Acupuncture - Urinary Tract Infection

Tess Thompson

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common disease and it is believed that more than 10 million people in US alone have to look for an appropriate urinary tract infection cure every year. Women are affected more than men, either because of their shorter urethra, which makes it easy for accumulated bacteria to travel upwards. It is also due to the closeness of the opening of urethra to the anus and due to some other reasons that are not yet confirmed by the scientists.

Continued allopathic treatment by way of antibiotics runs the risk of side effects. It is also known that the bacteria can also develop a resistance to the existing antibiotics that have been prescribed, if the medication is used for a long time. These issues have led to a continuous exploration of different modes of treatment and alternate therapies.

If one looks beyond home, natural, homoeopathic and herbal remedies for bladder infection treatment and urinary tract infection cure; acupuncture treatment is an option that can be considered.

The word acupuncture is derived from Latin words for needle (acus) and prick (pungere) and the therapy is exactly what the name suggests. Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating needles at specific points; a process which the proponents profess can relieve pain and cure diseases.

Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and like every thing old, has evolved over time. It exists today in another form also, called classical Chinese acupuncture. Japanese and Korean acupunctures are slightly different. Modern acupuncturists use stainless steel needles of a very fine diameter suitably sterilized with ethylene oxide or by autoclave. The type and length of the needle and the extent to which it is to be inserted depends upon the style to which the acupuncturist belongs.

Whereas some studies have been instrumental in proving the pain relieving effects of acupuncture, its efficacy for curing other ailments is a debatable issue and open to doubt.

Studies performed in Norway, using standardized scientific procedures, point towards a 50% reduction in the rate of infection after getting acupuncture treatment for UTI. There is also evidence of acupuncture treatment leading to a reduction in urine retention. Urine that remains in the bladder even after urination is one of the major causes of UTI. This indicates that acupuncture therapy can be helpful in bladder infection cure too.

The debate whether acupuncture is an effective mode of treatment or simply has a placebo effect on the UTI patient will continue but there does not seem to be any harm in trying acupuncture as long as the therapist is careful about sterilization and is licensed by a competent authority to treat. As part of a urinary tract infection cure, acupuncture can be very helpful in relieving pain during infection. A prolonged acupuncture treatment can be quite effective in strengthening functions of the immune system and prevent recurrent infections.

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