Frequently Asked Questions

Rhythms specializes exclusively in reproductive medicine and gynecology. This specialization deepens our knowledge of the human body and its inner workings in terms of western and eastern reproductive medicine and women’s health. I use this expertise to develop comprehensive treatment programs working in conjunction with your western medical provider.

Specializing in treating women and the issues they face, allows me to do just that, specialize. Having an expertise allows one to be the leader in their field without the distraction of trying to understand thousands of other medical conditions for which someone might present. In western medicine when you have infertility or menstrual irregularities you see your gynecologist or your reproductive endocrinologist, not your family practitioner. That wouldn’t be any different in Chinese medicine, and allows you to receive the best care from the most knowledgeable practitioner.

I also treat men for reproductive issues given that at least 50% of fertility issues are due to male factor. I have advanced training in these issues and often prefer to treat the couple because it definitely takes two to conceive.

Rhythms has close working relationships with many local gynecologists and reproductive endocrinologists in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. With your approval, I frequently discuss your situation with your medical doctor to gain a better understanding of the issues you face. I also may accompany you on your visit to your medical doctor to provide support and open communication. I then collaborate on a treatment protocol that may be right for you and make recommendations as such.

Your first appointment will involve a complete assessment of your condition both in terms of eastern and western medicine. If you have a western diagnosis and/or diagnostic testing results, please provide those to me either before or at your first visit. This visit is approximately one and one half hours and will involve a full acupuncture treatment. Any paperwork you can provide prior to your appointment will ensure you receive a full session at this visit. Most patients say that the anxiety they may have felt about receiving acupuncture for the first time is soon dissipated and leave very relaxed. Please dress comfortably for this first visit and, although you don’t want to have a full stomach, you don’t want to arrive on an empty stomach either.

The most commonly held belief of acupuncture’s mechanism of action in the western medical community is that it stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). The insertion of acupuncture needles to stimulate the CNS actually results in electromagnetic signals and changes in brain chemistry. These physiological changes are being mapped in current research and have been shown to activate pain receptors, regulate hormones, decrease inflammation and activate the immune system.

Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to improve fertility and pregnancy rates in a number of ways including increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, regulating the hormonal system, increasing the thickness of the uterine lining, regulating the menstrual cycles, improving ovarian function, and relaxing uterine contractions post IVF/IUI transfers, as well as improving sperm count, motility and morphology.

I am a leader in integrative reproductive medicine because this is what I specialize in. I don’t say I specialize in other health conditions such as pain management because reproductive medicine and gynecology is a vast discipline itself.   I have taken painstaking efforts to devote myself to the mastery of reproductive and gynecological conditions, and have demonstrated this by becoming board certified in Oriental reproductive medicine.  My board certification with the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine ( has provided the direction and expertise necessary for leadership in women’s health. I am the only board certified reproductive acupuncture and oriental medicine specialists in New England that is fellowship-trained by Chinese reproductive specialists.  Having spent a significant amount of time studying in Nanjing, China with renowned medical doctors, I have refined my skills and knowledge to help my patients with the most complex issues.

An ABORM certified practitioner must complete extensive training in reproductive medicine and gynecology and pass a rigorous exam demonstrating such knowledge.  Although any non-certified acupuncturist may say they specialize in treating infertility, they are most likely not well-versed in reproductive medicine without this training.  This often becomes clear when they market themselves in many areas including pain management, sports medicine or other.

At Rhythms, my approach to treatment is an integrative one.  I merge the ancient knowledge of Chinese medicine with the science of modern western medicine to deliver holistic integrative care. This integrative approach concentrates on wellness and the restoration and preservation of health rather than just on the treatment of symptoms.

Utilizing an integrative approach allows me to unite the best of both worlds to deliver one medicine to my patients.  Why does this matter?  It matters because both medicines offer valuable tools and benefits. The innovativeness of science and technology has brought forth highly accurate diagnostic and evidence-based tools and protocols.  Alternative medicine is skilled at treating the whole patient and the root cause of illness.  Collaborating can increase the healing results we all seek.

I work jointly with medical doctors, reproductive endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, naturopathic doctors and others in the evaluation and treatment of disease.  I treat the patient’s whole needs and focusing on the patient practitioner relationship.  I listen to my patients and work closely with them to develop a treatment plan and strategy that works.

Your individualized treatment plan is based on the assessment of your medical condition both from an eastern and western medical standpoint. I then utilize this information to develop a comprehensive treatment plan which may involve the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tuina, personal nutrition or lifestyle coaching. Your unique plan may involve all or only one of these depending on the nature of your medical condition.

While trying to conceive her own child, Katherine Alexander Anderson was amazed by the lack of public awareness about Chinese medicine and its ability to enhance fertility. Having worked in western medicine most of her career, even she was unaware of Chinese medicine, even though it had survived for thousands of years. Experiencing success with this medicine, she was convinced that other women would also want to know about it and began immersing herself in research. In her exploration, she uncovered that other women were also desperately seeking ways to enhance their fertility and overall health and were disillusioned with the purely western approach.

Determined to create a better way, Katherine began crafting her vision of an integrative health clinic long before entering Chinese medical school. It became her mission to become an expert in reproductive medicine and to help other women conceive their own children and to live healthier and happier lives. Continually researching, constantly inquiring, and persistently refining, Katherine founded Rhythms, her vision of an integrative women’s health center. Since that time, Rhythms has assisted thousands of women and men with their reproductive and health issues, and now sees the regular arrival of a Rhythms’ baby.