Acupuncture and Bladder Problems
by Ingrid Masi
A patient of mine who had been on holidays recently stopped me in the street – “You know, that bladder treatment you gave me really worked!” While acupuncture is known for the excellent pain relief it can deliver, what people generally don’t know is that it is fantastic at strengthening and regulating organs, and in this case, the bladder.
We tend to overlook our bladders in terms of their function until something goes wrong. Women in particular are likely to suffer from various bladder problems. Most women will experience cystitis, or bladder infections at sometime during their life, and if lucky, they can be quickly resolved. However sometimes there can be persistent or repeated infections that can be completely crippling. I recall treating one patient in particular who had watched her mother suffer dreadfully and was then terrified when she started to develop the same pattern, which resulted in her getting up several times every night, gripped in pain. She had tried every line of pharmaceuticals as well as other remedies, and was desperate when she came to see me. Needless to say (as I am using her as an example!), her problem was resolved very quickly and she was very grateful to no longer be in such debilitating pain.
Not only can it help with persistent infections, but an overactive bladder, which includes frequent urination, urinary incontinence and reduced bladder capacity can all be helped with acupuncture. In a study published in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (USA – 2005;106:138-143) treatment with acupuncture to a group of 74 subjects showed a significantly greater reduction in urinary frequency and urgency and a significantly greater increase in maximum voided volume. Studies have also confirmed acupuncture, acupressure and laser acupuncture to be effective in reducing or eliminating bedwetting in children.
But, back to my original patient’s quote this morning about her bladder treatment. She had suffered from a weak bladder since giving birth to her third child despite adherence to pelvic floor muscle exercises. After one acupuncture treatment she noticed a considerable improvement and was eager to continue the course. Usually I would treat a weak bladder over about four regular treatments and then having another two further apart. This of course varies with each patient, and can be dependent upon age, previous surgeries, number of pregnancies and other general constitution or other conditions that may affect the bladder
So, if you are concerned at all about bladder issues and thought perhaps that there was no option but to live with a weak or inflamed bladder, then try acupuncture from a registered acupuncturist – it just might be the solution.