Long Island IVF | Mind & Body

Mind & Body

Our ultimate goal here at Long Island IVF is to help maximize patients' chances of becoming pregnant. While that involves providing the highest quality of medical care, it also involves providing comprehensive services that treat more than just the physical symptoms of infertility. Going through treatments can cause stress on many levels... in marriages, emotionally, financially. Evidence is mounting, however, that alternative therapies, like acupuncture, fertility yoga, massage therapy and more, can enhance patients' abilities to become pregnant and improve overall well-being.

This is why we've developed a Mind Body program and a Wellness Center Team that offers complementary medicine and alternative therapies to our patients. We've partnered with area experts that are leaders in acupuncture, fertility yoga, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, and support groups -- and who specialize in working with patients and couples going through infertility treatments. Participation in these activities -- one or many at a time -- has been proven to help both women and men improve their coping skills, reduce stress levels, build self-esteem, optimize hormonal balance and enhance overall well-being

Please read below for a description of the services we offer.


Support Groups

Emotional support is key to wading through the waters of infertility, which at first glance may appear overwhelming and tumultuous. We at Long Island IVF understand that most women and men never expected to be faced with infertility, and this may be one of the most stressful times in a woman’s life. Infertility often comes as a tremendous shock as well as an emotional blow.

Feelings of distress, anxiety, and depression often accompany infertility. As the crux of mind body medicine focuses on the way in which stress hormones, anxiety, and depression physiologically affect the body, it is crucial to break the cycle. By reducing the body’s physical stress response, we actually calm and quiet the mind. Calming and quieting the mind, in turn, reduces the body’s stress response to an even greater degree. We do this by learning how to elicit the relaxation response, a term coined by Herbert Benson, M.D. of the Mind Body Institute at Harvard Medical Center. This is important for fertility, as it has been documented that the release of stress hormones from the brain, may inhibit the release of reproductive hormones.

We strive to make your fertility journey as smooth and calm as possible. The Mind Body Program includes small, intimate group sessions consisting of women undergoing fertility issues. This program provides a space where you can relax, a place where you are free to express whatever you are feeling ... a sacred circle of connection and support. Additionally, relaxation strategies are taught and practiced during each session. In this way, one not only has the opportunity to experience the relaxation response during the session, but will come away with new coping skills to take home and utilize on a regular basis. Strategies include breath work, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, focused mindfulness, and more.

As husbands and male partners may experience the infertility struggle differently from women, we are proud to offer our "Just For Guys" support group for men. It is often difficult for men to know how to support their spouses, and their own feelings may often be overlooked. This group provides a place for men to share their feelings and gain support.

For more information, contact: binabenisch@gmail.com.

Harriette Rovner Ferguson, LCSW
269F Middle Country Road, Smithtown, NY 11787
Tel: 631-979-2775
Email: HarrietRov@aol.com

Lisa Schiff, LCSW
1050 Hallock Ave., Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Tel: 631-901-8517
Email: lseshs@aol.com


Counseling

Long Island IVF concurs with the extensive research that recognizes the experience of infertility as a condition that affects their patients physically as well as emotionally and psychologically (and sometimes socially, maritally and financially), and why we believe it is important that all IVF patients meet with one of our mental health professionals before their treatment cycle is to begin. During this session our therapist will learn about the role infertility plays in your life while offering you support and suggestions on how to handle your treatment concerns. In addition, they will offer you resources and answer any questions you have about the choices you make while you are planning to grow your family. Our list of mental health professionals includes women that have had years of professional experience working specifically with individuals and couples experiencing infertility. Depending on the nature of the consultation their fees may vary and will be discussed when you make your appointment.

Bina Benisch, MS, RN
124 Main Street, Suite 16
Huntington, NY 11743
631-397-0096
binabenisch@gmail.com 

Aviva Zigelman, LCSW, 
Great Neck, NY
516-625-1617 or 718-423-9705 

Nancy Berlow, LCSW

368 S. Oyster Bay Rd. Hicksville, NY
516-356-7109.
Nancy sees patients on Tuesdays and Sundays.
www.LongIslandPregnancyandInfantLoss.com

Janet Philbin, LCSW

155 E. Main Street suite 170
Smithtown, NY 11787.
(516) 639-6286
www.facetsoflightcounselingcenter.com

Harriette Rovner

Stony Brook and Smithtown, NY.
Hours include early evenings and weekends.
631 979- 2775.
www.theinfertilitytherapist.com is under development.

Lisa Schiff, LCSW

1050 Hallock Avenue
Port Jefferson Station, NY
(631)901-8517



Acupuncture



The Long Island IVF Acupuncture program is offered exclusively to all Long Island IVF patients as a potentially beneficial adjunct to our state- of- the- art fertility services with the goal of improving success rates and reducing stress. All patients interested in participating in the program are offered a free acupuncture consultation and counseling session with Long Island IVF co-Founder, Dr. David Kreiner, a NYS certified medical acupuncturist. We will either refer patients to a select group of experienced local fertility acupuncturists or have them remain with one they are already affiliated with for extended care before, during, and after IVF stimulation. As scheduling permits, Dr. Kreiner (or alternatively one of these expert acupuncturists) will perform a pre- and post- embryo transfer Acupuncture treatment (see below) at our Long Island IVF facility. If fertility acupuncture is new to you, please read on for more details of its potential benefits.

