I am a doctor and therefore a natural sceptic of of 'alternative' medicine. However, after going through the emotional misery of 18 months of failing to conceive naturally, starting acupuncture seemed to provide me with a breathing space to allow me to get my emotions back under control. I continued it through 2 cycles of IVF and am now pregnant. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.
I first went to see Mike having suffered two miscarriages and desperate to have a baby. I suffered from endometriosis and knew that at 42 time was not on my side. I had read that acupuncture can help in IVF cases but wanted to see if it could help my situation.
When I met Mike he was extremely positive and after my first session I left feeling more relaxed and as though there was indeed hope for me. Within weeks I fell pregnant and I am delighted to say that I now have a beautiful baby girl. Mike helped me through the first few weeks of my pregnancy related nausea and I have seen him since my daughter was born by caesarean.
Each session following the caesarean left me feeling full of energy and relaxed which is very much needed when looking after a new baby. I will never know if the acupuncture was the reason I managed to carry a baby to full time but I would recommend acupuncture to anyone (especially the 'doubting Thomas's). If nothing else it made me feel more positive, relaxed and able to focus my energies on achieving what I longed for.
I'm 38 years old and my husband and I have been trying to conceive for about 8 years. We've had a few failed IVF and IUI attempts and then gave up trying in 2001. In 2006 we decided to have another go at IVF under the care of the ACU (part of UCH London). Our fertility problems in the past were diagnosed as being the result of blocked tubes - my eggs seemed to be okay in 2001 when I was getting between 9 and 10 per cycle.
It was quite a blow therefore when UCH did the preliminary FSH and E2 tests to discover that although my FSH was borderline (9.5), my ovaries did not respond to the E2 test at all (so no uplift in estradiol levels as a result of stimulating).
We were advised by the consultant that IVF would probably be unsuccessful and that we should reconsider investing the energy and funds. I was absolutely devastated and couldn't believe that the quality of my eggs had deteriorated so much in just 5 years.
We decided to proceed with the IVF cycle anyway the following month (I just couldn't bear the thought of giving up, had put aside the money and already booked time off work). Unbelievably, I produced 15 eggs (a record for me), 7 embryos, 4 of which went on to become healthy blastocysts. Best of all, I am now 14 weeks pregnant with twins!!! And we have two frozen embryos in storage.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this incredible turn around is in part due to the acupuncture treatment. Of course the careful monitoring and care of the doctors, embryologists and staff at ACU were vital in making this happen for us, but your body needs to play its part too and I don't think mine would have done that without the acupuncture treatment (well, there was clear evidence before the time that it wouldn't). I'm also convinced that the treatment just prior to and after embryo transfer makes a difference - we've had two embryos put back on previous occasions without implantation.
On a personal note, about Mike, what I really liked about my first consultation with him is that I didn't have to explain any of the fertility terminology, he's very well versed in all things fertility related - something he's clearly passionate and knowledgeable about. He also takes a holistic view of the body and mind to treat the whole person, not just an isolated problem. I also found Mike to be compassionate, professional and very supportive throughout the process and always looked forward to the treatments which left me feeling calm and positive during this stressful time.
Lisa and Richard
Eight months ago this Saturday our beautiful baby daughter was born. She is very much a miracle baby, conceived through our first go at IVF (ICSI), despite my treatment producing only three eggs, and problems with my husband's sperm quality and motility. I totally believe that the acupuncture treatments we received from Mike played a significant part in her birth.
My husband saw Mike in the weeks running up to our treatment, and I saw Mike for several months before my treatment started. We had decided to throw everything we had at our problems, which meant taking a holistic approach, changing our diets, taking supplements and having regular acupuncture treatments. I continued to see Mike halfway through my treatment when it became clear things weren't going well (the drugs designed to stimulate my eggs weren't having the desired effect), and twice on the day of my fertilised eggs being put back - once before, and once after.
Throughout, Mike was always calm, sensitive and kind. There were times when I was feeling extremely vulnerable and sensitive, and Mike was brilliant at keeping me calm and positive.
We were the happiest people on the planet when it was confirmed that the ICSI had worked, and I was pregnant. I carried on seeing Mike regularly throughout my pregnancy. I like to think it's karma that I had the best pregnancy ever! No sickness, no tiredness, I felt brilliant throughout and full of energy. I am sure that this was down to being in such good health when the treatment started, and the needles played a big part.
Both my husband and I would recommend Mike without any hesitation.
Having never had acupuncture before I wasn't sure what to expect but Charlotte was very professional, friendly and put me at ease straight away. I thoroughly enjoyed our sessions and Charlotte's caring and understanding nature made my treatment even more beneficial... I would highly recommend her as a practitioner.
When I first went to have acupuncture I was at my lowest. Although my partner and I were getting on with life, clearly things were difficult. Before coming to see Mike I had recently had a miscarriage. It was my first pregnancy and it was twins. I lost both. Even though the pregnancy was unplanned, it took some time to get over. We decided that as so much time had passed and with all the stress, we would seek medical advice from our doctor regarding fertility treatment. We were given a referral to a consultant and set out having the all the blood tests done etc. When we finally got to see a consultant, we were advised that we should consider IUI as this would give us a better chance of pregnancy. MY FSH level was 11 and the doctor discussed no other options such as IVF with us.
As we relied very much on the consultants advice we went ahead and had IUI. Needless to say, this did not work. This further resulted in more stress. It was at this point I started to consider alternative help. I was already familiar with alternative treatments and felt that I should look into having acupuncture not just to help with fertility but for my general health and feelings of lowness and lack of energy.
