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To feel annoyed with acupuncturist

(48 Posts)
OstrichRunning Tue 11-Apr-17 06:43:36

So, in a nutshell:

I had a frozen embryo transfer last Tuesday. Only because my clinic encourages women to get acupuncture alongside treatment, I have been seeing an acupuncturist. My most recent session was yesterday. She told me, based solely on my pulse, that I have a 'fair to middling chance' of bring pregnant. She also said she could tell 'my body was trying to do something'. At previous sessions, she diagnosed me with a yang deficiency, which she basically described as low energy. She said if I do turn out to be pregnant, she's strongly recommend that I continue treatment throughout the first trimester.

My pulse??

My dd was born through ivf. We were very lucky in that it worked first time, and so up to now I've had some confidence in my body to pull this off again! Now I feel really knocked down. I've three days left of the 2ww and can't help thinking maybe it hasn't worked.

AIBU to feel annoyed with her and upset / worried or am I over-reacting? AIBU to think there's something a bit cynical about her saying is benefit from more treatment if I'm pregnant?


OstrichRunning Tue 11-Apr-17 06:44:11

I'd benefit, that should read

glueandstick Tue 11-Apr-17 06:46:42

IGnore her. That's utter bullshit.

Don't worry- get through these days and don't worry about the yang.

3luckystars Tue 11-Apr-17 06:47:54

What is a yang?

She is a business so of course she wants you to continue treatment. She has no idea what is going on inside your body at this early stage so everything she said was just her opinion so I wouldn't believe any of it.

muffintopsausage Tue 11-Apr-17 06:48:30

She's talking bullshit.

Good luck for the next few days 😍🤞🏻

eurochick Tue 11-Apr-17 06:52:45

I'm not sure why what she said is making you despondent. It sounded pretty positive to me. Good luck. I hope you get a bfp.

Garnethair Tue 11-Apr-17 06:52:46

Stupid bloody woman. Ignore, ignore.

Ktown Tue 11-Apr-17 06:53:24

Your doctors sound iffy if they are recommending something without good evidence. Save your money.

tigermoll Tue 11-Apr-17 06:54:31

Acupuncture can help with relaxation.

Any other claims it makes about treating you is utter and complete NONSENSE.

I am deeply surprised that your clinic "recommends" you spend money on a charlatan who tries to scare you into continuing expensive and unnecessary sessions.

Added to that the sheer brass balls of someone who could feel your pulse and then come out with all that load of offensive waffle, just when you are going through something as emotional and draining as IVF. It's one of the most cynical things I've ever heard.

OP, I really hope your journey to parenthood is successful. And forget this fraudster. She is no more reliable than a horoscope in a newspaper.

claraschu Tue 11-Apr-17 07:04:22

Pulse diagnosis is an important part of Chinese medicine and acupuncture treatments. Acupuncturists diagnose pulse in a much more subtle and complex way than Western doctors do. If you think this is bullshit, don't go to an acupuncturist, but I think it is silly to dismiss something which you know absolutely nothing about without taking any time to learn about it.

OP, I think you are caught in a difficult situation because you have had a treatment which is not part of the medical tradition you are familiar with, and then not been in position to understand the comments of the acupuncturist.

Here is a bit of information just to give an idea of how important pulse is in diagnosis of medical conditions in traditional Chinese medicine.

Wellitwouldbenice Tue 11-Apr-17 07:07:31

Er, I'm not quite sure why you went for Chinese medicine then? Make up your mind what you want. hmm

DragonFire99 Tue 11-Apr-17 07:20:00

She told me, based solely on my pulse, that I have a 'fair to middling chance' of bring pregnant. She also said she could tell 'my body was trying to do something'. ... she's strongly recommend that I continue treatment throughout the first trimester.

Hmm. I don't know enought about Chinese medicine to comment, but she sounds cynical. Does all the above really mean anything?? Who knows? I have no idea if it works. But she has no business trying to make you feel bad or worried or stressed.

