Acupuncturist spreads joy one baby at a time

Becoming a parent is an important step in life.

For women trying to become pregnant without success, frustration is often followed by sadness. But one of your neighbors is trying to help the process along, backed by thousands of years of tradition.

Kirsten Karchmer is one of only about 100 acupuncturists in
the U.S. specializing in the area of fertility.

"I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world," Karchmer said of the opportunity she has to help women looking to start a family at the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture.

Client Christy Martin feels like she is one of the lucky ones. After two years of trying to become pregnant, she almost gave
up when her doctor said her ovaries were basically done.

Now, Christy says thanks to Karchmer's treatments, she's
expecting a girl next month.

"I finally got the nursery -- that was my big thing. [My baby] is very active and I'm ready for her to be out so I can start playing with her," Martin said.

When it comes to fertility, Karchmer says some of the benefits
of acupuncture and Chinese medicine include regulating hormonal balance and reducing stress.

The research that's published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, which is a modern, mainstream medical journal, demonstrates that acupuncture has the ability to improve blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and down regulate Cortisol which improves the regulation of fertility hormones," Karchmer said.

Karchmer is a former college professor who turned to acupuncture herself about 10 years ago when she faced
mobility problems. She went from walking with a cane to normal mobility, thanks to acupuncture.

"I started reading about it and I thought, 'this is what I want to
do,' " she remembered.

Some who practice traditional Western medicine caution against
using herbal supplements without consulting a doctor. However, Karchmer claims a 92 percent success rate among women
who seek her treatment. She says there's now a growing
trend of medical doctors working in conjunction with acupuncturists.

"It's something else [women] can try alone or in conjunction with
their reproductive technology to maximize the chance that they can get and stay pregnant," Karchmer said.

Karchmer and husband David, also an acupuncturist, have two children, and appreciate the opportunity to help others discover the joys of parenthood.

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