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Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments For Prostatitis

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At time of birth, the prostate is the size of a pea but it grows to the size of a walnut during young adulthood. During their mid- to late 40s, most men experience the next phase of prostate growth. The cells near the center of their prostate starts to reproduce much rapidly at this time. This rapid growth usually tends to obstruct the urethra and partially block the flow of urine. The medical term for this disorder is BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. The swelling of the prostate can also be attributed to bacterial infection, a condition medically termed as chronic or acute or bacterial prostatitis. Another form of chronic prostatitis is one that is not caused by bacteria has no known cause and actually occurs more commonly than its counterpart.

The enlargement of the prostate impacts about 50 percent of men around the age of 60 and most men (90 percent) around the ages 70 and 80. The absence or occurrence of the prostate gland enlargement is usually not associated with the rise of prostate cancer.

Conventional remedies are usually based on the patient’s symptoms and signs and may involve drugs, surgery or non-operative therapies such as nutritional supplements, herbs, and acupuncture.

Symptoms & Signs

The enlargement of the prostate can vary in degree of severity from man to man, and more often than not the swelling is not always serious. Around 50 percent of men with prostate swelling experience symptoms and signs that can turn bothersome or obvious enough for them to warrant treatment. These symptoms and signs can include:

  • Chills and Fever (infection)
  • Pain during ejaculation
  • Lower stomach pain
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Urgent desire to urinate
  • Nocturia or increased number of urination at night
  • Frequent desire to urinate
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Starting and stopping again while urinating
  • Difficulty initiating urination
  • Weak urine stream

Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to Fort Lauderdale Traditional Chinese Medicine the cause of prostate swelling is either a buildup of Heat and Dampness in the lower jiao or lower part of the torso, or cold infiltrating the Liver meridian or Liver energy channel, usually accompanied by Deficient Kidney as an underlying cause. This health issue gives rise to all the aforementioned urinary symptoms. Laser acupuncture, moxibustion, and traditional acupuncture have led to improvements in the restoration of the function of the urinary system. On the other hand, Chinese herbal medicine has demonstrated the ability to cure the underlying reasons of prostate swelling. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy used together is an essential choice in winning the battle versus prostate swelling. This was proven in one specific study when electro-acupuncture was shown to help cases of chronic prostatitis that did not respond to conventional treatments.

Acupuncture modalities (laser, electro, traditional) as well as heat therapy (moxibustion) can be utilized once a week except when significant pain is felt. In this case, two to three sessions each week for one to three weeks may be recommended. Chinese herbal medicine can be taken in the form of daily drops, powders, pills, and tea. Western herbal medicine and certain nutritional supplements can also be a good plan of treatment. Diet may also be monitored from a traditional energetic perspective in order to remove anything that tends to exacerbate the prostate problem.

Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis

According to recent medical studies, there is no known cause for chronic non-bacterial prostatitis. The bad thing about this is that this problem is a more common occurrence than chronic and acute bacterial prostatitis, its infectious analogues.

Symptoms of chronic non-bacterial prostatitis include an unfinished feeling after urination, polyuria (frequent urination), low back pain, and CPPS or chronic pelvic pain syndrome or discomfort and pain in the pelvic area. Usually there is no redness, no history of UTI (urinary tract infection), and patients won’t find relief from their symptoms with antibiotics.

A patient with chronic non-bacterial prostatitis may also experience a feeling of ‘coldness’ (instead of “heat,” which can then be connected to infectious bacterial prostatitis). More often than not, the patient can also experience emotional disorders such as erectile dysfunction and depression which thus ought to be diagnosed and addressed properly.

Clinical Research and Studies

There are patients who experience relief from chronic non-bacterial prostatitis by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID’s, but since these drugs tend to suppress the immune system, they cannot be used in the long term.

According to the Merck manual, two other great ways to experience relief from symptoms is by getting a prostate massage and taking hot sitz baths.

The benefits of acupuncture, phytotherapy (bee pollen, quercetin) and alternative therapies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these therapies. Acupuncture treatment proved that chronic prostatitis has a neuromuscular component to it. This is further validated by one study done by Nickel and Chen in Ontario Canada at the King Street Medical Arts Centre in Mississauga. In this study, acupuncture led to the successful relief of symptoms in men suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome/chronic prostatitis.

