Womens Health


Womens Health in Shelton, CT.


Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center welcomes patients for acupuncture treatments in these towns and surrounding areas: Shelton, Bridgeport, Trumbull, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Monroe, Fairfield, Milford, and Orange. If you’d like to learn more, contact Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center to schedule an appointment. You can book your visit by phone or online.
Acupuncture has received a great deal of attention in recent years, but this form of ancient Chinese medicine is nothing new. Acupuncture has been in use for nearly 5,000 years.

Joseph Downer, LAc, of Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center in Shelton, Connecticut, has completed extensive training in this healing method. People of all ages and needs in the area rely on his acupuncture skills to find relief from a wide range of health concerns.

If you’re curious about how acupuncture might be able to work for your specific needs, schedule an appointment to meet with Joe for a personalized consultation.

Acupuncture Services

acupuncture Pain Management


  • Do you experience painful periods?

    Did you know that your period does not have to be miserable? Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with your period or menstrual cramps.
    Stratford Acupuncture can help you not only manage difficult periods and your fertility needs, but we also work with you to alleviate your menstrual concerns naturally and effectively.

  • How we help your body and cycle:

    •Weekly acupuncture treatments that focus on your specific concerns
    •Nutritional Response Testing to aid your menstrual health with natural herbal and whole-food based supplements and tinctures
    Lifestyle coaching: creating a diet and exercise regimen as needed.

Children's Acupuncture


Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. Hormonal changes with your menstrual cycle affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, causing the area to become inflamed and painful. This means the tissue will grow, thicken, and break down. Over time, the tissue that has broken down has nowhere to go and becomes trapped in your pelvis.

The symptoms of endometriosis vary. Some experience mild symptoms, but others can have moderate to severe symptoms. The severity of your pain does not indicate the degree or stage of the condition. You may have a mild form of the disease yet experience agonizing pain. It’s also possible to have a severe form and have very little discomfort.

  • Symptoms

    Pelvic pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. You may also have the following symptoms:
    •Painful periods
    •Pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation
    •Cramps one or two weeks around menstruation
    •Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods
    •Pain following sexual intercourse
    •Discomfort with bowel movements
    •Lower back pain that may occur at any time during your menstrual cycle

    In some cases, you may also have no symptoms.

  • Is it curable?

    Endometriosis has no cure, but its symptoms can be managed. Studies have shown that the following treatments are highly effective for those who endure continuous pain and hormonal fluctuations due to this condition:
    ⬧ Acupuncture treatments
    ⬧ Moxibustion treatments when needed
    ⬧ NRT or MFT testing to determine which herbal supplements are needed to ease your symptoms

Dry Needling

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Do you experience PMS, PMDD, PCOS, painful or irregular periods, or generally feel like your hormones are all over the place? You are not alone.
Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center can help give you the tools your body needs to have a healthy, pain-free menstrual cycle. Recent scientific studies have shown the success rate of acupuncture in treating PMS symptoms is 78%!

  • More Information

    Acupuncture can assist to rebalance and increase the body’s flow of energy, which becomes disrupted over time by stress, overworking, and poor dietary habits. Restoring the body’s balance can stabilize hormonal fluctuations, reducing anxiety, mastalgia (breast pain), insomnia, headaches, and many other symptoms of PMS.
    Everyone’s body is different. Joe will take the time during your consult to discuss your specific needs and help you with an acupuncture and nutritional protocol that will help you the most.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that appears mainly around reproductive age. If you suffer from PCOS, you may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess androgen hormone levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects both fertility and general health.

The most common symptoms of PCOS are an irregular period, lack of ovulation, infertility, unwanted hair growth on face, chest or back, insulin resistance and unusual weight gain.

  • More Information

    PCOS influences fertility by affecting ovulation. If the PCOS sufferer does ovulate, the egg is usually of feeble quality due to the surroundings in which it has been developing. Healthy eggs require growth in an estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) nourished environment, not in an androgenic (male hormone) setting. PCOS can make it harder to get pregnant and increase your risk for pregnancy complications and miscarriage.

    At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, we can support you with both acupuncture and nutrition to help you:
    • Restore reproductive energy
    • Remove obstruction or constriction of blood circulation
    • Build an adequate supply of blood to sustain a normal menstrual cycle
    • Help calm your body’s sympathetic nervous system to help aid relaxation and natural healing
    • Reduce stress and influence healthy ovulation

    Acupuncture and herbal medicine as a holistic solution to PCOS works by improving the body’s own natural healing capabilities. Developing a balanced diet and incorporating a healthy lifestyle with exercise is also recommended in the natural treatment for PCOS.

Eye Health Issues

Fertility Imbalance Support

Whether you are just starting to think about expanding your family, actively trying, struggling to get pregnant, or are currently pregnant, Stratford Acupuncture can help give you the support you need!
We treat all levels of fertility issues and needs, including those undergoing fertility treatments/ IVF. Acupuncture operates by addressing the root of the issue, which can help with infertility, amenorrhea, PCOS, pregnancy loss needs, hormonal imbalances, painful and irregular menses, PMS, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and more.