ACUPUNCTURE: What's The Point?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by gently inserting tiny needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points along the body.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up into others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular energy flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and/or energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body's natural healing abilities, and promotes physical and emotional well-being.

To the acupuncturist, IVF is analogous to farming. Farmers cultivate the land before seeding. They pay attention to the temperature and water, fertilize and balance the acid and alkali of the soil. To enhance uterine receptivity for IVF, the acupuncturist balances the yin, yang, Qi and Blood, removing excess pathological factors such as phlegm, dampness, stagnation of Qi and Blood. S/he increases the blood flow to the uterus and reduces stress and anxiety that modulates the neuroendocrine system (nerves, neurotransmitters and hormones).

LONG ISLAND IVF ACUPUNCTURE PROGRAM

Where Do Treatments Take Place?

Treatments take place in the IVF Recovery Room or Exam room at Melville Office.

Scheduling Pre- and Post- Transfer Acupuncture Treatments

  1. Consult with Dr. Kreiner if interested in Acupuncture treatment through a scheduled phone or office visit. There is no charge for an initial Acupuncture consultation.
  2. Inform your nurse and business office of your desire to have Acupuncture treatment by the time you start your stimulation.
  3. Arrive 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to transfer.
  4. On the day of transfer, come to the office with a modestly full bladder since it's still 1.5 hours prior to transfer.

Financial

Fee is $170 for the pre- and post-transfer acupuncture treatments combined. As Acupuncture is out-of-network, patients are responsible to submit insurance forms if they have coverage (i.e. UCOE, NYS Empire Plan). The fee should be paid prior to starting stimulation.

Miscellaneous

  1. All patients sign Acupuncture consent forms.
  2. We will have periodic seminars on Improving IVF Success with Acupuncture. Please take note of next seminar.
  3. Watch video, "Improving IVF Success With Acupuncture"

Improving IVF Success with Acupuncture

Dr. Kreiner has been studying and practicing fertility treatment since 1985.  Over the past 30+ years, he's witnessed first-hand the enormously improved success we have been able to achieve with advancements in in-vitro fertilization ("IVF").  Every day now, people we previously thought could never be helped to conceive are having babies as a result of today's state-of-the-art IVF technology.  However, successful as we have been, there are those who remain unhelped and still in need despite modern technology and medicine.  For those, Dr. Kreiner went back to school to study Traditional Chinese Medicine ("TCM") and acupuncture.

 

TCM has been successfully used for nearly all health problems since before recorded history.  In fact, approximately 2400 years ago the ancient Chinese medical text, Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine, was written dealing with the relationships among the internal organs and with the concepts of yin and yang as applied to medicine. 

In TCM, the yin and yang principle proposes that the bodily organs are interdependent and support each other in harmony.  Disease is defined as a loss of this state of balance within and among the organs.  Treatment with TCM is based on the restoration of the body's natural harmony and rebalancing of all the organs.

 

Applying TCM to conventional Western medical diagnosis mixes different worlds without a common language.  The science of TCM is based on the flow of Qi (the body's life energy) that connects the organs through channels and runs throughout the body.  Deficiencies and stagnations of this Qi arising from the different organs result in patterns of symptomatology– including the inability to conceive.  Treatment is individualized based on the unique patterns that are evident in each patient.  These symptoms and patterns are elucidated upon taking the patient's history and performing a physical examination.

 

Integrating TCM with state-of-the-art Western medicine involves focusing on how these patterns and  connections help us filter each patient's story and emerge with a clear map of how to use all the tools of medicine… including the most effective TCM and high-tech Western medicine.

 

Though the West was first introduced to acupuncture and TCM when President Nixon visited China, it was not until 2002 that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine ("ASRM") took notice after a published article in Fertility and Sterility showed that pre- and post- transfer acupuncture increased pregnancy rates (1).

 

There have been several studies (2-5) showing improvement in endometrial lining and pregnancy rates from acupuncture during the 4-8 weeks prior to embryo transfer. Specific protocols are tailored to the needs of the individual patient and may include herbal therapy, heat, diet and exercise modifications.

At ASRM 2015, Dr. Paul Magarelli, a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in IVF, presented a study he performed at his IVF clinic in Colorado demonstrating significantly higher pregnancy rates when acupuncture was initiated at least 6 weeks prior to embryo transfer and included pre- and post- transfer treatments. The benefit of acupuncture before and after transfer was further demonstrated in a study performed in Europe by Westergaard et al (6).

 

How does acupuncture help fertility?  From a Western perspective, acupuncture's successful treatment of stress is effective in improving fertility mostly by improving hormonal function. There is evidence that acupuncture also increases blood flow to the reproductive organs and helps balance the endocrine system.

