When the prostate gland that surrounds the urethra becomes congested and swollen, it develops into a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). Unfortunately, BPH is a common problem seen in men past the age of 50, and treatment may be required in one out of four sufferers. The enlargement of the prostate can disrupt the normal outflow of urine, resulting in many impairing and uncomfortable symptoms like pain, urinary retention, dribbling, incomplete voiding, weak stream, nighttime urination (nocturia), and urinary frequency. Serious consequences like kidney failure can result from prolonged urinary retention. Standard Western treatments may include catheterization, medications, and surgery. Postoperative prognosis is often good but complications commonly tend to occur, including impotence, incontinence, bleeding, and infection. One effective complementary or alternative treatment for BPH is traditional acupuncture that can help allay the risks and discomforts related to this condition, and address as well the underlying conditions that have allowed it to develop in the first place.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, it’s common to see three main disease mechanisms in BPH that can all be treated by acupuncture in Encino. One disease mechanism is the weakness in the energetics of the spleen and kidney. It can manifest as qi deficiency. In Chinese medicine, Qi is a concept considered to be the life energy of a person, or the driving force that runs the physiological processes of the body. Both kidney and spleen govern the discharge of urine from the body and if these organs are weakened, symptoms like leakage, incontinence, and a weakened urinary stream may occur. Damp heat is the second disease mechanism that often accompanies BPH. This manifests as the typical inflammation and also perhaps bacterial infection frequently seen in the prostate from a Western medicine viewpoint. Damp heat symptoms may include urgency, urinary frequency, burning, pain, and in severe cases, blood in the urine (hematuria). The third commonly seen disease mechanism is an obstruction in the urethra that can be caused qi stagnation in the energy channels (meridians) and/or stagnated blood flow resulting in insufficient flow of blood to the area. Finally, BPH can also be due to lung disharmony. In Chinese medicine, the lungs have a major role in the metabolism of fluid in the body.
In order to treat BPH, the acupuncturist is required to perform a detailed assessment of the manifested symptoms that have been present in the past, and to ask the patient about the signs and symptoms that may be distantly tied to the his condition. A proper evaluation of the patient’s lifestyle needs to be done to see if it may have contributed to the development of the condition. Acupuncturists use Chinese medicine diagnostic methods such as a tongue examination and palpation of the pulses of the wrist’s radial artery, to help them determine the nature of the disharmony. Acupuncture treatment will commence once a proper diagnosis has been made, to resolve the disharmonies, which in a lot of instances will result in the restoration of the genito-urinary system’s health and the relief of symptoms. This will guaranty that the condition never returns. With acupuncture treatment, you don’t need to suffer from the disruptive and uncomfortable symptoms of BPH. It can also help you avoid surgery.