  • More Information

    Using acupuncture with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) like IUI, IVF, embryo freezing, etc, can increase the likelihood of a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
    When you book your first appointment or consultation, Joseph will discuss your specific fertility needs and healthcare needs to develop the best protocols that will address your needs. This can include weekly acupuncture, MFT/NRT, supplements and other nutritional support. Our supportive acupuncture treatments are fully customized to your needs; physically, emotionally, and financially.
    Acupuncture can help your fertility health by benefitting the following:

    • Chronic conditions such as IBS, insomnia/anxiety
    • Hormonal issues (cycle irregularity, PMS, PCOS, dysmenorrhea, or amenorrhea)
    • Supporting ovulation and implantation
    • Breach/labor inducement
    • Adding in whole food and herbal supplements when needed to benefit your overall health and fertility.

acupuncture Migraines

Pregnancy & Post-Partum Treatment and Care

During pregnancy, you can often experience a myriad of issues such as heartburn, back pain/ sciatica, migraine headaches, nausea/ morning sickness, and fatigue.
Since traditional over the counter medications are contraindicated for pregnancy, most people tend to suffer through these symptoms.

However, acupuncture is a safe and effective way to treat all these and other side effects/symptoms. You are always welcome to set up a free consultation with Joe if you are suffering from any of the above issues or any other health concerns that may arise during your pregnancy.

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), IUI, and IVF Support

    A combination of acupuncture and/or herbal supplements can effectively complement your ART treatment and may significantly boost your chances for success. Research shows that acupuncture can increase the efficacy of IVF procedures up to 45%!
    At Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center, we can help support you in the following ways:

    • We start by looking at your overall health and nutrition, which is most beneficial to begin about 2-3 months prior to your ART procedures (which may include IUI or IVF). Starting Nutrition Response Testing as well as MFT so early improves your overall health and assists in the regulation of your nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems. This allows your body to be at its most optimal health for conception. Acupuncture treatments also provide an easier ART procedure if completed before your embryo retrieval.

    • During your fertility protocol, Acupuncture can increase the qi/blood flow to your uterus, thickening the endometrial lining and preparing it for embryo implantation.

    • We provide Acupuncture both before and after your embryo transfer. Even if this is the only step you take, it will increase your chances of achieving pregnancy by reducing stress, relaxing the uterus, and reducing cramping.

    To better facilitate fertility and overall body health, we recommend that our patients receive a minimum of 6-9 weeks of consistent acupuncture treatment while following comprehensive lifestyle recommendations. During this time, the focus is on regulating any imbalances that may occur elsewhere in the body in order to maximize your potential for a healthy pregnancy and birth.

fertility acupuncture

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors comprised of smooth uterine muscle and connective tissue. The uterus is the most common site for muscle tumors to occur. Fibroids can hinder fertility and are the leading cause of hysterectomies in the United States.

  • Symptoms

    Some symptoms may include:
    • Excessive menstrual bleeding
    • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
    • Bleeding between periods (spotting)
    • Pelvic pain or fullness
    • Pain during intercourse
    • Frequent urination

  • More Information

    Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been used for centuries to treat uterine fibroids effectively. Fibroids can significantly shrink or disappear as a result of acupuncture treatments with whole-food and herbal supplementation. It has been shown that when the underlying cause of fibroids is treated, they are less likely to keep growing back. For many, the fibroids disappear naturally after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decline.

acupuncture for anxiety

Menopause Pain

Menopause is determined by the complete cessation of the menstrual cycle and the end of the ability to conceive. This is a normal part of the aging process and occurs when the ovaries discontinue making estrogen hormones. Although this can happen sooner, this usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 60. Hormonally, menopause is indicated when estrogen levels decline, thereby causing the pituitary gland to secrete higher levels of FSH.

  • More Information

    Menopausal symptoms may include joint pain, hot flashes, night sweats, restlessness, memory loss, bone loss, headaches, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, moodiness, and depression.

    Alongside your current prescribed medications or treatments for menopause, acupuncture has shown to effectively reduce hot flashes, eases joint pain as well as depression/moodiness (and so much more!). Acupuncture has the ability to alter various biochemical conditions in order to re-balance the body and alleviate menopausal symptoms. Joe may also use herbal and whole-food supplements in conjunction with your targeted acupuncture treatment.

acupuncture ear


Candida is an overgrowth or imbalance of the flora of the intestine including yeast, mold and fungus.
Several conditions can lead to Candida. Steroid drugs (such as cortisone), birth control pills, and the long-term use of antibiotics. Antibiotics, while effective in fighting infection, can deplete the immune system and over time can reduce the number of beneficial bacteria that normally help to keep the yeast under control.

  • More Information

    Poor nutrition or a sluggish immune system weakens the body’s ability to fight off yeast. As yeast thrives on sugar, restricting it from your diet –and eliminating/cutting down any refined carbohydrates and gluten grains– can help the body recover more successfully.
    At Stratford Acupuncture, we know that boosting the immune system is crucial as well as effective against candida. This is why we use both acupuncture as well as Nutrition Response Testing to give your body the best support to successfully fight off candida infections. Along with dietary guidelines and applicable anti-fungal herbal remedies, acupuncture can lead to a successful treatment for extinguishing this condition in the short and long-term.

  • Symptoms

    When yeast is in overabundance, symptoms may include:
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Decreased libido
    • Thrush
    • Bloating/gas/intestinal cramping
    • Rectal itching/altered bowel function
    • Bladder infections
    • Menstrual complaints
    • Depression/irritability/inability to concentrate/mood disorders
    • Allergies or food intolerances/chemical sensitivities/low immune function