Acupuncture Northwest & Associates



fertility acupuncture

Kaci Aitchson of Q13 came into our office a few weeks ago and filmed Stephanie treating a patient and then interviewed her about treating infertility with Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Two segments came out of that interview. Here they are!

Eastern medicine and fertility piece aired on October 11, 2017.

Stress, fertility and Eastern medicine segment aired October 10, 2017.

Stephanie was also on Q13 Facebook Live with Kaci at 11:15 on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017! Watch it here!

Schedule Appointment

Schedule Free Phone Consultation

Fertility 101 Class Registration

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The Associates

Massage for Fertility

Our associates include fertility massage therapists who specialize in manual therapy for fertility enhancement and are certified in Maya Abdominal Therapy.
Coming in March of 2018, psychotherapy services return to our Seattle office. Get more information here.

 Explore our Corporate Wellness Programs here

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I’m New!

Welcome to Acupuncture Northwest & Associates.

You’ve come to the right place.

We offer a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our acupuncturists to answer any of your questions.

Here is some information that you may want as a new patient to Acupuncture Northwest & Associates.   If you have any questions, please contact us.

Schedule Appointment

Schedule Free Phone Consultation

Fertility 101 Class Registration


Click here to watch a short video on a visit to the acupuncture clinic.




Your First Acupuncture Visit

Your first treatment will begin with an extensive interview covering most aspects of your health and habits. The practitioner will then look at your tongue and feel your pulse. All the information will be assessed to create a total picture of your state of health. If we feel that Chinese medicine would be effective for you, a treatment plan will then be written especially for you. An acupuncture treatment will be given and you may get a customized herbal formula. Your first treatment will take about 90 minutes, with subsequent treatments lasting 45-60 minutes.

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles and is generally painless. A dull or achy sensation may be felt with needle insertion and this is very normal. All needles used are ONE-TIME USE, sterile and disposable. Most people find acupuncture very relaxing; in fact, many patients fall asleep on the table.


To prepare for an acupuncture treatment:

• Wear comfortable clothing

• Do not eat a big meal just prior

• But do not be hungry


Your First Manual Therapy/Massage

Therapeutic Swedish massage is available in the Seattle office. She is in network with Aetna.

Maya Abdominal Massage (MAM) is founded on the ancient Mayan technique of abdominal massage which is an external non-invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, which can restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerves and qi.

Using MAM is an important component of your fertility enhancement at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates. We recommend a MAM consultation for all of our fertility patients, to know where your uterus and other organs are positioned and whether adhesions are found. MAM is especially helpful when you have physical stagnations in the lower abdomen, such as: adhesions, polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts or tubal blockages.

self care

Learn self-care techniques to do at home.


Consult on lifestyle, nutrition and overall health.


Have abdomen and reproductive organs assessed for adhesions and position.


Repositioning of internal organs and breaking up stagnations.


To prepare for a Maya Abdominal Massage:

Maya Abdominal Massage is similar to getting a deep tissue massage except that the abdomen is focused on, which is something many people haven’t experienced. See the massage page for more information.

Just like when preparing for an acupuncture treatment:

• Do not eat a big meal just prior

• But do not be hungry

• Insurance does not cover Maya Abdominal Massage

Schedule Appointment

Schedule Free Phone Consultation


If you have any questions, please contact us.

Meet Us

Acupuncture Northwest & Associates is an acupuncture clinic with locations in Seattle and Tacoma. We specialize in sports medicine, fertility enhancement, and the treatment of women during pregnancy.  We treat many other issues as well, such as allergies, chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia.
All of our acupuncturists treat pain but we also have several providers who have advanced training in sports medicine. In terms of treating infertility, Acupuncture Northwest has over half of Washington State’s nationally certified fertility acupuncturists (ABORM).  Several of our acupuncturists have gone on to work at both the Mayo and the Cleveland Clinics.
We also have massage therapists who specialize in fertility enhancement. And starting in March of 2018, we will once again have psychotherapy services.


Fertility Acupuncture

Helping bring healthy children into loving homes.

“I refer patients who are interested in acupuncture and an Eastern approach to fertility care to Acupuncture Northwest because they are professional, board certified in fertility acupuncture, and I get wonderful feedback from patients that do treatment there. They enhance a holistic approach to care and spend time working on lifestyle changes that can improve overall health.” Dr. Lora Shahine of Pacific Northwest Fertility & IVF Specialists

We are highly specialized in fertility acupuncture, with clinics in Seattle and Tacoma. We have the most nationally certified reproductive acupuncturists (ABORM) in Washington State. Fertility massage is also available in both Seattle and Tacoma.

All of our practitioners are highly specialized in the field of infertility treatment and fertility enhancement. We will put together a comprehensive plan that covers all areas of your life in order to optimize your fertility. We also know and work closely with the fertility doctors in the area.


Schedule Appointment

Schedule Free Phone Consultation

How we can help

It is our honor to help people create all types of families.

Whether you are trying naturally with with western medicine, we are here to help.  Chinese medicine works with both female and male factor infertility. See below for more information.

The book

Clinic director, Stephanie Gianarelli wrote Planting the Seeds of Pregnancy with Dr. Lora Shahine. Read more about the book here.

Informational videos

Watch short informational videos made by our practitioners on our YouTube channel with topics such as Female Fertility Enhancement, Male Fertility EnhancementPCOS, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, and Diminished Ovarian Reserve!

Press coverage

Kaci Aitchson of Q13 came into our office in September 2017 and filmed Stephanie treating a patient and then interviewed her about treating infertility with Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Two segments came out of that interview. Here they are!

Eastern medicine and fertility piece aired on October 11, 2017.

Stress, fertility and Eastern medicine segment aired October 10, 2017.

Stephanie was also on Q13 Facebook Live with Kaci October 11th, 2017! Watch it here!

Acupuncture Northwest & Associates has been featured in the Seattle Times, on Q13 FOX News, KING 5, Warm 106.9, KOMO 4, and in Alternative Medicine Magazine, Seattle Magazine and South Sound Magazine for our work with fertility enhancementOur expert practitioners have also written articles for RESOLVE’s national publication, Family Building Magazine. See our Media Page for all of media coverage, informational videos, awards, books, articles and classes.

Preserve and Enhance Your Fertility

Free class held the first Thursday of every month from 12-1pm

Come to our FREE class on fertility enhancement for both men and women!

Get nutrition and lifestyle advice that you can start using today to help maximize your fertility. And learn how Chinese medicine can assist your quest for a family.

Bring your lunch and join us in the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the Medical Dental Building 509 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

Fertility 101 Class Registration

Or call us at 206-332-0868 for more information or simply drop in!

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been proven to enhance and treat female infertility.

The body’s ability to conceive rests on a myriad of organs and complicated processes.   Because Chinese medicine is holistic (it focuses on the body as a unit and not just its individual parts), our goal is to get you as healthy as possible to increases your chances of conception.  We want to make sure that all of your organ systems are functioning properly so that your body can create new life.

Studies have demonstrated the ability of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to regulate hormonal balance, resolve menstrual irregularities and enhance endocrine function (See the Research Pages).  Also, Chinese medical theory believes that there is a connection between the emotional and the physical.  Therefore, by connecting the Uterus with the Kidneys, Heart and Brain, we can impact how emotions affect endocrine function, as well as create a sense of peace and well being while trying to conceive.

Diagnoses often helped by Chinese Medicine:

Treating Male Factor Infertility

Did you know that a man’s fertility is as important as the woman’s, especially when it comes to miscarriage rates and the health of the child to be? And Chinese Medicine treats men as well as women.

Working with male factor is an often over-looked step in the pregnancy process, but one that we strongly suggest. Several studies have shown that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are often helpful for most sperm parameters.

