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Acupuncture Can Be A Viable Treatment For Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome And Chronic Prostatitis

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Very few people are aware that acupuncture treatment for prostatitis can be an optional treatment for chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) and chronic prostatitis (CP). Acupuncture has been practiced by Chinese physicians for thousands of years. It is based on the existence of vital energy (Chi) that flows throughout the body through invisible pathways of energy called meridians. From time to time, this Chi flow becomes sluggish as a result of blockage within the meridians that disrupts flow resulting in illness and disease.

Acupuncturists use meridians at specific points in the body, called acupuncture points or just acupoints, to apply ultrafine needles into the skin. The needles activate the acupoints in order to resolve a wide range of conditions, including CPPS/CP. Activating those acupoints is known to promote the self-healing processes of the body and boost the function of the body.

From the viewpoint of Western medicine, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to release neurotransmitters and hormones in order to enhance the immune system, normalize various bodily functions, and relieve pain.

Because acupuncture treatment involves the use of needles, a lot of individuals are reluctant to try it. But the truth is, this treatment does not cause pain at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin and because of people’s previous experience with much thicker hypodermic needles or due to their apprehension during the first treatment, they might naturally find it hard to stay calm during the initial treatment. In order to prevent infections, the acupuncture needles are disposable, sterilized, and used only once.

When undergoing dry needling of the muscular but tender trigger points, patients may experience a fleeting discomfort. A typical dry needling session would last around 20 minutes by which time the person becomes very relaxed and the discomfort relieved. Some people suffering from pelvic pain and prostatitis may experience minor flare-ups or temporary aggravation of their condition within the first few sessions.

How Does Acupuncture Treatment for Prostatitis Work?

More and more Western-trained doctors are accepting acupuncture as a valid remedy for pain. Countless studies have been conducted dealing with acupuncture prostatitis treatment for the relief of symptoms such as stress, urinary problems, and pain, and to upgrade the quality of life of the patients. Generally speaking, those studies showed encouraging results in the treatment of CPPS and CP. Since it is tricky to utilize a placebo with acupuncture, the placebo that scientists use is sham or fake acupuncture. This means that patients are informed that they are getting acupuncture when in reality they are not getting any treatment at all.

Natural and alternative therapies such as acupuncture prostatitis treatment are a component of a treatment protocol known as CPPS/ NPAT which is a holistic type of treatment for CPPS/ CP. NPAT is an acronym for:

• Natural therapies (gluten-free diets, elimination diets, and ALCAT)
• Phytotherapy (probiotics combined with quercetin and pollen)
• Alternative Therapies (pelvic therapy and rehabilitation, prostate massage, and acupuncture)
• Total body (lifestyle, long-term stress management, and exercise)

NPAT is a specialized style of acupuncture involving the following things:

• Needle insertion on “stress points”
• Dry Needling of trigger points in the muscles
• Needling other acupoints believed to help treat prostatitis

The treatment of prostatitis begins by first recognizing the trigger points in the pelvic muscles. Trigger points are points that are extremely sensitive and are found in tight bundles of either skeletal fascia or muscle. When pressured is applied to these points, they cause referred pain and local tenderness. A dry needle is stuck directly into the muscle and skin at a myofascial trigger point when such points need to be identified. Acupoints traditionally used for prostatitis are then also needled. Generally, results can be experienced after 6 to 12 treatment sessions that are conducted one or two times a week.

Studies have confirmed that stress plays a huge role in the development of prostatitis or the worsening of its symptoms. Acupuncture has been used successfully for the management and relief of stress. A study done fairly recently shows acupuncture’s ability to prevent the excess release of stress chemicals.

An April 2013 issue of a medical journal featured a series of studies conducted by the Medical Center of Georgetown University. Electro-acupuncture was used by researchers on rats to monitor the amounts of hormones and proteins that rodents and humans secrete associated with the reaction to stress. The researchers selected electro-acupuncture because it made sure each animal was administered with the same dose.