I have now been having acupuncture for almost a year and have felt my overall health improve. I particularly asked Mike to concentrate on help with my hormone levels and fertility for both myself and my partner. Last month we decided we were ready to try fertility treatment and went again for the blood tests. Much to my astonishment, my FSH level came back as 8. This I was told was a very good result.
The results and changes in my hormone levels I can only put down to the acupuncture treatments. This has helped both myself and my partner to feel more positive about life. We are now in the process of seeing a consultant regarding IVF and will continue with acupuncture for support with this. I would recommend acupuncture any any couple who are in a similar position to us as it can make a difference to your life.
I'd suffered a miscarriage in April and by September I still wasn't pregnant and feeling very low. I saw my doctor and he said I just had to give my body time to recover from the miscarriage. My period cycle was then 49 days but the doctor still advised me to just give it time. A couple of friends suggested acupuncture and I found Mike through my work website. Mike spent the first 20-30 minutes asking questions and listening which is what I really needed at the time. It was so good to talk to someone who cared and seemed to understand why I felt so stressed and down. I also suffer from IBS and Mike said he could help to relieve those symptoms as well.
After the first couple of sessions I noticed an improvement in my stress levels. I felt happier, had more energy and according to my husband was a lot calmer. A few sessions later my IBS symptoms noticeably improved. I have always suffered from constipation and stomach problems and I noticed a considerable improvement. As well as acupuncture Mike used some chinese herbs which give the most wonderful feeling of warmth and relaxation.
The great news is that I finally got pregnant and am now nearly 12 weeks. In fact Mike's new treatment is to try and alleviate my nausea! I would recommend Mike not only for his skills as an acupuncturist but also for his compassion, interest, professionalism and ability to understand symptoms and feelings. Acupuncture helped me in so many ways from my stress to IBS to helping me become pregnant, I would recommend it to anyone. It's painfree, calming and very relaxing and best of all, it works.
I contacted The Helix Clinic after finding out that my husband and I suffered from fertility issues and had three unsuccessful attempts at insemination. I had read some articles about how acupuncture treatment appeared to boost the success rates of IVF treatment and was willing to give it a go. I found the Helix Clinic website unintimidating, the locations were handy both for work and the fertility clinic we were using.
Immediately I spoke to Mike I felt put at ease, he was good at listening, knew all the IVF jargon, and was able to make me pay more attention to my body without it feeling like a medical situation. We started the sessions right away since our IVF cycle had commenced.
Initially our time was taken with preparing for egg collection and embryo transfer. Later I enjoyed the sessions as relaxation, almost meditation, and a chance for me to talk about the niggles that I would not have brought to the attention of my doctor. My husband and I were lucky in that our first IVF cycle was successful, we conceived twins and gave birth to a healthy boy and girl at 39 weeks gestation with a natural delivery for both. During this time, Mike was able to relieve my stuffy nose, sore throat and achy hip joints. I am sure that the acupuncture helped me achieve a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Having decided to start trying for a baby, it seemed that my body was just not playing ball and my periods started being extremely irregular and it was really getting me down. A friend recommended visiting Mike for acupuncture and I thought I would give it a go, despite feeling quite sceptical.
After a thorough initial consultation and then a session with needles, I went away feeling serene and more relaxed I had done in ages. The most bizarre thing was that after a 3 month break, my period arrived the next day!
I continued to attend weekly for a three month period and I'm happy to say that I am now 12 weeks pregnant. Acupuncture certainly worked for me and Mike deserves credit for helping me through what was an extremely difficult and worrying time.
I had terrible problems sleeping and suffered many sleepless nights. I was at breaking point where I thought I would go mad until I read about acupuncture in a woman's magazine . My main problem was that I had such a hectic lifestyle, I'd do anything for anyone and push myself to such limits that I'd end up being exhausted. I was in such a state, so was not very hopeful about acupuncture working for me.
Mike was absolutely fantastic - he was so kind and caring that he made me feel so at ease. Acupuncture is also fantastic. When I first went I was not a happy and well person, but I left Mike's clinic every week feeling totally and absolutely relaxed and calm. I had about 6 sessions with Mike and now I can cope a lot better. It's not only the acupuncture but also the person behind it that helped me.
For the last 4 months I have had acupuncture sessions with Mike as I was experiencing a total lack of energy and back pain. Mike conducted an interview to understand my lifestyle and nutrition and was able to address these issues through acupuncture and cupping as well as herbal medicine.
Immediately after the first session, my energy levels were restored and a general sense of well-being was established. Mike has the ability to understand a patient's needs and provides immediate relief with his treatment as well as long term lasting support with his experience in other areas. I am now coping better with my stress and have a very positive, energetic attitude towards life.
If you are afraid of needles, don't be! They are barely noticeable and the benefits of the treatment can outnumber any little phobias.
I had just had an abortion and it left me feeling empty and depressed. I was also feeling very tired all the time and was suffering from anxiety. I felt bogged down emotionally.
It was really good going to see Mike, I was able to talk about what was going on with my mind and body and he understood. Then when I had the treatments I could feel the needles working straight away. I felt tearful for a short time after my first couple of treatments and then I felt brighter and more positive. It had a very calming effect on me and I could feel energy flowing around my body. I have much more energy and feel more focused. It feels as though I have been taken to new energy levels I never thought I had.
I have found that my feelings of anxiety have gone and my depression lifted. Acupuncture has really helped me, it has enabled me to relax with myself and I feel like I have been ‘unblocked’. The changes acupuncture has brought to my mental, emotional and physical state are incredible, it’s magical stuff.
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