Traditional Chinese Medicine works with:
  • Low sperm count
  • Decreased sperm morphology
  • Poor liquefaction
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Varicocele
  • Prostate swelling
  • Pre-mature ejaculation
  • Anxiety/Hopelessness/Depression

See the Research Pages page for research done with Chinese medicine and male factor.

Even if you are “bypassing” the male factor with IVF/ICSI, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are helpful for getting the sperm/male partner as healthy as possible for passing on his genes to the next generation. Everyone can agree that they only want the very best for their children.

Helping IVF With Acupuncture

As IVF statistics continue to increase, do we  need acupuncture and Chinese medicine?  Let’s go back.  When Acupuncture Northwest was founded in 2000, IVF success rates were being reported at 21.8% (1.).  As of 2012, some IVF clinics are boasting up to 82.4% success rate (with women under 35) and 47.1% (with women 41-42 years of age) (2.).  With all of this progress in the field of reproductive medicine, does acupuncture still have a place?

Absolutely!  Chinese medicine has at least 3 major roles to play in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). 

  • Further increase IVF success rates, including an increase in blood flow to the ovaries and uterus (see the Research Pages).
  • Decrease the side effects of the medications.
  • Getting the parent(s) in the best health possible so you can optimize your health and the health of your unborn child through pre-conception care.


1. Data on IVF clinics show wide variation in success rate,   BMJ. 2002 August 31; 325(7362): 460.   PMCID: PMC1169457 


Although we are credentialed with all of the major insurance plans in the State of Washington, at this time most insurance plans will not cover acupuncture for fertility enhancement. If you have acupuncture benefits with your insurance plan, we recommend that you check with your insurance plan before you come in to see if they will cover acupuncture for fertility enhancement or infertility.  Here is a July 23, 2015 letter from an insurance company denying a patient for fertility acupuncture:

“Your condition does not meet medical necessity criteria or guideline at the time because: Treatment to increase fertility is not considered medically necessary. Treatment to increase fertility is not treatment for a specific illness or injury; it is considered treatment primarily for your convenience. Treatment primarily for your convenience is not considered medically necessary. Fertility treatment is excluded from your acupuncture benefit and cannot be approved.”

Although we are more than willing to bill your insurance for issues outside of fertility, at this time, unless your insurance specifically allows for fertility acupuncture, we are unfortunately unable to bill your insurance. Feel free to call your insurance and tell them how you feel about this.

Chinese Medicine and Fertility Research













Male Factor Studies

Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities.

Edson Gurfinkel, Agnaldo P. Cedenho, Ysao Yamamura, Miguel Srougi  – Human Reproduction Division, Discipline of Urology, São Paulo Federal University, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil  – Asian J Androl 2003 Dec; 5: 345-348

CONCLUSION(S): The Chinese Traditional Medicine acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause.


Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Schechter L, Maimon Y, Lederman H, Bartoov B. Asian J Androl. 2009 Mar;11(2):200-8. doi: 10.1038/aja.2008.4. Epub 2009 Jan 5.

Source: Maccabi Fund Complementary Medicine, Kaufman Street, Tel Aviv 68012, Israel.

Conclusions: Low sperm count in patients with inflammation of the genital tract seems to be associated with scrotal hyperthermia, and, consequently, acupuncture treatment is recommended for these men.


Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.

Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7 Fertility and Sterility

CONCLUSION(S): The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture, although we did not identify specific sperm pathologies that could be particularly sensitive to this therapy.


A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia

Dieterle et al Fertil Steril 2009 Oct; 92 (4): 1340–3  Fertility and Sterility

CONCLUSION(S): This recent small clinical trial randomized 57 patients who had extremely low sperm counts, to acupuncture and placebo acupuncture groups. After receiving acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks motility of sperm (but not overall count) was found to increase significantly. The authors conclude that the results of the present study support the significance of acupuncture in male patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. More evidence with larger trials needs to be accumulated before the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility can be evaluated.


Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B., Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.

Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture may be a useful, non-traumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.


Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Zabludovsky N, Bartoov B. Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61.

Source: Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients exhibiting a low fertility potential due to reduced sperm activity may benefit from acupuncture treatment.


Female Fertility Studies

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review.

Ried K, Stuart K., 2011, Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.


Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system.

Stener-Victorin E, Wu X., Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden.

ABSTRACT: The use of acupuncture to treat reproductive dysfunction has not been well investigated. Only a few clinical studies have been reported, most of which are flawed by poor design and a lack of valid outcome measures and diagnostic criteria, making the results difficult to interpret. Experimental studies, however, show that acupuncture has substantial effects on reproductive function. Here we review the possible mechanisms of action of acupuncture on the reproductive system and its effects on reproductive dysfunction, focusing in particular on polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common endocrine and metabolic disorder in women. Clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates that acupuncture is a suitable alternative or complement to pharmacological induction of ovulation, without adverse side effects. Clearly, acupuncture modulates endogenous regulatory systems, including the sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine system, and the neuroendocrine system. Randomized clinical trials are warranted to further evaluate the clinical effects of acupuncture in reproductive disorders.


Effects of acupuncture on LIF and IL-12 in rats of implantation failure.

Gui J, Xiong F, Yang W, Li J, Huang G. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 May;67(5):383-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2011.01097.x. Epub 2012 Jan 9.  – Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture could improve the poor receptive state of endometrium by promoting LIF and IL-12 secretion to improve blastocyst implantation.


Chinese Herbal Medicine Fertility Studies

Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: a systematic review.

(also in the Female Fertility Section)

Ried K, Stuart K., Complement Ther Med. 2011 Dec;19(6):319-31.

CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF. Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.


Chinese herbal medicine and clomiphene citrate for anovulation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

See CJ, McCulloch M, Smikle C, Gao J., J Altern Complement Med. 2011 May;17(5):397-405.

CONCLUSIONS: Chinese herbal medicine may increase the effectiveness of CC therapy. However, the RCTs are of poor methodological quality and small sample size, and the results require confirmation with rigorously controlled studies.


Acupuncture and IVF

Influence of acupuncture on the outcomes of in vitro fertilisation when embryo implantation has failed: a prospective randomised controlled clinical trial.

di Villahermosa DI, Dos Santos LG, Nogueira MB, Vilarino FL, Barbosa CP. Acupuncture in Medicine 2013 Jun;31(2):157-61. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2012-010269. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Source: Faculty of Medicine of ABC, Clinic for Human Reproduction, Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil.

RESULTS: The clinical pregnancy rate in the acupuncture group was significantly higher than that in the control and sham groups (35.7% vs 7.1% vs 10.7%; p=0.0169).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, acupuncture and moxibustion increased pregnancy rates when used as an adjuvant treatment in women undergoing IVF, when embryo implantation had failed.


Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment.

Magarelli PC, Cridennda DK, Cohen M., Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.10.067. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

CONCLUSION(S): In this study, there appears to be a beneficial regulation of CORT and PRL in the Ac group during the medication phase of the IVF treatment with a trend toward more normal fertile cycle dynamics.


Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial.

Fertil Steril. 2006 May;85(5):1341-6. Epub 2006 Apr 5. Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J. – Fertility Clinic Trianglen, Hellerup, Denmark.

CONCLUSION(S): Acupuncture on the day of ET significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF/ICSI, compared with no acupuncture. Repeating acupuncture on ET day +2 provided no additional beneficial effect.


Use of acupuncture in female infertility and a summary of recent acupuncture studies related to embryo transfer.

Stener-Victorin E, Humaidan P., Acupunct Med. 2006 Dec;24(4):157-63.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiolopgy, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden.

