Researchers from Oregon have reported that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help prevent recurrent pregnancy loss. The study also found that acupuncture and Chinese herbs enhances fertility. In traditional Chinese medical diagnosis, there are many causes of miscarriage which may sometimes overlap with modern bio-medical causes. Debra Betts a researcher based in Wellington, New Zealand is also currently studying the benefits of acupuncture in preventing miscarriage. There are currently no recommended modern bio medical treatments and western medicine just uses a “wait and see” approach. The specialist field of traditional Chinese medicine gynecology goes back hundreds of years and formulas used back then are still used to day in modern Chinese hospitals. There are many Chinese herb formulas which can be modified with the addition or subtraction of other Chinese herbs to tailor make a combination specifically required for the individual needs of the patient.
Modern research has demonstrated that women with a history of threatened miscarriage also have the added worry of increased risk of premature delivery between 34-37 weeks. Up to 50 % of women who have a history of miscarriage have no known causative factor such as endocrine and autoimmune disorders. It is cases like this where women will often fit into a traditional Chinese medical diagnosis pattern of for example deficient kidney energy or heat in the blood which can be treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Chinese herbal medicine training requires additional training on top of the normal 4 years full time acupuncture training. In China, practitioners finish their study by either specializing in acupuncture or Chinese herbs. In Australia, Chinese herb study is often undertaken as a master’s qualification after the completion of the Bachelors of Acupuncture.
Heiko Lade based at The Acupuncture Clinic – Hastings has a Master’s of Traditional Chinese Medicine from the University of Technology, Sydney and worked in Sydney’s Chinatown for 15 years alongside the well-known Chinese herbalist Dr Kevin Zheng Ping Lu. Heiko taught Chinese herbs at colleges in Christchurch and Auckland and a number of his students now practice throughout New Zealand.