Urinary tract and bladder issues are common, especially in post-menopausal women. Common urinary issues treated by acupuncture and herbal medicine include urinary incontinence, frequent urination, neurogenic bladder, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can be effective for men suffering from restricted urinary flow as a result of benign prostate hypertrophy.
Urinary incontinence and frequent urination have many causes from a Western medical perspective, and from a Chinese medicine point of view are generally a result of imbalance in the kidney and bladder. Acupuncture and herbal medicine address imbalance of the kidney and bladder with a combined approach of acupuncture and herbal medicine to restore healthy organ and meridian function, to promote urine concentration by the kidney and restore tone to the muscles of the bladder.
In a review of research for the efficacy of acupuncture for women over 50 with urinary issues found that acupuncture had a beneficial effect in frequency of urinary, pressure sensation, and even mediated urination in rats with artificially irritated bladders. Recent small, uncontrolled studies have suggested a clinical role for acupuncture in a variety of pelvic floor dysfunctions (often related to urinary symptoms) in men and in younger women
Another study found that women who received 4 weekly bladder-specific acupuncture treatments had significant improvements in bladder capacity, urgency, frequency, and quality-of-life scores as compared with women who received placebo acupuncture treatments.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) tend to become chronic, and many women suffer from multiple infections per year. The accepted treatment for UTI’s is antibiotic therapy. Repeated courses of antibiotics not only contribute to resistant pathogens, but also result in intestinal dysbiosis and candida overgrowth (make this a hyperlink to the candida page). Herbal medicine, lifestyle changes, and daily consumption of pure (unsweetened) cranberry juice can combat chronic urinary tract infections and prevent future UTIs.