ABSTRACT: During the last five years the use of acupuncture in female infertility as an adjuvant to conventional treatment in assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased in popularity. The present paper briefly discusses clinical and experimental data on the effect of acupuncture on uterine and ovarian blood flow, as an analgesic method during ART, and on endocrine and metabolic disturbances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Further it gives a summary of recent studies evaluating the effect of acupuncture before and after embryo transfer on pregnancy outcome. Of the four published RCTs, three reveal significantly higher pregnancy rates in the acupuncture groups compared with the control groups. But the use of different study protocols makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. It seems, however, that acupuncture has a positive effect and no adverse effects on pregnancy outcome.


Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy.

Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):721-4. Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, El-Danasouri I, Sterzik K. – Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany.

CONCLUSION(S):  Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART.


Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis.

Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. BMJ. 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9. doi: 10.1136/bmj.39471.430451.BE. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

CONCLUSIONS: Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.


Acupuncture and Blood Flow to the Uterus

Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture.

Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Andersson SA, Wikland M., Hum Reprod. 1996 Jun;11(6):1314-7.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fertility Centre Scandinavia, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.

CONCLUSION:  Compared to the mean baseline PI (pulsatility index), the mean PI was significantly reduced both shortly after the eighth EA treatment (P < 0.0001) and 10-14 days after the EA period (P < 0.0001).



Acupuncture for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial.

Johansson J, Redman L, Veldhuis PP, Sazonova A, Labrie F, Holm G, Johannsson G, Stener-Victorin E.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 12.  University of Gothenburg.

CONCLUSION(S): We conclude that repeated acupuncture treatments resulted in higher ovulation frequency in lean/overweight women with PCOS and were more effective than just meeting with the therapist. Ovarian and adrenal sex steroid serum levels were reduced with no effect on LH secretion.


Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.

Jedel E, Labrie F, Odén A, Holm G, Nilsson L, Janson PO, Lind AK, Ohlsson C, Stener-Victorin E., Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan;300(1):E37-45. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00495.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

Source: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Conclusions: Low-frequency EA and physical exercise improved hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency more effectively than no intervention in women with PCOS. Low-frequency EA was superior to physical exercise and may be useful for treating hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea.


Current evidence of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Lim CE, Wong WS., Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Jun;26(6):473-8. doi: 10.3109/09513591003686304.

Source: Faculty of Medicine, South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment to PCOS as the adverse effects of pharmacologic interventions are not expected by women with PCOS. Acupuncture therapy may have a role in PCOS by: increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia. However, well-designed, randomised controlled trials are needed to elucidate the true effect of acupuncture on PCOS.


Low-frequency electro-acupuncture and physical exercise improve metabolic disturbances and modulate gene expression in adipose tissue in rats with dihydrotestosterone-induced polycystic ovary syndrome.

Mannerås L, Jonsdottir IH, Holmäng A, Lönn M, Stener-Victorin E., Endocrinology. 2008 Jul;149(7):3559-68. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0053. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

CONCLUSIONS: EA and exercise ameliorate insulin resistance in rats with PCOS. This effect may involve regulation of adipose tissue metabolism and production because EA and exercise each partly restore divergent adipose tissue gene expression associated with insulin resistance, obesity, and inflammation. In contrast to exercise, EA improves insulin sensitivity and modulates adipose tissue gene expression without influencing adipose tissue mass and cellularity.


Hypothetical physiological and molecular basis for the effect of acupuncture in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Stener-Victorin E., Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013 Jul 5;373(1-2):83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Source: Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Box 434, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.

ABSTRACT: Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that acupuncture may be a safe alternative or complement in the treatment of endocrine and reproductive function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This review describes potential etiological factors of PCOS with the aim to support potential mechanism of action of acupuncture to relieve PCOS related symptoms. The theory that increased sympathetic activity contributes to the development and maintenance of PCOS is presented, and that the effects of acupuncture are, at least in part, mediated by modulation of sympathetic outflow. While there are no relevant randomized controlled studies on the use of acupuncture to treat metabolic abnormalities in women with PCOS, a number of experimental studies indicate that acupuncture may improve metabolic dysfunction. For each aspect of PCOS, it is important to pursue new treatment strategies that have fewer negative side effects than drug treatments, as women with PCOS often require prolonged treatment.



Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. 

Manber R, Schnyer RN, Lyell D, Chambers AS, Caughey AB, Druzin M, Carlyle E, Celio C, Gress JL, Huang MI, Kalista T, Martin-Okada R, Allen JJ., Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;115(3):511-20. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181cc0816.

Source: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

CONCLUSION: The short acupuncture protocol demonstrated symptom reduction and a response rate comparable to those observed in standard depression treatments of similar length and could be a viable treatment option for depression during pregnancy.


The current use of acupuncture during pregnancy and childbirth.

Xu J, MacKenzie IZ., Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Mar;24(2):65-71. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32834fead1.

Source: Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom.

CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture therapy may offer some advantage over conventional treatment in the management of hyperemesis gravidarum and postcaesarean section pain and these areas warrant further study. Rigorous randomized studies, particularly those using objective measures, have failed to identify any obvious benefits from acupuncture for many of the other conditions studied.


Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: randomised single blind controlled trial.

Elden H, Ladfors L, Olsen MF, Ostgaard HC, Hagberg H., BMJ. 2005 Apr 2;330(7494):761. Epub 2005 Mar 18.

Source: Perinatal Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Sahlgrenska Academy, East Hospital, 41685 Gothenburg, Sweden.

CONCLUSION: Acupuncture and stabilising exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilising exercises in this study.


Acupuncture for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy: a systematic review.

Ee CC, Manheimer E, Pirotta MV, White AR., Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;198(3):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.11.008.

Source: Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract: The objective of our study was to review the effectiveness of needle acupuncture in treating the common and disabling problem of pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Two small trials on mixed pelvic/back pain and 1 large high-quality trial on pelvic pain met the inclusion criteria. Acupuncture, as an adjunct to standard treatment, was superior to standard treatment alone and physiotherapy in relieving mixed pelvic/back pain. Women with well-defined pelvic pain had greater relief of pain with a combination of acupuncture and standard treatment, compared to standard treatment alone or stabilizing exercises and standard treatment. We used a narrative synthesis due to significant clinical heterogeneity between trials. Few and minor adverse events were reported. We conclude that limited evidence supports acupuncture use in treating pregnancy-related pelvic and back pain. Additional high-quality trials are needed to test the existing promising evidence for this relatively safe and popular complementary therapy.



Using moxibustion in primary healthcare to correct non-vertex presentation: a multicentre randomised controlled trial

Jorge Vas, José Manuel Aranda-Regules, Manuela Modesto, María Ramos-Monserrat, Mercedes Barón,

Inmaculada Aguilar, Nicolás Benítez-Parejo, Carmen Ramírez-Carmona, Francisco Rivas-Ruiz, Acupunct Med 2013;31:31-38 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2012-010261

Conclusions:Moxibustion at acupuncture point BL67 is effective and safe to correct non-vertex presentation when used between 33 and 35 weeks of gestation. We believe that moxibustion represents a treatment option that should be considered to achieve version of the non-vertex fetus.


Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Francesco Cardini, MD; Huang Weixin, MD JAMA. 1998;280:1580-1584

CONCLUSION(S):  Among primigravidas with breech presentation during the 33rd

week of gestation, moxibustion for 1 to 2 weeks increased fetal activity during the

treatment period and cephalic presentation after the treatment period and at



Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Apr;15(4):247-52.

Neri I, Airola G, Contu G, Allais G, Facchinetti F, Benedetto C.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

CONCLUSIONS:  Acupuncture plus moxibustion is more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth.


Acupuncture conversion of fetal breech presentation.