Good luck, OP.

OstrichRunning Tue 11-Apr-17 07:42:09

Thanks for all the lovely comments. smile

I went to someone connected with the clinic on my first round and she was v nice and professional. I found it relaxing and that was good enough for me. Unfortunately she wasn't available this time.

This seems a decent review of the evidence, if anyone's interested:

It's very mixed and seems to be variable, v dependent on the practitioner. Not massively convincing overall.

My tendency is to be a bit sceptical of something I don't understand and that seems so subjective. But it's tricky isn't it, when you will do anything and it's not like acupuncture is one of these crystals / aura thingies? As in, there is some evidence in its favour. I guess it's easily exploited though...

Anyhoo, onwards! Thanks again

carnassials Tue 11-Apr-17 08:32:00

Acupuncture is a placebo, and placebos can be very effective in the right setting. FYI I have had IVF myself and there is a pressure to feel like you have to be doing something more than just sitting around and waiting. However, it sounds like the placebo treatment is making you stressed out, I would just go and have a massage instead! Or any thing you would normally do to de-stress.

EarlGreyT Tue 11-Apr-17 08:50:06


She said if I do turn out to be pregnant, she's strongly recommend that I continue treatment throughout the first trimester.

Of course she does, that way she makes a lot more money out of you. It's a comment designed to exploit the uncertainty of the situation and the fact that you'd do anything for the FET to be successful.

nelipotter Tue 11-Apr-17 08:53:53

Acupuncture is not a placebo. I fully credit my acupuncture practitioner with saving my life, as opposed to the useless advice of the gynaecologist and tepid advice of my GP. (I was treated for fibroids, mental health and depression, fatigue.)

As Claraschu said, it's complicated and unfamiliar, and may seem unconvincing. At the end of the day, if you don't understand it, and don't like it, don't do it. And don't rely on mumsnet for clarification of medical procedures.

carnassials Tue 11-Apr-17 09:12:12

Well it is a placebo according to the majority of the scientific community (not pseudo science) and placebos can be very effective. So in that way, acupuncture works. It won't work if the acupuncturist is acting in the way the OP described as it is causing her undue stress!

JoinTheMicrodots Tue 11-Apr-17 09:52:49

She's practising within the paradigm of TCM, which is completely different to that of western medicine. Why are you annoyed with her for that? confused If you think the TCM paradigm and pulse diagnosis is a load of bollocks, don't go to see a TCM practitioner.

malmi Tue 11-Apr-17 10:00:55

Acupuncture is indeed a placebo. It's hard to design a truly double-blind experiment to compare it to a control. The control would normally be needles inserted at random points (i.e not the correct acupuncture points on the 'meridians'), or fake needles which don't actually penetrate the skin. The studies show that the perceived effects are the same, and consistent with other placebo-based methods.

If you find a practitioner whose methods work for you, then that's great. If not, there may be little point continuing, as there are no direct medical effects. Maybe you could try and book again with the original practitioner when she's available.

Interestingly, contrary to what one might expect, there is evidence that placebos can be effective even if the patient knows that they are a placebo.

OstrichRunning Tue 11-Apr-17 10:36:49

It's interesting - the whole placebo thing.

For the pro-CM people, I totally appreciate I'm no expert. But I defy anyone to not try it when there is (limited) evidence that it might improve IVF success rates, at least in some contexts. even though I'm inclined to think that probably all boils down to placebo and/or relaxation You don't have to be a believer, right? As I said, I have had past positive experience with a different practitioner.

My problem with this particular practitioner is that I didn't ask for her stupid opinion on whether or not it worked, based on my pulse. That may make sense in CM but to me, not only is that horseshit, it's also unprofessional and unethical. The last acupuncturist did no such thing and I could not imagine her dreaming of doing anything like that. I was shocked and upset because all along I've been having this nervous quiet confident feeling that something is happening and her words - and the way she said them - have damaged that.