The study took 10 days to complete. It included a control group that was not treated with acupuncture and was not stressed, a group that was not given acupuncture and was stressed for an hour every day, a group that was treated with fake acupuncture near the tail and was stressed, and the experimental group, that received acupuncture on the acupoint believed to alleviate stress (the Hsuzanli point) and was stressed. This acupoint is found below the knee in humans.

The study revealed that electro- acupuncture prevented the long-term stress caused by the increase of NPY and hormones. NPY is a peptide produced by the sympathetic nervous system. In the experimental group, the amounts of NPY decreased near the amount of the control group. The rats that were treated with fake acupuncture increased their hormones the same as that of the animals subjected to stress for an hour and were left untreated. The rats that were not treated with acupuncture to the Hsuzanli acupoint who were stressed showed increased amounts of NPY. Being a significant contributor to CPPS and pelvic muscle tension, stress can be reduced through acupuncture which can really be helpful for men suffering from stress-induced prostatitis.

The following is a list of studies involving acupuncture treatment for prostatitis:

A study published in the American Journal of Medicine evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture versus fake acupuncture in 89 men suffering from CPPS/ CP who were randomly designated to receive either fake or real acupuncture for 10 weeks, twice a week. Of the 44 men who were treated with real acupuncture 73 percent (32 men) responded positively to the treatment after a 10-week study as opposed to 47 percent (21 men) of the 45 men in the fake acupuncture group. The outcomes were based on responses to the NIH/CPSI (National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index). In addition, positive effects were seen in 32 percent or 14 of the men who received real acupuncture six months after the end of the study, as opposed to only 13 percent or only 6 in the fake acupuncture group.

Canadian researchers did a study to determine whether acupuncture can improve the quality of life in men suffering from CPPS/CP as well as alleviate pain and problems with urination. Twelve men were involved in the study and they all tried using conventional medications such as alpha-blockers, anti-inflammatories, or antibiotics without success. The men were treated with two sessions of acupuncture each week for six weeks. During each session, 30 acupoints were used to alleviate their condition. After 33 weeks of follow-up, all twelve experienced significant improvements in their quality of life, urinary symptoms, and pain based on NIH/CPSI scores. The study’s authors state, “In the improvement of the quality of life and symptoms of men suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome/chronic prostatitis, acupuncture has shown to a durable, safe, and efficient treatment.”

A review in 2011 about acupuncture treatment’s effectiveness against CCPS/CP states that “more proof has affirmed that acupuncture can be an effective and safe treatment in the management of CPPS/CP.” The authors of the review said their evaluation of the studies dealing with acupuncture treatment for CPPS/CP “could spur urologists and healthcare providers to use acupuncture along with conventional treatment for the management of CPPS/CP pain.”

In 2009, a study was published involving 39 men with CPPS/CP who were divided into three groups. One group was treated with 12 sessions of electro-acupuncture, was told to exercise and given lifestyle advice; the second group was also told to exercise, was given advice, and treated with 12 sessions of fake acupuncture, while the last group was told to exercise and was given advice and received no other treatment. Acupuncturists targeted six acupuncture points to address the symptoms whose improvements were measured using the CPSI or NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index. One and a half months later, the NIH-CPSI score of the group treated with electro-acupuncture got reduced significantly compared to the other two groups. Also, the painful symptoms of the electro-acupuncture group significantly improved. On average, this group had a six-point decrease in its score, compared to only 16.7 percent (two members) in the fake acupuncture group and 25 percent (three members) in the remaining group. This led the researchers to conclude that electro-acupuncture has proven therapeutic effects in the alleviation of pain related to CPPS/CP.

Side Effects of Acupuncture

When it comes to safety, acupuncture treatment for prostatitis is definitely a very safe alternative therapy to use compared to drugs. It rarely has side effects which may involve bacterial infections at the area where the needle has been inserted. Hepatitis is the most common infection you can get from acupuncture. To avoid this problem, you should seek out a licensed and qualified acupuncturist who only uses the Clean Needle Technique.

Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac.
Asian Health Center
27059 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy
Cleveland, OH 44143
Tel: (440) 833-0983

There is a Natural, Safe, Effective and Drug Free Alternative.

Written by Valerie

June 20th, 2017 at 12:31 pm