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2003 Nov-Dec;18(6):418-21.

Habek D, Cerkez Habek J, Jagust M.

Clinical Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Hospital Osijek, Osijek, Croatia.

CONCLUSIONS:  We believe that AP correction of fetal malpresentation is a relatively simple, efficacious and inexpensive method associated with a lower percentage of operatively completed deliveries, which definitely reflects in improved parameters of vital and perinatal statistics.



Influence of acupuncture on duration of labor.

Zeisler H, Tempfer C, Mayerhofer K, Barrada M, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, AKH, Austria. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1998;46(1):22-5.

CONCLUSION(S):  This study suggests that AP treatment is a recommendable form of childbirth preparation due to its positive effect on the duration of labor, namely by shortening the first stage of labor.


Electroacupuncture for cervical ripening prior to labor induction: a randomized clinical trial.

Gribel GP, Coca-Velarde LG, Moreira de Sá RA., Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Jun;283(6):1233-8. doi: 10.1007/s00404-010-1526-x. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Source: Maternidade Escola Hospital, Serviço de Obstetrícia, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rua das Laranjeiras, 180 (Laranjeiras), Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22240-003, Brazil.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that electroacupuncture can be used to obtain cervical ripening, with similar results as compared with misoprostol, with a significantly higher frequency of vaginal deliveries and without occurrence of obstetric complications.


Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labor at term–a randomized controlled trial.

Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Austria.  Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Dec 17;113(23-24):942-6

CONCLUSION(S):   Acupuncture at points LI4 and SP 6 supports cervical ripening at term and can shorten the time interval between the EDC and the actual time of delivery.



Article by Debra Betts (Debra Betts practises in New Zealand. She is also a tutor at the New

Zealand School of Acupuncture in Wellington.)



Clinical observation on the effects of electroacupuncture at Shaoze (SI 1) in 46 cases of postpartum insufficient lactation.

Wei L, Wang H, Han Y, Li C., Journal of Traditional Chin Med. 2008 Sep;28(3):168-72.

CONCLUSIONS: Electroacupuncture at Shaoze (SI 1) was obviously effective for postpartum insufficient lactation.


A randomised-controlled trial in Sweden of acupuncture and care interventions for the relief of inflammatory symptoms of the breast during lactation.

Kvist LJ, Hall-Lord ML, Rydhstroem H, Larsson BW., Midwifery. 2007 Jun;23(2):184-95. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Floor 2, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, SE-251 87 Sweden.

KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: If acupuncture treatment is acceptable to the mother, this, together with care interventions such as correction of breast feeding position and babies’ attachment to the breast, might be a more expedient and less invasive choice of treatment than the use of oxytocin nasal spray. Midwives, nurses or medical practitioners with specialist competence in breast feeding should be the primary care providers for mothers with inflammatory symptoms of the breast during lactation. The use of antibiotics for inflammatory symptoms of the breast should be closely monitored in order to help the global community reduce resistance development among bacterial pathogens.


Acupuncture treatment as breastfeeding support: preliminary data.

Neri I, Allais G, Vaccaro V, Minniti S, Airola G, Schiapparelli P, Benedetto C, Facchinetti F., Journal of Alternative Complementary Med. 2011 Feb;17(2):133-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0714. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Source: Mother-Infant Department, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

CONCLUSIONS: Such preliminary data suggest that 3 weeks of acupuncture treatment were more effective than observation alone in maintaining breastfeeding until the third month of the newborns’ lives.



Randomized non-invasive sham-controlled pilot trial of electroacupuncture for postpartum depression.

Chung KF, Yeung WF, Zhang ZJ, Yung KP, Man SC, Lee CP, Lam SK, Leung TW, Leung KY, Ziea ET, Taam Wong V., J Affect Disord. 2012 Dec 15;142(1-3):115-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Source: Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

CONCLUSION: Both electroacupuncture and non-invasive sham acupuncture were effective for postpartum depression. Further studies utilizing larger sample size, better recruitment strategies, and home-based acupuncture treatment are warranted.

Fertility Massage

Fertility massage is based on Mayan Abdominal Massage (MAM), which  is founded on the ancient Mayan technique of abdominal massage. MAM is an external non-invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, which can restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerves and qi.

Using MAM is an important component of your fertility enhancement at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates. We recommend a MAM consultation for all of our fertility patients, to know where your uterus and other organs are positioned and whether adhesions are found. MAM is especially helpful when you have physical stagnations in the lower abdomen, such as: adhesions, polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts or tubal blockages.


What you can expect at a MAM Fertility Consultation & Treatment:
self care

Learn self-care techniques to do at home.


Consult on lifestyle, nutrition and overall health.


Have abdomen and reproductive organs assessed for adhesions and position.


Repositioning of internal organs and breaking up stagnations.


Our Fertility Massage Therapists:

In our Tacoma Location: Lisa Zepeda

In our Seattle Location: Danisha Christian


Thank you so much for all your efforts with these treatments to bring healing to my body since this past June. I KNOW that my time, energy and financial resources were not wasted and I’m grateful I found your clinic and that we were able to avoid the IVF process. We were planning to start that process next month. ? Right around the time I believe I conceived, I had an ultrasound that week and the large cyst we were treating had completely disappeared and there were no signs of inflammation. A perfect environment for conception.

‘I would recommend Andrea to anyone!!! I began seeing her to help regulate cycles and increase fertility as my own methods of trying to get pregnant were unsuccessful. It was my first experience with acupuncture and I was initially hesitant about it, but after my first couple visits I couldn’t imagine not continuing. Andrea was so positive and reassuring–she was the first person that gave me hope that I could still be a mother in the near future. Not only did I quickly notice positive changes physically, but I started to realize how she was one of my main emotional supports through the process as well. Andrea’s utmost professionalism and thorough insight really helped give me clarity and peace of mind as I was going through such an uncertain time and couldn’t get many answers from medical doctors. After only 6 months of regular acupuncture visits with Andrea and one IUI, I was pregnant! I am certain it is because she helped my body get back on track from being on birth control for 8 years and gear up for the only fertility treatment I needed to start a family. I have continued to see her through my first trimester and am growing a very healthy baby! I will forever be grateful for her help in my journey.’   -Tiffany Goles

“Hello Julie, I wanted to say hello and thank you for your care during my pregnancy. It was so great to be cared for by your healing presence. I truly believe your care greatly contributed to all the good we are enjoying in her birth and newborn season.”

“We couldn’t have had this sweet baby without you, [Cheryl]!  I really appreciate all the care I’ve received from you over the last year!”

“You are amazing!  Thank you so much for all your help!  I am so blessed!  This wouldn’t have happened without you!” Email to Cheryl House

“I loved my appointment with Matt Ferguson and I just wanted to call and have you thank him for me!” – a brand new mother (she called right after her baby was born).

Thank you so much for all your support these past 9 months. I truly believe that [our] baby probably would not be here today if not for the help of acupuncture and the herbs! I’m so grateful that acupuncture was accessible to me and for the great care provided to me by you. Thank you again, [Cheryl]!

Julie, I just wanted to follow up and let you know that I went into labor the day after our last session and gave birth to a healthy, wonderful baby girl!

“Thanks to you and your help, prep, knowledge/advice, and wonderful conversation, I’ve had two awesomely successful pregnancies and deliveries. You do great work and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you. I’m sending my sister your way and she is excited to start working with you.”

“We’re in love [with our newborn baby]!  You know, I don’t think she’d be here without your assistance [Cheryl].  I’m so grateful!!”  -Age 42

Dear Andrea and Acupuncture Northwest, Thank you for all of your care and support during my pregnancy. You are the best!!  via another really cute card!

