Research has now confirmed that acupuncture is more effective than the most popular fertility drug clomifene. Clomifene has been used for about 50 years and acupuncture has been used for about 2050 years. The pharmaceutical company Sanofi has made multi millions from this medicine being prescribed to women. This is so, even though Clomifene has been demonstrated to have numerous side effects including up to 50 types of birth defects which makes you wonder why it is still being legally prescribed.
In China, the main treatment for fertility enhancement is the use of Chinese herbs and acupuncture has second place.
If more research was done in the west it would soon demonstrate that Chinese herbs are effective in promoting fertility. Andrew Orr in Australia has already done research confirming the success of Chinese herbs but it is likely to still take some time for the public to accept that a medicine that is over 2000 years old is actually better than modern medicine in many instances.
Though the trend is changing and many patients now only seek western medicine physicians to diagnose and monitor their condition and choose to have alternative therapies such as acupuncture for the treatment.
This is why more doctors and physiotherapists are doing crash weekend courses in acupuncture because they keep hearing from their patients that they have been getting results from acupuncture and hence want to offer the same treatment to their patients. Unfortunately though, the public doesn’t realize that it takes 4 years full time to study acupuncture to obtain a Bachelors degree. It is very difficult to learn and master accounting, plumbing or physiotherapy in a weekend. It is also difficult to learn acupuncture in a weekend.
Western medicine is easy. The pharmaceutical companies find one drug like clomifene that they can market to the doctors. Even an acupuncturist could learn that in a weekend. Prescribe clomifene to nine out of ten patients for fertility issues and hope for the best. One size fits all. However, eventually clomifene will be banned after they realize all the serious side effects it has been causing and then the pharmaceutical companies will release a new “better and safer” drug.
This one size fits all approach doesn’t apply in traditional Chinese medicine.
On average a Chinese herbal formula has up to 15 different herbs in each mixture. It’s not a matter of just throwing everything together and hope for the best. Herbs are prescribed to fit the individual’s pattern of disharmony as well as addressing their unique constitutional requirements. Even simple common herbs like walnut may be part of the formulation and other times a mineral medicine such as fluorite may be necessary. There are in fact hundreds of Chinese herbs and therefore endless combinations that could be tailor made and designed by your Chinese herb practitioner.
Heiko Lade has had over 25 years experience of prescribing Chinese herbs and has a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the University of Technology, Sydney.