Dr (TCM) Attilio D'Alberto Accupuncture Book Chinese Herbal Medicine Acupoints Doll
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Acupuncture for urinary incontinence

On this page

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

1. Overview

Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control often occurring when coughing, laughing or sneezing.

2. Symptoms

Urine leaks when you exert pressure on your bladder by coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting something heavy.

3. Causes

Urinary incontinence tends to affect women more than men often as a result of going through labour into order to have children. Incontinent episodes can affect a person's quality of life due to urine leakage.

Symptoms of urinary incontinence include an overactive bladder, urinary leakage and finding it difficult to hold urine inside.

It's important to do pelvic floor muscle training every day to strengthen urinary control.

4. Treatment for urinary incontinence

The causes of urinary incontinence in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) include a kidney qi deficiency, spleen qi deficiency and excessive heat in the urinary bladder. For these reasons, eating foods that are good for the kidney and spleen and help strengthen the body and reduce symptoms.

Avoid eating foods that are yang (hot) in nature like coffee, alcohol and chilli. In chronic cases, herbal formulas can boost kidney and spleen qi quicker than dietary changes, thereby improving bladder function.

Acupuncture points and Chinese herbal medicine can be an effective treatment for people suffering from urinary incontinence by:

  • Reduce stress for stress incontinence type
  • Allowing increased bladder capacity

Women with stress urinary incontinence an see significant improvement from my treatment.

Systematic reviews published in peer reviewed health care journals where electro acupuncture and traditional acupuncture were tested against sham acupuncture showed improved bladder function and quality of life in the acupuncture group.

A clinical study for example, showed acupuncture is an effective treatment for mixed urinary incontinence in the electroacupuncture group when compared to sham acupuncture.

5. Factsheet

Download my urinary incontinence factsheet from the British Acupuncture Council.


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Paik, S., Han, S., Kwon, O., Ahn, Y., Lee, B., Ahn, S."Acupuncture for the treatment of urinary incontinence: A review of randomized controlled trials". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 6, no. 3 (2013): 773-780. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2013.1210.
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Honjo H, Kitakoji H, Kawakita K, Saitoh M, Ukimuta O, Kojima M, Watanabe H, Aramaki S. [Acupuncture for urinary incontinence in patients with chronic spinal cord injury. A preliminary report]. Nihon Hinyokika Gakkai Zasshi. 1998 Jul;89(7) 665-669. doi:10.5980/jpnjurol1989.89.665. PMID: 9739588.
In-Myong Chung, Youn-Sub Kim, Yun-Hee Sung, Sung-Eun Kim, Il-Gyu Ko, Mal-Soon Shin, Hi-Joon Park, Dae-Hyun Ham, Hye-Jung Lee, Ki-Jeong Kim, Sang-Won Lee, Yong-Seok Jee, Khae-Hawn Kim, Chang-Ju Kim. Effects of acupuncture on abdominal leak point pressure and c-Fos expression in the brain of rats with stress urinary incontinence, Neuroscience Letters, Volume 439, Issue 1, 2008, Pages 18-23, ISSN 0304-3940, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2008.04.100.