“Dear Cheryl, Thank you so much for helping with my fertility.  I credit your acupuncture and herbs for my now 14 week pregnancy! … We cannot thank you enough for your help.”  Age 43 via a cute card. ?

I wanted to update you on the new addition to our family! We are all doing well, and I am healing up nicely. I feel pretty good and only a week post c section, I feel I am doing remarkably well. I am up and walking and all in all feeling good, but taking it easy as well. I want to thank you as I know that my recovery was so important, I feel that working with you helped immensely. Thanks! See attached pics. –  written to Julie Booker.

“Hi Andrea and Acupuncture Northwest! We were able to have almost exactly the birth experience we were hoping for with an unmedicated out-of-hospital birth. I definitely think that all of the acupuncture during my pregnancy helped with a smooth and speedy labor. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” We have countless thank you cards and emails from happy parents.  Here are a few of those to share with you… 

My FSH is now 5.9. (When I was told the number over the phone, I had to have her repeat it three times, I was just stunned!!) When I was first tested in December, it was 33. Our Ob/Gyn said that the number could bounce around, but there was almost no chance that it would ever be a normal level. Two months later, and here I am. All of you are miracle workers! Thank you!!!!!! – S.G.— (now mother of two)

Hi, Just wanted to let you know I got a positive pregnancy test this month…it’s still early, of course, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed, but thank you for all your help! – CY

“Hi Andrea and Acupuncture Northwest! Thank you for all the support and care during my pregnancy. You are the best”

“Thanks, Stephanie Gianarelli and Acupuncture Northwest, for making our little bundle of joy possible and for the cute onesie! We owe our happiness to you.”   via Facebook.

“Dear Cheryl and the Acupuncture Northwest & Associates team,  Thank you so much for the care you gave us on our journey to parenthood.”

“Great news, Cheryl!  we had a positive test!…Thank you so much for all that you have done to help us.  I cannot put into words how much it means.  Thank you thank you thank you!

Hi Andrea, Got the call from the nurse today and we’re pregnant!

You were correct! We are having a boy! Just found out this afternoon. Everything looked healthy and on target.

Cheryl,  I cannot thank you enough for all your help and support.  Our miracle baby finally arrived and I know if wouldn’t be possible without you – you are truly special and I’m forever grateful to you…”

As others have attested, the staff at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates is phenomenal.  In 2011, I had the typical over-40 diagnosis of high FSH and low AMH from a reproductive specialist.  I also had the same fertility prognosis most women over 40 hear from reproductive clinics.  I was basically told not to have much hope in conceiving with my own eggs or having a take-home baby due to my age.  Unfortunately, I also learned I had a blocked tube and a tube that was not functioning.  As I worked on getting the tube issues corrected through western medical treatment, I saw Stephanie for adjunct, TCM treatment. She walked the trying-to-conceive journey with me every step of the way.  Her treatment plan was specifically designed to treat MY issues; it was not a blanket approach.  There were a couple times when I needed to take a break and she agreed; and she was there when I started up again. January 2012, I decided I should let go and chose to quit trying.  I had one final treatment with Stephanie and said good-bye. Imagine my surprise when I learned 3 weeks later I was pregnant!  I saw Stephanie through my first trimester. In November 2012 I delivered a healthy baby boy, at age 42. If you are looking for compassionate, effective health care, I recommend Stephanie and the staff at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates!  – Annie R.

I tried Acupuncture NW after having 3 miscarriages and my reproductive medicine doctor couldn’t find a cause.  I was skeptical at 1st, but Andrea and Stephanie were my acupuncturists and were fantastic.  They coached me to use basal body temperature, increase certain foods in my diet, drink an herbal tea, etc.  After 2 months in their care with weekly appointments I was pregnant.  I continued weekly appointments through the 1st trimester and now no longer need to see them…with the risk of miscarriage at this point being very rare.  I felt very well taken care of by them and I will go back when it’s time to try for our next baby!

– Via Yelp.

” Dear Cheryl,  Just thought I’d send a note to say hello and let you know my pregnancy is going fine. I’m in my 23 week and it’s a girl!  We couldn’t be more excited and happy. Thank you for the treatments and guidance”

“Guess what, Cheryl?  I tested positive for pregnancy this week!  I’m so thrilled and excited.  Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me.”

“Thanks Cheryl for helping us to bring this sweet baby into the world!  I am looking forward to working with you again when we are ready for baby #2?

We had the ultrasound yesterday and the baby’s head is down!!

When you have no hope left….Janine H. 5 Acupuncture Northwest & Associates

After being told by a BIG name reproductive clinic in Seattle that “you will never be able to get pregnant, you don’t even qualify for IVF. You could maybe look for a donor egg…”, I found the book “The Infertility Cure”. That was 5 months ago. This reproductive clinic diagnosed me with high FSH, low quality/quantity eggs, and low follicle count. I was 39 and they made it very clear that my hope for having a child on my own was impossible. I read “The Infertility Cure” in two days. It addressed my issues among many many others that women, who so desperately want to have a child, face. I researched and found that Acupuncture NW practiced “The Infertility Cure”‘s methods so I booked an appt.

After an initial consultation, I was immediately put at ease. They explained to me in depth about a woman’s body and hormonal changes. And how they can be put back in balance with diet, herbs, vitamins, and acupuncture. That was in November. I’m less than two months from my 40th birthday and I found out I am pregnant. Less than 4 months of treatment with Acupuncture NW and I am pregnant. And the cost of the herbs and acupuncture treatment was a fraction of the cost of the one visit and evaluation with the reproductive clinic. Nothing fancy, no invasive or expensive treatments. Just some easy to take herbs and relaxing acupuncture sessions. And very positive people who never failed to give me hope.—  Via Insider Pages

We’ll be back for our second! Ellie P.    Acupuncture Northwest & Associates

My husband and I both received treatment for infertility at Acupuncture Northwest and couldn’t be happier with our experience. We sought out acupuncture to complement our fertility treatment after undergoing a few failed IUI’s and a miscarriage.

For starters the staff is phenomenal. Our acupuncturist, Stephanie Gianarelli was both compassionate and professional. She really listened to us, worked with the treatment we were receiving from our fertility clinic, and was eternally positive. In fact, Stephanie continued to reassure us and believe in our ability to conceive when we thought it was entirely impossible. On occasion, we were treated by other acupuncturists in the office who were just as great. We also worked with Diana Soto, a counselor in the office who really helped me with relaxation and visualization techniques that were pivotal to our success.

While the staff is great, it’s the results that are truly impressive. After working with Acupuncture Northwest, I was ovulating on schedule without the aid of medication. My husband’s infertility stemmed from low motility and low mobility sperm. His results are even more impressive as after about 3 months of treatments, he more than doubled his count of quality sperm. (Even the fertility clinic was surprised!) Last January we finally conceived and I continued acupuncture treatments for several weeks. I also had acupuncture during the last several weeks of my pregnancy, which helped immensely with the discomfort I was experiencing.

I credit the hypnobirthing classes with helping me labor my baby down before I needed to do any pushing and with helping me to relax when I started trembling uncontrollably during labor. In fact, the baby was so low when I started to push that he was out in less than 20 minutes.

I now have a beautiful and healthy 1 month old son and I truly don’t think he would be here without their help!

—  (–associates-seattle)

(2013 Update – She did come in for round two and now has two acu-babies!)

