One of the more famous treatments for IVF Acupuncture is the Paulus Protocol. It was developed around 2002 with 160 patients in the study and showed a significant increase in implantation success. It was definitely a win for the acupuncture community and for future patient success in IVF.
It was also a great example of the integration of Western and Eastern medicine. Almost like one small step for ivf, one giant leap for acupuncture. 🙂
But that was in 2002… A lot has happened since then. Some amazing changes in the process of IVF. The technology of the medicine has massively massively improved.. The success levels are now higher than even. But with that, the complexity of fertility cases has become increasingly more difficult.
Back in 2005, we didn’t have a lot of fertility acupuncture experts around… and now the specialisation has become one of the most popular areas for acupuncturists to go into. Which is amazing and wonderful in one sense. However, a lot of these potentially great therapists are still very focused on a protocol that’s almost 18 years old. And hasn’t evolved with the medicine, with the therapists, with the integration of western and eastern medicine. I still see see a lot of acupuncturists using this protocol, which at the time was amazing, however is now, in my opinion. Very much out dated.
Whats interesting about the Paulus Protocol is that it was a first, and very good attempt at showing the advantages of providing a more holistic approach to fertility health. However I would make improvement to it. It would be a shame if we still flew the same planes that the Wright Brothers flew in 1903 for the first time. Everything evolves. It has to or becomes irrelevant.
Firstly, it was a once of protocol. The client didn’t get any acupuncture before the protocol or after, during the two week wait. It was designed to be done on site in an IVF clinic, 20 minutes before transfer and 20 minutes after on a day 3 transfer.
The same protocol was used for every person going for transfer, therefore not treating the patient as an individual. Which is a key foundation to Chinese Medicine. Its absolutely drilled into us to treat the individual first, not the disease.
I believe the protocol needs more support for improving implantation and definitely needs support for the emotional wellbeing of the client.
So what would I do, well, I would add two sessions in before transfer, the two to three weeks coming up to the transfer. And then sessions for the 2 week wait, a key time for the successful outcome of IVF. I would improve the blood treatment part of the protocol and definitely add in two points to help the emotions.. Maybe I would look at YinTang and Shenmen. These are beautiful caring points for the heart and mind, a truly wonderful Xin Shen addition.
One other point that I use sometimes is to add in for the lung meridian, during my training in Chinatown in New York, many moons ago, my teacher at the time, an 88 generation Daoist Monk explained the importance of the lung energy in the creation and potential of life. Its something I will explain in a later time, but definitely an important addition which I see massively improving successful outcomes.
So there you go….. Standing on the shoulders of Giants…