Acupuncture Treatment of Stress Incontinence

acupuncture lower back Stress incontinence is an all too common problem after having a baby, prostate surgery, or developing over time. It’s not something people always want to talk about, but it affects many aspects of your life.  Stress incontinence can occur because of weakening of the muscles of the pelvic floor and bladder sphincter.

The good news is that acupuncture has been shown to help reduce stress incontinence.

Electro Acupuncture for Stress Incontinence

I have treated many people with urinary incontinence and frequent urination with electroacupuncture and acupuncture in my clinic. My acupuncture therapy usually focuses on acupuncture points that lie on the urinary bladder and kidney meridians on the lower back and the legs.

A recent study found that electroacupuncture reduced amount of urine leakage and incontinence episodes. And the effects lasted more than 20 weeks after the therapy was finished which shows that acupuncture has a long lasting healing effect.

The electroacupuncture was done on the acupuncture points located on the lower back and buttock area. The first, Urinary Bladder 33 is located over the third sacral foramen and the second Urinary Bladder 35 is located next to the tip of the coccyx. These acupuncture points are traditionally used for any incontinence or bladder issue. It is thought that stimulation on these points stimulate the third sacral nerve and puedendal nerve that control the bladder sphincter.

How does Acupuncture Work for Stress Incontinence?

Acupuncture works on many levels to address the mind and the body. We say that acupuncture address the underlying imbalance in the body causing the condition.  One’s we treat the root imbalance the body can improve.  This may be an imbalance with the body’s Qi . 

Acupuncture also works physically with the body to calm the nervous system and also reset patterns in the body.

1. Xu H, Liu B, Wu J, et al. A Pilot Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial of Electroacupuncture for Women with Pure Stress Urinary Incontinence. PLoS One.2016;11(3):e0150821; PMID: 26960195.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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