Hi Everyone, Just wanted to let you all know  that he was born in November 2010.  After he was estimated to be a whopping 11.5 lbs, he was only 11 lbs. as it turns out!                     We are in heaven. It goes without saying that you guys are the reason why he is here. I know I wouldn’t have been able to weather through everything without your support, passion and positivity. Thank you so much.  —Love,  S.S.—

Dear Stephanie, Thank you so very much for everything you did to help us achieved our dream of having a child. He was born weighing in at 10 pounds and almost one ounce! It was a very long labor, but fortunately, He and I made it through it okay and both of us are now happy and healthy. I’ve enclosed a few photos because I can’t help myself. I’m so thankful for the support I got at Acupuncture NW throughout my journey to the little guy. With Gratitude,  M & M—

Dear Stephanie,   Saying “thank you” feels completely inadequate. I truly believe that I would not be sitting here holding C. in my arms had it not been for you and your wonderful clinic. I came to see you initially convinced that I had undiagnosed fertility problems and would not be able to conceive. After our first meeting, you set my mind at ease and I immediately felt the benefits of the acupuncture and herbs you prescribed. A few weeks late, I was pregnant! During my pregnancy, you spent more time asking about and understanding my condition than my doctor ever did. You helped me get through the scary period of spotting during my first trimester. Then, when I developed hypertension in my 3rd trimester, the acupuncture and your continuing advice and support made an amazing difference. Your treatments also helped immensely in keeping my blood sugars under control when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. You are an amazing person and we are so lucky to have you in our community.  Love Always,  E.P.—

Dear the amazing Staff of Acupuncture NW,  I just wanted to write to say thank you again and share a picture of our little guy. You all truly are doing amazing work and I’m so thankful for your support and care. You may hear this a lot, but I truly believe you are working miracles in the lives of so many. We certainly are grateful for the precious miracle you help bring into our world. I know he wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t found you all. Wishing you all the very best in the New Year and Happy Chinese New Year!  Gratefully, K & J—

Dear team at Acupuncture NW,  After a week of waiting, J. finally arrived! We’re sleep deprived, but pretty blissed out! Thank you so much for all your care before and during the pregnancy, for your contribution to this little miracle and keep up the great work!

Dear Friends at Acupuncture Northwest,  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the expert care of Acupuncture Northwest in preparation and duration of pregnancy- you have made all the difference with the “prescriptions” of pineapple, bone marrow soup, and various cocktails of herbs… but certainly your kindness and care throughout made a huge impact for me emotionally and spiritually as I’ve made the miraculous leap into motherhood, for which I am so grateful!

Just to update you- he was born on Nov. 7  via unexpected C-section. It was a difficult process but we are so thrilled to have our baby boy with us. He was pink, healthy, and prefect and he rocked our world! We want to thank you for all of your help, support and guidance through this long journey. His conception and birth would have never been possible without your help. You are amazing and we are so grateful to you!!—

Thank you for all you did to help bring our little miracle baby into this world. He is an amazing joy and such a blessing. All our best, Connie—

Thank you all so very much for helping me to achieve my dream!  All my love and gratitude,  Sandra—

I would like to introduce Molly. She is our angel, such a sweet little girl. Hard to believe we had a girl. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement over the last couple of years. It has definitely been worth the wait…. And 22 hours of labor!—

Thanks for all your help with our pregnancy. We couldn’t have done it without you! We are tired by very happy!—

I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you for a while now. I wanted to let you know that we gave birth to a very healthy bouncing baby boy on November 21. He’s already three months old and the maternity leave is slipping by faster than I can imagine. I want to thank you again for the part you played in helping us to create our little bundle of joy. Thankfully, he’s a very easy baby and sleeps all night every night. Gotta love a baby that will do that for you… I’m sure you’re partly responsible for his easy-going nature! ;o)  Best Wishes and Thanks again. I’ll continue to tell all my friends about you.—

Thanks for making/helping this miracle to occur!  Tracy—

Thank you, you helped make our daughter! She’s two.  XO  Petra—

Dear Stephanie & team,  Thanks so much for helping to bring our little boy into the world. You believed that we could make this happen when we had no hope left. He is a miracle and I will be forever grateful for your help. It was a long labor and it was a short delivery, requiring only 20 minutes of pushing! Though I received an epidural, hypnobirthing really helped me breathe the baby down before I even started to push. He is very healthy and already growing at an astonishing rate! Thanks again for everything. (I’m sure we’ll see you again when it’s time for our second!) <3 Ellie—

I can’t thank you enough for your part in making this miracle happen. Forever Grateful, B & T—

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for me and my family… and for all couples experiencing fertility issues in general. Because of all of you and your expertise, knowledge, and compassion our family will grow by one. Thanks so much for doing what you do. You have helped to make us ecstatic and excited to become parents again in early 2009. Blessings to you, T & M—

I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and absolutely appreciated all of your fabulous care for me throughout my pregnancy! You are the best!!! I look forward to coming in soon for a treatment! Love, Kristina—

You and your practice have been such an important part of our family journey. We really appreciate everything you’ve done. Love, Sharon—

Acupuncture NW Friends!  Thank you so much for helping our dreams come true with all your support and assistance throughout the fertility process. Our son is an absolute miracle and I don’t think it would have been possible without all that you did to help! We will be forever grateful.  Hope to see you all soon!—

To everyone at ANW:  Thank you so much for your loving, strong support on my journey to motherhood!  Thank you again, for taking great care of me and giving me hope and faith.  Leah—

Dear Acupuncture Northwest,  I could not have done it without you! You gave me so much support throughout this pregnancy. I cannot begin to thank you enough. Now life is very sweet and wonderful with our baby girl.—

Diana and Stephanie, It is incredible and thank you for all of your support throughout my pregnancy. I can’t wait for everyone to meet the boys. I will definitely bring them in once we are settled at home. Thank you!—

Dear Stephanie and all at Acupuncture Northwest, We have made it to the first month mark! We have more energy now and Sophie is doing really well. Her brother has adjusted to all the changes without much trouble.  My milk supply seems to be okay this time around. We hope to visit sometime soon. With thanks!—

My dearest friends of Acupuncture NW,  Thank you for all the support surrounding the conception, pregnancy, and birth of our baby. You played such a key role in the successful out coming- and we are all enjoying getting to know this little outcome more and more each day. Again, we have so much to thank you for! With love, friendship & gratitude,—

Thank you all so very much for your wonderful care in my attempt to become pregnant and throughout my pregnancy with Lily. Thanks again,–

Dear the Acupuncture Northwest Team,  We are so blessed to have our family complete and greatly appreciate your support! Life with twins and a 5 year old is crazy by wonderful. I’m glad to have this time off and will start thinking about new employment late this year or early next. We really appreciate your support in fulfilling our dreams to expand our family! Thank for your thoughtfulness,  Michelle—

I can’t thank you all enough for your care and support through my fertility and pregnancy “adventure”. You are an amazing group of women and I feel blessed to have met you. The work you do is invaluable! With love, Brigitta—

I miss coming to see you! After two miscarriages I started coming and now I have a beautiful and healthy baby girl! I also had a beautiful water birth that couldn’t have been better! I cannot say enough wonderful things about you all and give you enough thanks!  – J.S.—

I’ve attached a picture of my adorable Alexander who you helped bring to me. He’ll be 15 months soon – I can hardly believe it. He is such an amazing gift. I think of you all often as I say thanks for my boy and everyone who helped us have him. – C.P.—

We are so grateful to all of you for your help in making our child a reality for us! – S.G.—

We cannot thank you enough on how much you helped us achieve this pregnancy and this beautiful child. Her name is April. – K.R.—

I owe you all a big thanks for getting me through the last year. I swear your treatments are what helped me get pregnant in the first place, and for that, I am grateful. I hope you are all doing well. Take care! – L.A.—

I am so grateful to have worked with you through my pregnancy. I really believe acupuncture and massage have helped me with conception, pregnancy and beyond. They have also helped me birth without meds, I think, along with a regular yoga practice. – I.F.—

Thanks again for everyone at Acupuncture NW & Associates. You have been so incredibly supportive. I know that I couldn’t have gotten through these last couple years without all of you. It really has meant so much to me to have such a caring health care team and I know that it is because of you that I am able to celebrate a pregnancy today! – A.L.—

I saw you for a couple months and in August of ’05 my FSH was back down to 6. Finally in January of 2006 I became successfully pregnant with my son, Beau, at the age of 42. He is a healthy happy boy. – K.P.—

Thanks so much for the effort to induce my labor back in August….. I think that the work you did helped soften up my cervix to really make things go smoothly and quickly. – T.D.—

Thank you for your ongoing care and support. I could not have done this without you. You are a huge part of making my dream come true. – A.S.—

Hi ladies! I promised Stephanie I would email you with any news so here it is: I’m pregnant!! Stephanie was right! You guys have been such a GREAT team through this difficult phase and I really do attribute much of my success to you.