Also, she contradicted herself. First she said that a pregnant woman's pulse is very distinctive: slippery, was her word to describe it. Then she said mine felt like something was happening but as though hedging her bets played it down. My body apparently, is trying to be pregnant or some crap like that But not to worry, I was an excellent candidate for acupuncture! If I get a BFP, all I have to do is come to her once a week for 12 weeks and hey presto, entirely thanks to her, all will be well.

Grr. grr. grr.

lauralai Tue 11-Apr-17 17:15:29

I would speak to your practitioner. I'm sure she didn't mean to cause you any additional stress and may have not realised how it came across. She shouldn't have given you her opinion and will probably aprechiate the feedback. I know lots of nurses that hae said stupid things to patients, we all say the wrong thing sometimes. Its not professional but we can learn from mistakes.

I would say she proably isn't trying to just get your money by advising you to come in the first few weeks. There is an increased chance of miscarraige with any IVF pregnancy and she is probably just trying to support you and increase your chances, but again hasn't comunicated to you well enough why she wants to offer this support. If you find acupuncture benificial but don't like this practitioner there is no reason why you can't look for a different one.

I would say take a moment to calm down and don't let this cause you any more stress than it already has. No practitioner no matter how good can predict the outcome of IVF from the pulse. Good Luck xx

TCMpractitioner Tue 11-Apr-17 19:41:34

As an acupuncturist, I want to say a few things.
It is possible to say a LOT from a pulse. Including if you are excessively tired, or you've had a very stressful time or even if you are feeling hungry all the time or you've had/have a cold and a hell of a lot of other things.
I know it sounds bonkers. It used to make me hmm that is until i have see it happening for myself so many times that I know you can tell a lot.

Yang (and Yin) is the basis of Tradinitional Chinese Medicine and that's how she will have made her diagnosis and treated you so nothing really surprising there. It's not western medecine, just a very different system that looks at the body in a different way. Again, it sounds unusual and bonkers when you don't what on earth is Yin and Yang but it does make a lot of sense to the 'experts' smile maybe a bit like when a consultant is talking about translocator and ATP and ADP etc... and you have no idea what they are talking about. It's always strange and a bit frightening when you didn't understand the words.

Re the treatment in the first trimester. I always, always advise any of my patients that have an IVF to do that. It's not because I want more money but because it is a very critical time in the pregnancy. You want to support the body so it can support a healthy pregnancy. It's also a very anxious time for all the ladies I have treated and have done an IVF. So I always want to help on that side too (I imagine you have been able to feel how relaxing an acupuncture treatment is).
Also after the IVF, you are often left on your own after a month or more of scans, blood tests and reviews. It can be scary and lonely and feeling you are still getting some support is worth it (At least, that's what my patients are telling me wink)
Finally, there is little that western medicine can do at that stage, bar using progesterone. Whereas acupuncture can still do a lot. So why not using that tool too?

Last word re the comment about your chance of getting pregnant. I think it was a very clumsy way to say that yes you can get pregnant, but you might also need some support once you are pregnant. I have to say I personally keep quiet because I know by experience that what you say can be misinterpreted wildly in those circumstances. It's hard to be able to explain in lay terms something that is based in a completely different philosophy and a different view of the body. If you don't get it right, it can be quite disheartening and it sounds like that's what has happened.

What I have picked up though is the fact she said you have a fair chance to become pregnant and I would keep that in mind. You did get pregnant before so why not this time?

I really hope you will get the result you are hoping for. Good luck smile

TCMpractitioner Tue 11-Apr-17 19:45:49

Sorry Xpost with you.

OstrichRunning Tue 11-Apr-17 19:47:41

Thanks lauralai. I'm a lot calmer now smile

SpreadYourHappiness Tue 11-Apr-17 19:50:54

Acupuncture is a load of bullshit; just ignore her.

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