A laser acupuncture study performed in Hangzhou, China by Shen, Liu, Gao, and Chen revealed encouraging results.

Recently, some herbal supplements have garnered acknowledgement in the scientific community; to help urinary flow beta-sitosterol, for pain quercetin and saw palmetto, and for urinary symptoms, pygeum.

Decades of empirical proof also shows promise to men seeking the aid of a reputable practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine.

Written by Valerie

October 30th, 2018 at 6:16 am

What is prostatitis?

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When a man gets older, his chance of developing prostatitis becomes greater. Prostatitis is the swelling of the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a walnut-size gland located just under a man’s bladder. The role of the prostate gland is to provide the liquid part of the semen during ejaculation. There are several causes for prostatitis although its main symptoms include difficult urination and pain. There are two types of prostatitis: chronic and acute.

What are the symptoms of prostatitis?

The inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland is known as prostatitis. This condition has symptoms that include:

-Flu-like symptoms
-Pain – during orgasm, testicles, penis, perineum, stomach, groin and back
-Irregular urinations that can be: frequent, hesitant/dribbling, difficult, burning or painful.

What leads to prostatitis?

Enlarged prostate prostatic hyperplasia
Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis – they are caused by bacterial infections. There are no known -causes for both abacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain. Some other reasons for prostatitis can include:

-An enlarged prostate gland
-Accumulation of toxins in the urine
-Urinary tract blockage
-Defective muscle and/or nerve function
-Injury to the prostate
-Nervous or immune system problem

How does the doctor diagnose prostatitis?

The results of the physical exam and the medical history of the patient can be the bases for a diagnosis of prostatitis. These tests can determine a number of possible risk factors of prostatitis, including:

-Radiation from cancer treatments
-Multiple sclerosis
-Parkinson’s disease
-Nerve issues
-Genetic predisposition
-Severe stress
-Inadequate drinking of liquids
-Being young or middle aged

The doctor can recommend a digital rectal exam. This procedure can scan for tenderness and inflammation on the prostate. Other tests may be needed to detect the particular type of prostatitis. These can include semen, blood and urine tests for acute or chronic bacterial infection. These medical tests for prostatitis can also be a way to exclude conditions that bring out similar symptoms:

-Constriction of the penis meatus
-Urethral stricture
-Post-bladder cancer
-BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia
-Overactive bladder

How is prostatitis diagnosed by an acupuncturist?

Inquiry is the main tool used by the acupuncturist to diagnose prostate gland inflammation. The acupuncturist basically asks a series of questions to determine what’s ailing the patient. They never perform digital rectal exams, as a rule. Prostatitis patients are usually already diagnosed by their doctor, or if not, manifest symptoms that correspond to the condition. If the patient has not been to the doctor or if his symptoms persist, the acupuncturist usually will refer his patient to a urologist in order to exclude other problems or get a diagnosis. Nowadays, urologists have started to recommend acupuncture to their patients in order to resolve the prostate inflammation symptoms such as urination difficulties.

Acupuncturists will include in the inquiry of their patient the patient’s diet, lifestyle and general health and not only the patient’s symptoms in relation to their prostate inflammation since they treat people, not the disease per se.

How does a doctor treat prostatitis?

Prostatitis therapy is based on the underlying problem. Treatments can focus on the cause or the symptoms of the condition such as urination problems and may include:

-Over-the –counter (OTC) pain killers to help relieve the pain
-Drugs known as alpha blockers to help relieve painful and urination and soothe the part where the bladder and prostate meet
-Intravenous or oral antibiotics to resolve prostatitis resulting from a bacterial infection
Surgery – Prostatectomy which is a surgical procedure that excises a part of or the whole prostate gland

How does an acupuncturist treat prostatitis?

By studying the symptoms and signs of the condition, the acupuncturist can determine the pattern of disharmony. In Chinese medicine patterns can help the practitioner qualify and quantify the condition. The titles of the patterns usually use words we recognize.

Acupuncturists need the pattern diagnosis to formulate the plan of treatment. Treatment usually includes Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture to resolve the disharmony of the pattern in order to bring back balance to the body. Acupuncturists often also use tui na massage and dietary therapy to complement these modalities.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St #101
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 715-1824


Written by Valerie

August 31st, 2014 at 1:29 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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