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The bladder can have a mind of its own. Normally, the bladder relaxes as it fills and contracts only when you need to urinate. Bladder spasms can occur when the bladder muscles suddenly contract causing a sudden need to urinate.  In some people this can also cause pain. The symptoms of bladder spasms can be intense, impacting your work, education, and social life. Bladder spasms can occur in overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, and other conditions. Acupuncture is an excellent way to reduce bladder spasms. Acupuncture works by resetting the body to be healthy and allowing the bladder to relax. Acupuncture therapy for bladder spasms Acupuncture theory is based upon the idea that channels connect different parts of the body. These

Patients in my New York Acupuncture clinic are always curious how acupuncturists choose the correct acupuncture points.  There are a number of ways to choose the acupuncture points. The basic idea with acupuncture is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body.  This can help to stimulate the body to heal itself.  We acupuncturists will determine the imbalance by our examination.  For example, if there is lack of circulation  of the energy, what we call qi stagnation, we’ll choose points to move the qi.  A common combination for moving the qi is Liv 3 and LI 4. I find that acupuncture is most effective by changing the focus of the treatment overtime. At first, we may focus on releasing tension

Acupuncturists have a choice in terms of how long the needles are left in the acupuncture points.  Different times have different clinical effects. Most often, the acupuncture needles are retained in the acupuncture points for 20-30 minutes.  Traditionally we say it takes 30 minutes for the qi, the body’s energy, to circulate in the channels. But if it is an acute situation, such as a back spasm, it is generally better to leave the acupuncture needles in for about 20 minutes.  This is because the muscles will relax quicker in an acute injury like a back spasm. When the energy is weak, what we call qi deficiency, it is better to leave the needles in for a longer period of

This is the fourth article in a series focusing on acupuncture for back pain. Car accidents, injuries, and training are not the only reason people develop back pain. Stress is also be a significant cause of back pain. Acupuncture is very effective for stress induced back pain because it can address both the physical and mental aspects of the cause of the pain. This patient came to me with chronic back pain on the lower left side. When I asked where the pain was specifically, she pointed to the sacro iliac joint. This is a very common location for lower back pain.  Stress also causes back pain by creating muscle tension and spasms. She had back pain for a number

This is the third article in a series focusing on acupuncture for back pain treatment. Back pain commonly challenges serious athletes.   This next case study discusses a young man who was training for a marathon when he developed back pain. This patient came to me after developing back pain while training for a marathon.  He was building up strength and running time when he developed pain in the lower back on the right side.  The pain was most intense after running and sometimes traveled down through the butt.  Back stiffness and spasms were also a problem. After a visit to his orthopedist and an MRI, he was diagnosed with a bulging disc. Acupuncture treatment for lower back pain We began

People with back pain often find relief in acupuncture after other treatments have not worked. From a Chinese medicine and acupuncture point of view, this is because the underlying imbalance was not corrected.  A successful treatment must be tailored specifically to what is going on with your back. Physiologically, it is because acupuncture works holistically with the body, address many levels of the pain and condition.  It works to relax the muscles, stimulate healing in the connective tissues, and reset the nervous system. What are the imbalances that would need correcting? There is an old saying in Acupuncture.  “When there is no movement, there is pain.  When there is movement, there is no pain.” Qi, the body’s energy flows through

In this post, I will wrap up my series on acupuncture for shoulder pain with two cases, one about an athlete and the other a retired New Yorker. The Athlete with a Pain in the Neck This patient is a serious athlete in his mid 30’s.  He exercised five times per week, lifting weights in the gym, bike riding, and playing a number of organized sports.  After an injury a few months before, he began to develop pain and stiffness in the right side of his neck.  The pain was worse after lifting weights as well as after cycling. When he came into the office, it was clear he has decrease range of motion in the neck.  Often, after an

Overactive bladder is a syndrome characterized by the frequent, strong, and sudden urge to urinate. The syndrome can seriously disrupt your life by interrupting your work and make you avoid social situations. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been treating syndromes of frequent urination for over 2000 years. How Acupuncture Treats Overactive Bladder   Acupuncture helps reduce the symptoms of overactive bladder by relaxing the nerves and muscles associated with the bladder.  Overactive bladder may be caused from bladder spasm creating the sudden need to urinate or a sudden feeling of urination when the bladder is filling, although it is not totally full. Contraction of the pelvic floor muscles may also be a factor.  Acupuncture