Q: I have been looking into acupuncture for fertility issues. I have found a acupuncturist via your website but would like to confirm if all practitioners on your list are qualified for fertility acupuncture?
A: This is a rather interesting question! From one perspective, it would be very easy to say that there is no such thing as 'fertility acupuncture' as a separate sub-division within Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are a number of books which deal extensively with the medical issues which arise within pregnancy and trying to get pregnant, and in the UK a number of courses which bow equip people to focus more of their time on women who are trying to become pregnant or have become so. The differentiations on which diagnosis is based, however, are the same ones that everyone uses in treating any patient. There is even a school of thought which sees failure to get pregnant in the most general terms as a sign/symptom that the system as a whole is out of balance. Treating to establish balance, what we tend to term generalist treatment, is seen as the best way of dealing with the issue, and this expert has been successful on a number of occasions in helping patients become pregnant when there were no obvious signs of poor function in the system, but the whole system was slightly out of balance.
That said, the courses which people take and the specialist books do provide practitioners with a very good background in the western medicine of fertility treatment, and benefit from the experience of practitioners of great experience who have been able to distil the wisdom gained from decades of practice into a form which enables the postgraduate student to have a clear understanding of how the major differentiations within the system manifest in the more precisely defined areas of the body involved in pregnancy.
In summary, any BAcC member is adequately equipped to treat you, but there is a growing number who have undertaken postgraduate training with the three or four best known organisations or individuals, and who will be more than happy to provide references to their bona fides from these courses. These courses will have familiarised them with a great deal of the process of fertility treatment in the UK, and also with the specific manifestations of imbalance which affect the early stages of trying to get pregnant. We, of course, cannot name them, because we cannot be seen to endorse one course over others, but it takes very little internet research to establish the three front-runners. The course providers maintain searchable databases to enable members of the public to identify someone whom they have trained.