4:30 PM  
Blogger Ornery said...

That list of contraindications annoyed the hell out of me. It's impossible to follow, and just makes you feel guilty and self-blaming if pregnancy doesn't happen. Having said that, though, I do think acupuncture is worth trying if it's something that sparks you and your husband's interest. Maybe this acupuncturist is less hardcore in person than on her website. Or maybe you can find another acupuncturist who lets you have a life. Either way, please let us know what happens!

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Naomi said...

I know my friend swears by accupuncture. As for me, a former EMT, future nurse, and all around chilled-out person, I still can't get past the idea of being poked so much...but if I could I might have given it a try. I think most of the things on peoples "lists" on how to get pregnant are baloney, but then again, why does an athiest pray? Just in case...

12:38 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow that list depressed me. No ice in drinks?

I am on my 3rd week of acupuncture and haven't heard a list like that - and I'm hoping I won't. I enjoy the relaxation that comes with it, though. Perhaps check her out and if you still get a "just relax" vibe, research others?

6:24 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

it is incredibly important that you like and respect your acupuncturist. SOunds like this woman may not be right for you - but that doesn't mean that acupuncture isn't worth trying.

5:50 PM  
Blogger K77 said...

The "over thinking" is my personal fave. Cos you know, if we infertiles would all just stop THINKING so darn much....

6:19 AM  

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