Straight to the Point
Acupuncture can heighten reproductive prowess, motility
Jan 15, 2005
Rhonda Rathgeber, DVM, Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, readily uses acupuncture in her equine practice and details the theory and practice in her book, "Understanding Equine Acupuncture". Acupuncture can be used as a diagnostic tool or therapy, predominantly for horses that fail to respond to treatment by conventional Western medicine.
Shen Xie, DVM, PhD and MS, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, compares the uses of acupuncture to treat reproductive problems to a traffic cop. In a bustling city, people might be inclined to drive their cars aggressively in different directions, going everywhere, he explains. It would be better to have a policeman there to guide the traffic flow.
As in a severe auto accident, one needs a fireman or a doctor to rescue the people. If there is a tumor or cyst on the ovary, then herbal medicine is better suited for the severe condition. Originally, the practice of Chinese herbal medicine, recorded in ancient Chinese literature, dates back to 3,000-year-old recipes, while others only have been formulated recently, Xie says.
Comparative treatments Acupuncture is physiologically specific compared to other forms of Chinese medicine. While the effectiveness of the Chinese herbal remedies to treat equine reproductive disorders may be controversial, there have been numerous successful outcomes over many centuries. However, the difficulty of assigning significant scientific efficacy to the formula or a particular ingredient of an herbal formula obviously is confusing.
The physiological mechanism for acupuncture's effectiveness to treat reproductive disorders, on the other hand, is more definitive. The two proposed physiological mechanisms for its effects on the reproductive system include an endorphin-mediated mechanism affecting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal endocrine axis and a direct effect on gonadal paracrine and autocrine control of steroidogenesis.
General attributes Acupuncture is thought to trigger the release or inhibition of the various hormones, including LH, FSH, estradiol and progesterone. Electroacupuncture (EA) decreased plasma LH levels in sows (Lin et al. 1992). Acupuncture can affect these hormones via endorphin release. It is known that endorphins, as well as opiods, inhibit LH release.