Written by: DrTonyWillcox | May 23, 2013


Research One

To describe the adjunctive use of acupuncture in a young woman with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) who had been treated previously with most of the available conventional modalities.

Medical Acupuncture

A patient receiving Acupuncture for interstitial cystitis

The patient reported rapid improvement in voiding symptoms after the 1st treatment. Pain levels rapidly diminished, permitting
a reduction in the use of 1 of the detrusor stabilizer medications and most narcotic analgesics. Energy levels, emotional symptoms, constipation, and sexual symptoms were also improved over the course of treatment. The only adverse acupuncture effect this patient experienced was occasional bruising.

Acupuncture treatment enabled this patient with IC to reduce her medication use and experience an enhanced quality of life.

Research Two

Medical Acupuncture

Two controlled trials in Norway with positive results have indicated that acupuncture may be a worthwhile alternative in the prevention of frequently recurring cystitis in women (Aun 1998; Alraek 2002) (see Table overleaf)
Acupuncture may help in the treatment of cystitis by:
• reducing inflammation, by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007, Zijstra 2003); reducing pain and swelling (Lorenzini 2010)
• improving bladder irritation by inhibition of capsaicin-sensitive C-fibre activation (Hino 2010).

Medical Acupuncture is a coined term for western trained physicians ie. MD’s who practice or get certified in Medical Acupuncture. These physicians have ample training in western medical diagnosis and western pharmaceutical medicine however usually these physicians have minimal training in acupuncture. The standard is 200 hours. Yet a basic Acupuncturist has over 2,800 hours and a more advanced acupuncture physician with a doctorate has over 4,300 hours and those with a Ph.D. in Acupuncture have over 5,500 hours.  The average patient should do diligent research to have an understanding as to what type of training their provider of this therapy has.

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