Anyone who has suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI) knows the discomfort it creates: pressure, burning, and the urge to bolt to the bathroom. Blame it on bacteria, often from the body’s digestive tract, that migrate to invade the urinary system—latching onto the urethra, bladder, or kidneys until serious complications develop.
Women and girls are far more prone to UTI’s than men and boys. In fact, one woman in five develops a UTI in her lifetime and 20% of those women will struggle with recurring infections, arguably due to their cells having a particular proclivity for sticking to the urinary tract.
The standard folk remedy is a glass of cranberry juice and Western doctors will additionally prescribe antibiotics; however, recent research indicates that acupuncture not only reduces discomfort during infection, but it also strengthens the immune system to prevent recurrent infection and discourages bacteria from sticking around.
Chinese medicine sees the body through a balance of yin and yang. In this framework, UTIs disturb the balance of the body by generating an excess of damp heat in the kidney. This “kidney yin deficiency” depletes the organs’ cooling function, causing inflammation that can manifest in sweating, chills, or burning—which align with the symptoms of a UTI. If antibiotics create a quick fix, acupuncture can go deeper to coax yin and yang back into harmony—bolstering the immune system, removing blockages, and releasing endorphins for a three-pronged defense against pain. Treatment recruits two key acupuncture points: one directly over the bladder and the other below the knee. To optimize treatment, patients should eat a protein source during every meal to make urine less acidic, replace coffee and alcohol with plenty of water, and wear cotton underwear for breathability.
Acupuncture has also made inroads in treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome, overactive bladder, and incontinence—especially when combined with mild electrical currents. This approach of “electroacupuncture” was found to be just as effective as a pelvic floor muscle regimen and took half the time.
If you or a loved one suffers from overactive bladder or a UTI, we can help you find relief at Natural Health to reclaim your comfort zone. Learn more about the basics of acupuncture from this great article here.Leave a reply →