Thank you so much for your help, gals, and for listening to me drone on about how “I’m sure I’m not pregnant AGAIN.” My husband and I are so excited! And you guys are the first to know.

Thank you, girls! You’re the best! – S.S.—

I wanted to let you know that we gave birth to a very healthy bouncing baby boy named Cooper on November 21st.  He’s already three months old and the maternity leave is slipping by faster than I can imagine.

I want to thank you again for the part you played in helping us to create our little bundle of joy. Thankfully he’s a very easy baby and sleeps all night every night. Gotta love a baby that will do that for you. I’m sure you’re partly responsible for his easy-going nature!

Thanks again. I’ll continue to tell all my friends about you.

– V.K.—

Just wanted to Thank You for everything!!! I am Pregnant !! now 10 weeks. So far so good..but I am thinking that I will probably need some acupuncture later on for my back/siatiac nerve..just feeling like later that will be a problem.

Again I thank you for everything…I truly believe that the acupuncture had something to do with my positive results. I have referred some others to you from my fertility support group.


Hi, You remember correctly–we tried IVF and many IUIs, all unsuccessful. After almost 3 years of trying to conceive, we finally succeeded with our second IVF, combined with your acupuncture treatment.

We celebrated our son’s first birthday last month. You may absolutely share our story. I would love to get the word out about our success with acupuncture and IVF.


P.S. I may be scheduling a visit with you again in the coming months–we’re gearing up for round 3. ;-)—

Dear Stephanie,

Just got my bHCG test results– POSITIVE!!!! Thanks for working your magic again!!!


I wanted to say “thank you”. It’s difficult to know how to say thank you for all the things that I believe you helped me with – dealing with my miscarriage, prepping me for IVF (mentally, physically, emotionally), relaxing me prior to transfer, relieving my MAJOR stress in the first trimester, and just generally being so fabulously supportive and encouraging. I really do believe you played a major role in enabling me to become (and remain) pregnant. So, how do I thank you for my baby and for helping to make my dreams come true??  It simply isn’t possible.

I hope that all is well with you both and that Acupuncture NW is as busy as it should be! I look forward to seeing you for pre-labor acupuncture!

Big hugs to you both – S.G.—

Hi, I returned from my ultrasound appointment and everything is developing in the right place and looks great.  I actually saw the heartbeat. I’m scheduled for another ultrasound in 1 1/2 weeks, but I’ll see you before that appointment. Thanks again for all you two have done…you made this possible for me ? See you next week, – L.R.

I wanted to express to both of you the biggest thank you for the work you had done with me last year on my infertility. Thanks to your amazing work, the treatments FINALLY worked! I did stop seeing you both last year in November because I was frustrated and disappointed in not getting pregnant. Well, I shouldn’t have gotten discouraged so fast because I got pregnant at the end of December! I am sorry it took so long to write this message to you though. For the longest time, I didn’t even realize I was pregnant because I was so tired of the infertility controlling my life. Then, when I found out, I was almost 10 weeks along! The next month was spent with genetic counseling and numerous tests. All have come back showing that the baby is 100% healthy and there aren’t any issues. Both my husband and I feel so blessed and we feel that it was what you both did for me  As you said a number of times, a women can create new, healthy eggs and I am proof of that.

Thank you both and I will be forever grateful to you and honored that you took me as a patient and believed that it would happen, even when I was losing hope.

– T.B.


I initially saw Stephanie at Acupuncture Northwest because I was stressed and saddened by my mother’s terminal illness. Upon reflection of our own mortality, Darrell and I decided that the biological clock was ticking and that we were ready to conceive. Naively, I thought that because I was fairly young (34), active, and healthy, that I would conceive instantly.

After one year of trying, I decided to try the alternative methods presented by Stephanie, which included acupuncture and herbs. Initially she worked on areas to decrease stress in my life (my mother’s illness and my stressful job as an ER nurse). Then in January 2003 she started fertility-based treatments. In May 2003, I became pregnant. My mother, Judith passed away in September, and my healthy baby Jude was born February 2004.

After experiencing it firsthand, I can verify that trying to become pregnant is a stressful life event. The acupuncture and herbs prescribed by Stephanie not only facilitated my pregnancy but the treatments themselves were extremely relaxing and enjoyable. I worked with Stephanie before, during, and after my pregnancy and it was definitely a very nurturing, healing, and holistic experience.

When I look at Jude, I appreciate life in a whole new way. As a health care provider, I would highly recommend anyone who is having fertility issues to try acupuncture before seeking the expensive and invasive methods of western medicine. Thank you Stephanie for treating my stress and sadness, my fears and frustrations, and my back pain and sciatica. But most of all, thank you for facilitating the birth of baby Jude.






Sports Medicine and Pain

Acupuncture Northwest & Associates

Click here to watch Julie Booker talk about treating pain with acupuncture.

“The Shoulder Whisperer” – When I had pain due to my shoulder injury, Julie Booker would treat me right after PT and my range of motion would increase by 20-30% immediately and my pain would be lessened. My physical therapist was so amazed and told me to always get acupuncture right after I had PT with her. Without acupuncture, it would have taken my shoulder much longer to heal and rid myself of the pain.”

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Sports Medicine & Pain Acupuncture

The Research:

Acupuncture is very well known for treating pain. There is a lot of evidence showing acupuncture’s ability to reduce pain. The National Institutes of Health’s article on acupuncture claims that acupuncture is helpful for a many types of pain including: back pain, knee pain and headaches. Even Harvard University says that, “Acupuncture is worth a try for chronic pain“.

The research is in and acupuncture is well proven to be effective for treating all kinds of pain. So, if you have never tried acupuncture, now is the time!

Our Acupuncturists:

All of the practitioners at Acupuncture Northwest treat pain, both chronic and acute. In addition, Julie Booker trained with one of the most famous acupuncture pain specialists in the country, Matt Callison. Matt speaks internationally on sports medicine and has one of the most highly regarded training facilities for post-graduate training in treating pain and sports medicine.

Our Seattle massage therapist is also great for pain issues.


Some of the types of pain we treat at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates:

Acute Athletic Injuries:Acupuncture Treats Pain

Can’t do your favorite activity due to injury? Come see one of our sports medicine specialists to get you back to the activities you love! The goal is to get you safely back to your sport as quickly as possible.


Acupuncture often helps to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, allowing the joints to be less painful and more flexible. Chinese herbs can also help increase mobility in the joints. Arthritis patients are often pleasantly surprised with how much better their joints feel when they get regular acupuncture.

Back pain:

Back pain can be due to many factors, such as trauma or overuse. Acupuncture is well known as a great way to relieve this often debilitating pain. Our experienced providers are often able to help patients to greatly reduce their chronic and stubborn pain.

“I have had the same back pain for over a year and after just one acupuncture session, over half of my pain was gone. And it didn’t return. I had never tried acupuncture before but I’m a believer now!” M.P.

