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Acupuncture for cystitis

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment
  5. Facesheet

1. Overview

Cystitis is often caused by a bacterial infection (bacterial cystitis) of the lower urinary tract. Symptoms include pain when urinating, increased urinary frequency and a sense of burning in the groin area.

2. Symptoms

Interstitial cystitis symptoms include long-term persistent pain in the pelvic region and problems with urination.

3. Causes

In 70% of cases, the main cause is Escherichia coli. Cystitis affects women more than men.

In Chinese medicine cystitis is caused by excessive heat, which can be caused by:

  1. Infection
  2. Sexual intercourse
  3. Consumption of yang type foods such as alcohol, spicy food and coffee, which cause damp heat
  4. Exposure to excessive heat, such as hot bath, electric blanket, sun bathing
  5. Stress

4. Treatment for cystitis

Traditional acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for cystitis. It helps the body's natural healing to boost the immune system so bladder infections don't return.

Research has shown that the stimulation of acupuncture points can help relieve the symptoms of cystitis. It does this by:

  1. Regulating the immune system
  2. Being anti-inflammatory
  3. Reducing pain and swelling
  4. Improving bladder irritation

You can also reduce urgent and frequent urination by increasing the strength of your pelvic floor through pelvic floor exercises.

5. Factsheet

Download my cystitis factsheet.


Katayama Y, Nakahara K, Shitamura T, et al. [Effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion therapy for the treatment of refractory interstitial cystitis]. Hinyokika kiyo. Acta Urologica Japonica. 2013 May;59(5):265-269.
Terje Alraek, Liv Inger Fosli Soedal, Siri Urnes Fagerheim, Asbj°rn Digranes, and Anders Baerheim, 2002: Acupuncture Treatment in the Prevention of Uncomplicated Recurrent Lower Urinary Tract Infections in Adult Women American Journal of Public Health 92, 1609_1611, https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.92.10.1609