10 Things to Know about Acupuncture for Pelvic Pain

Acupuncture on UB 23 for boosting Kidney Qi

1. Pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) is a chronic condition that causes much suffering.  Those with pelvic pain can experience painful, frequent, urgent, or difficult urination, genital pain, lower back pain, sexual dysfunction, and commonly digestive problems.

2.  In most cases, those with pelvic pain do not have an infection. Although these symptoms can be similar to having an infection, it is always good to rule out infection first.  Pelvic pain is most often caused by muscle spasms and tension of the muscles in the pelvic floor, lower back, and legs.

3. It is important to recognize that stress and muscle pain are linked.  A cycle develops where pain causes stress and then the stress further causes pain.

4.  An effective treatment should address both the mind and body in stopping pain, relaxing muscles, reducing inflammation and breaking the pain/stress cycle.

5. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a holistic approach to healing.  This is an effective treatment to relieve the pain, improve sexual function, and decrease urinary problems, as well as relief depression associated with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. It can also address other issues that may arise from pelvic pain such as digestive problems and insomnia.

6. Acupuncture can be incorporated with other manual and holistic therapies such as physical therapy, massage, and mindfulness techniques.

7.  Acupuncture diagnosis and treatment focuses on identifying the specific root imbalance causing the condition and tailoring the treatment for you.  The treatment most commonly includes acupuncture points on the lower back, gluts, abdomen, and legs. Specific acupuncture points on the ear can target pain in the pelvic region.  Electroacupuncture is often used to rapidly help reduce pain and inflammation.

8. Acupuncture may include many therapies such as electroacupuncture, tui na (acupressure), cupping, and gua sha (massage with a tool, this is very helpful for inhibited urination).

9. Chinese herbal medicine are also effective for reduction of muscle pain and inflammation as well as improving urinary flow.

10.  Mindfulness techniques and exercises should be used to prevent a recurrence of the symptoms.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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