Knee pain:Acupuncture Treats Pain

Runners know how important a well functioning knee is. And if your knees hurt just getting around, how can you do the activities you love? When your knees hurt and before you resort to surgery, try acupuncture. Knee pain is often treated very effectively by acupuncture.

Here is a review of the wide body of research done with acupuncture treating knee pain:

Elbow Pain:

Whether it’s tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, acupuncture is often great at treating elbow pain.

“As a practitioner at Acupuncture Northwest, I’ve had dozens of patients over the years have their elbow pain go away and often with very few treatments. Some patients need to do monthly or quarterly maintenance treatments but they all look forward to their visits at our office.”  Stephanie Gianarelli, Clinic Director and Acupuncturist


Sciatica is lower back and glute pain that travels down the back or side of the leg usually to the knee and possibly the sole of the foot. Acupuncture can effectively resolve the pain associated with sciatic nerve impingement.

Headaches:Acupuncture Treats Pain

Headaches can occur in many areas of the head, with varying intensity and quality of pain. In Chinese medicine, a headache is diagnosed according to these criteria: location, intensity and quality. Lifestyle, emotional makeup and nutrition are also possible contributing factors. A Chinese medical diagnosis takes all of this information into consideration to derive the best way to treat this particular person’s headache. Because of this individualized approach, Chinese medicine is often very effective in reducing the symptoms of headaches.


Migraines are more severe and intense than stress headaches. They are often repetitive, may interfere with normal activities of daily living and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise and may be preceded by visual auras or auditory sounds. Chinese medicine can help reduce the severity of migraines already in process and reduce the frequency and duration of migraines. 



“It took everything I had not to go to the hospital, and then after my treatment with Matt I could walk without grimacing and even play with the grandkids!” -A.B.

“I had no pain whatsoever after last week’s treatment.” -D.R.

“My hands stopped hurting with acupuncture. I didn’t believe I could get the pain to go away because I have arthritis and it is bone on bone. Thank you!” -K.M. in the Tacoma office.

“You told me it would be 6 visits and I would feel better. And it was! I was in constant pain 5-6 of 10 (with 7 of 10 flare ups) and now I’m a 3 out of 10 with no flare ups. And everyone at the office is kind and easy to work with.” -J.C. in the Tacoma office.


“I could barely walk for 2 days and then I saw Julie. She helped me identify where it was coming from and the treatment really helped. It’s so great that you have practitioners with different areas of expertise!” -C.L.

“After doing physical therapy, I still had pain in my shoulder and a lack of full functioning. With acupuncture I had more relief than anything else I had done and it happened in a shorter period of time and with less effort.”

“Wonderful place. Stephanie, the owner is very personable and knowledgeable, (she) has done an excellent job getting me out of chronic pain. Thank you, ladies. Jurga M. via Yelp”

Stephanie! Just wanted you to know my back feels so much better after my session with you! Thank you!” via email.

“So, your girl (Andrea) was a miracle worker.  I did everything she told me to do on Saturday, I took it easy, did the ice, upped my electrolytes and on Sunday morning the pain was gone.   She is a miracle worker…”

“Thank you so much for your care and attention [Matt]. My visits have made a huge difference. Wishing you the best, Thanks, C.”

“I was suffering from excruciating headaches and was prescribed these huge pills by a Neurologist. When I read the “side effects” of those meds, I decided not to take those prescribed meds and instead opted for a non-invasive alternative treatment. Fortunately, I discovered Julie Booker. She did both acupuncture and massage at that time and after several treatments with her, she helped get rid of my headaches completely.

So now, every time I have pain issues with my neck or elbows or sciatica pain on my legs, I go to Julie for acupuncture treatments. With every treatment, Julie helps me relax and release all my stress and anxiety with her acupuncture and maintains my energy balance with acupuncture. I highly recommend Julie Booker for acupuncture treatment.”

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National Institutes of Health, Acupuncture, In Depth.

Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the Knee – A Review of Randomized, Controlled Trials

Acupuncture is Worth a Try for Chronic Pain written by Daniel Pendick for the Harvard Health Publications for Harvard University



Acupuncture During Pregnancy (And Beyond)

Often to a woman’s surprise, this time can be as emotionally and physically difficult as the preconception phase. We are fully committed to helping you give birth to a healthy baby and want to be with you every exciting step of the way.

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Pregnancy – The 1st trimester

Pregnancy AcupunctureAcupuncture has been used for centuries during pregnancy. Where western medicine doesn’t have a lot they can do to prevent miscarriage, Chinese medicine often does.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can often help during the first trimester with common issues such as: helping prevent miscarriage and alleviating morning sickness.

We often see patients weekly through the first trimester. Because we are a fertility practice, it has often been a difficult road for many of our patients to get pregnant and they like the help and comfort that acupuncture brings.

Click here to read an excerpt of Stephanie Gianarelli’s book about Chinese medicine and the 1st trimester.


Pregnancy – The 2nd trimester

Women typically receive treatment once a month during the second trimester, although some patients want to come more frequently.

Any of the following symptoms that arise in the second trimester are often treated with TCM:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Hypertension
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Call with any other symptoms that arise and talk to one of our practitioners


Pregnancy – The 3rd trimesterAcupuncture During Pregnancy

Pregnant women return to the office for acupuncture around week 33-34 for several reasons:


Breech Positioning
TCM is often very effective at preparing the body to turn a baby with a breech presentation.  Success rates are higher if the fetus is less than 35 weeks. See the Research Page to read the studies.


Labor Prep and Pre-birth Acupuncture

When it’s time to have the baby, acupuncture helps to:

  • Reduce stress hormones. Stress can cause oxytocin levels to drop and labor contractions to slow down.
  • Help to dilate and ripen the cervix.
  • Help prepare the body for labor to start naturally.

With all of our best intentions, we have found that although we can sometimes help the body hasten delivery, babies often come when they are ready.

Reduction in labor duration
Research now shows that women who receive acupuncture for 4-6 weeks before giving birth have a significantly shorter and less painful labor than those that do not. This information is based on a control study recently done at the University of Vienna in Austria. The study suggests that women who received weekly acupuncture treatments (verses a group that did not) experienced a decrease in duration of the first stage of labor. It also shows that the women without the acupuncture treatments received significantly more oxytocin during the first and second stages of labor.

For more information see our research section.

“I send all of my OB patients for labor prep to Acupuncture Northwest & Associates,” Tacoma OB/GYN.

Thanks so much for the effort to induce my labor back in August….. I think that the work you did helped soften up my cervix to really make things go smoothly and quickly. – T.D.-

“I call Matt the baby whisperer. My body went into labor shortly after seeing him.”

Post-Partum – The 4th trimester

The Postpartum Program – This is a crucial time for the new mother to recover and heal and nothing does it better than Chinese medicine. Chinese culture (and therefore its medicine) is adamant about helping the new mother to regain full strength after childbirth. Here at Acupuncture Northwest & Associates, we have a program to help women do just that.

As a new mother, your baby has been born but there are still many changes taking place in your system that can affect every part of your life. Perhaps you had a difficult or traumatic delivery or problems come up during the postnatal period that seem to linger. While a routine exam is done by your doctor at six weeks, this may be brief and may not address your all of your physical health or emotional. Full recovery can take 3-6 months.

Post-natal conditions we often work with in our Postpartum Program :Postpartum Acupuncture
  • Postpartum depression
  • Breastfeeding problems
  • Urinary problems
  • Energy loss
  • Depression and anxiety
  • After pains – perineal soreness
  • Weakened immunity
  • Caesarean section recovery

You can read about Chinese medicine and postpartum studies here.


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