 

If we are to assume that combining TCM with modern reproductive medicine optimizes a patient's success, then how can we best help our patients?  At Long Island IVF, we work with some of the most qualified fertility acupuncturists on Long Island and, in addition, offer TCM and acupuncture on-site in our Melville office-- including pre- and post- transfer treatments.

 

As a certified acupuncturist and reproductive endocrinologist with over 30 years of experience in IVF, Dr. Kreiner is uniquely qualified to offer all Long Island IVF patients TCM and acupuncture as complementary to their IVF treatment, thereby affording them the best that both Eastern and Western medicine has to offer.

References

  1. Fertility and Sterility 2002; 77:721-4 Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Paulus WE, Zhang M, Strehler E, Seybold B, Sterzik K
  2. Human Reproduction vol.11 no.6 pp.1314-1317, 1996 Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture Elisabet Stener-Victorin1, Urban Waldenstrdm , Sven A.Andersson and Matts Wikland
  3. Fertility and Sterility 2012; 97: 599–611. Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta- analysis. Cui Hong Zheng, Guang Ying Huang, Ming Min Zhang, Wei Wang
  4. Fertility and Sterility 2005; 83:S9. Acupuncture: Impact on Eggs and Embryos of IVF Patients. Cridennda D, Magarelli P, Cohen M
  5. Br Med J 2008; 336:545–9. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live. birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and metaanalysis. Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg B, Berman B, et al
  6. Fertility and Sterility 2006; 85:1341–1346. Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Lars G. Westergaard, Qunhui Mao, Marianne Krogslund, Steen Sandrini, Suzan Lenz, Jørgen Grinsted

James M. Shinol, LAc, LMT, Certified Herbalist
Huntington, Bayshore & Ronkonkoma
www.ThinkAcupuncture.com
Direct: 516-509-5444

Dr. Xiu (Suzanne) Yang
378 S Oyster Bay Rd,
Hicksville, NY
516-749-2065
www.acupuncture-fertility-ny.com

Dr. James Vitale L.Ac D.A.(R.I.)
Suffolk County Acupuncture
326 Walt Whitman Rd, Suite 201
Huntington, NY 11743
Tel: 631-424-8602
Info@SuffolkCountyAcupuncture.com

Evia Medical Center
Integrative medicine, women's health and fertility
Smithtown, NY
Tel: 631-979-7400
www.eviamedical.com

Roberta Klein - Siegelson MS, LAc.
1 South Marion Place
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Tel: 516-415-7348

Andrea Huggler
L I Holistic Health Associates 
www.LIHOLISTIC.com
399 Deer Park Ave. #1 
Babylon, NY 11702 
(631) 539-9733
1 Hollow Lane #300 
Lake Success, NY 11042 
(516) 279-6694

James M. Shinol LAc, LMT
35 W. Jericho Tpke
Huntington Station, NY
(631) 423-1969

Christine Bauer, DCh, LAc.

401 Fulton Street
Westbury, NY 11590
Tel: 516-333-7770
www.ivfacu.com

Heather Romano M.S., LAc
Pagoda Acupuncture & Herbal Healing Center
E. Northport, NY 11731
(631) 261-2077

Sherona Varulkar Kelley, L.Ac., Dipl. C.H.
Hidden Tao Acupuncture
2 Donald Street
Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776.
Tel/fax: 631-331-1903
Accepts insurance




Fertility Yoga

Fertility Yoga is a way to redirect attention away from the stress of invasive treatments. Our group and individual yoga classes focus on relaxing poses, meditation and visualization to obtain an optimal hormonal balance. Meditation is also utilized in Partner Yoga which fosters trust and support through the shared experience.


Hypnotherapy

Our certified hypnotherapist will work with patients to encourage them to release fears and worries while they undergo infertility treatments. Hypnotherapy can help prospective parents let go of limiting thoughts and emotions about conception, pregnancy and a myriad of other issues that crop up during the process of bringing a baby into the world. Hypnotherapy works by its effect on the hypothalamus, which is the neural center at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus registers stress by turning emotions into physical responses via hormone levels, which has a direct effect on fertility. Hypnotherapy utilizes methods such as guided imagery, a technique that aids in relaxation and positive affirmations, which support hopeful attitudes.

Janet Philbin, LCSW

269F Middle Country Road, Smithtown, NY, 11787
Tel: 516-639-6286
Email: hypnosisforhope@verizon.net


Massage Therapy

Massage therapy aims to alleviate the "stress-tension-pain" cycle through touch and pressure to interrupt negative impulses to the spinal cord. It reduces excess nerve activity within muscles and tissues and forces out toxic irritants that cause pain. Deep muscle relaxation and increased blood circulation to reproductive organs enhances the body's natural ability to conceive. Hands-on bodywork has shown to reduce anxiety of invasive medical treatments.

Rachel Liberatore, LMT
NuTouch Therapy
120 W. Old Country Rd
Hicksville, NY 11801
Tel: 516-305-2999

Nancy Barravecchio, LMT

Home Office-Levittown, NY, House calls available
Tel: 516-297-9749

Beth Riley, LMT

Port Jefferson
Tel: 631-471-3881

Katie Niemi-Muelle, LMT

StonyBrook NY, Huntington Station, NY


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