Acupuncture has been around for over 2,500 years since it started in China. To this day, it is gaining acceptance in the Western culture as an alternative therapy. Historically, it is used for therapeutic purposes. It is often used for pain management purposes.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that’s been around for hundreds of years. It is believed that our bodies are filled with a life force known as qi (chee). Qi flowing in the right places throughout our bodies is responsible for our good physical and mental health. When energy flow is disrupted, the consequences of it would result in illness. Acupuncture is then used to balance the flow of our qi for us to stay healthy or recover from illness or diseases.
Acupuncture is a technique in which very thin needles are inserted into specific points in the body. It is used to relieve pain, rebalance the body’s qi, stimulate sensory nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, and allow the body to release natural chemicals to promote healing.
There are many methods of acupuncture. Some of these are:
- Body acupuncture – applying acupuncture needles to points along the channels of the body
- Scalp acupuncture – a method used for neurological disorders by applying acupuncture needles along the surface of the head
- Electroacupuncture – a method of acupuncture using electrical stimulations
- Warm acupuncture – a method where a needle with a firing moxa cylinder is heated or burnt to remove coldness.
- Fire needle – a method where the needle is heated until it’s red-hot and stuck into the skin.
- Auricular acupuncture – a method where needles are used to stimulate points on the ear.
- Elongated needle acupuncture – a method where needles that are usually 125mm long are used.
Where is Acupuncture Mainly Used?
As mentioned before, acupuncture is mainly used for therapeutic purposes, and to relieve pain or discomfort connected with conditions or diseases like:
- Headaches and migraines
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Labor pain
- Dental pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Respiratory disorders
- Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
There are many more ways where acupuncture can be used, but it has been making a name for itself as an alternative therapy for urological disorders and diseases.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Generally, yes. Acupuncture is safe because it is performed by licensed, professional, and highly trained practitioners. Acupuncture is considered an invasive procedure because of the use of needles to penetrate the skin. But patients don’t consider it painful, rather consider it as a tingling or pinch sensation. Some consider it as better alternatives as it is relatively non-toxic (no use of medication) and has minimal side effects.
How Can Acupuncture Help With Urological Disorders?
Urology is a branch of medicine that mainly deals with diseases of the urinary system. It focuses on the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, and also with male organs responsible for reproduction like the penis, testes, scrotum, prostate, etc.
Treatment for most of the diseases or disorders in urology are therapy, lifestyle changes, surgery, and medications or antibiotics. Some of these treatments are expensive and scary for others, and that’s why acupuncture has been a good and effective alternative for these conditions.
What Are These Urological Conditions and Benefits of Acupuncture?
– a condition where you’re not able to fully empty your bladder of urine, which usually occurs after giving childbirth.
After giving birth, mother’s are having a hard time urinating. Studies have shown that acupuncture for urinary retention effectively improves urination and relieves anxiety in patients.
Overactive Bladder (OAB)
– a condition where there is an increased urgency of urinating, in both daytime and nighttime during sleep, in absence of having any urinary tract infections.
Acupuncture is one of the alternative therapies for OAB. Clinical studies show that this reduces micturition (the process where urine is expelled from the body), which improves the quality of life of patients. This influences their social relationships and sexual functions, and can also reduce anxiety and depression.
– common among the elderly where there is urine leakage whenever the person laughs, coughs, or moves abruptly.
Acupuncture is widely used for this condition in Asian countries and is starting to gain traction worldwide. It improves the symptoms by strengthening ‘qi’ (the vital substance constituting the human body) and helping the recovery of bladder functions.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
– a condition common to older men, in which there is an enlargement of the prostate, but not cancerous. The enlargement may block urine flow and cause discomfort or urinary retention.
Acupuncture for this condition has had positive results in previous studies, where patients would feel less pain or discomfort and also improved their urinary functions.
Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
– a condition in which there is an inflammation of the prostate caused by previous infections, weak nervous system, weak immune system, or psychological stress. Patients would feel pain, have urinary symptoms, and are also associated with mental, behavioral, sexual, or emotional consequences.
Evidence from the clinical studies in acupuncture for this condition mainly reduces the pain, urinary symptoms, and improves the patient’s quality of life.
– an inflammation of the epididymis, a tube at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm, which is caused by bacterial infections or sexually transmitted infections.
Studies have shown that acupuncture for epididymitis can relieve pain and reduce symptoms to some extent.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
– an infection in your urinary system. Most infections are around the bladder or urethra. This condition is more common in women than men.
Acupuncture for this condition resulted in a reduced recurrence rate among UTI-prone women and showed reduced residual urine, which is a risk factor for recurrent UTIs.
– the inability of men to reproduce through normal sexual activities caused by unhealthy sperm, not having enough sperm, or genetic problems like cystic fibrosis.
Studies show that acupuncture may help some men with their infertility by improving the quality of their sperm, which will help them reach their full reproductive potential
– the inability to get pregnant with frequent unprotected sex with no success, which is caused by ovulation disorders, damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and uterine or cervical causes.
Studies have shown that acupuncture helps increase the fertility of women. It helps balances fertility hormones, increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, improve quality and quantity of eggs, increase lining of the uterus, reduces recurrent miscarriage, promotes ovulation, and decreases stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture for urology is still at its early stages. Studies have shown that acupuncture for urological disorders have resulted in some efficacy, rather than using traditional treatments. More clinical studies should be held with better study designs and bigger sample sizes for this field in acupuncture to improve and grow, earning the trust of people to consider it as a good alternative. Nevertheless, results have shown that it is effective and will surely catch on to people in time.
Visit Us At Irvine Meridian Health Center
Are you looking for acupuncture for urology near me? Are you feeling any urological discomfort and looking for relief? Then look no further. Our award-winning acupuncturist, Dr. Chun-Ming Fu, is here to help with your acupuncture needs.
Irvine Meridian Health Center has been providing acupuncture for urology for our patient’s relief. You can visit or call our office to know more!
Call or email us for a consultation!
Chengwen Zheng, Zaoying Li, Haizhen Lu, Yi Zhou, “Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Urinary Retention: A Meta-Analysis”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2021, Article ID 2500282, 11 pages, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/2500282
Mo Q, Wang Y, Ye Y, et alAcupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: a systematic review protocolBMJ Open 2015;5:e006756. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006756
Zhao, Yuwei et al. “Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Medicine vol. 97,8 (2018): e9838. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000009838
Wang Y, Zhishun L, Peng W, Zhao J, Liu B. Acupuncture for stress urinary incontinence in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD009408. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009408.pub2
Wang, Jisheng et al. “The safety and efficacy of acupuncture for epididymitis protocol for a systematic review.” Medicine vol. 98,1 (2019): e13934. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000013934
He Y, Chen CT, Qian LH, Xia CL, Li J, Li SQ, Liu BP. [Acupuncture treatment of male infertility: a systematic review]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2015 Jul;21(7):637-45. Chinese. PMID: 26333228.
Qin, Zongshi et al. “Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.” Medicine vol. 95,11 (2016): e3095. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000003095
Liu YL, Wang XD, Huang SF. Observations on the Therapeutic Effect of Electroacupuncture on Urinary Retention Due to Prostatic Hyperplasia [J]. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2017(11):1318-1320.
Alraek, Terje et al. “Acupuncture treatment in the prevention of uncomplicated recurrent lower urinary tract infections in adult women.” American journal of public health vol. 92,10 (2002): 1609-11. doi:10.2105/ajph.92.10.1609