Acupuncture Points for Bladder Retention

Bladder retention comes in different forms but is essentially the inability to pass waste. Acupuncture points for bladder retention are well established.

Acupuncture Points for Bladder Retention

Urinary bladder retention is a common post operative symptom in from 7% to 25% of all patients received general surgery. In certain types of surgeries the incidence is even higher. The condition is characterized by a total inability to void urine. The exact cause is unknown although several theories exist. The treatment is usually self-catherization which is generally not overly uncomfortable, but is certainly inconvenient and carries some risk of urinary tract infection.

Although acupuncture has a long history of being used in the treatment of bladder problems, very little literature exists on the best acupuncture points for bladder retention. Some recent clinical studies have suggested a good course of treatment that shows promising results. The test subject was a young woman with a severe case of bladder retention following a hysterectomy. This woman had been using self-catherization for several weeks. The measurement of urine removed during this procedure showed normal and expected volume.

The patient began a series of weekly acupuncture sessions that lasted for about 30 minutes. The acupuncture points selected and needled were the Yin and Yang access points, KL 10 and BL 40. Two additional pairs of points were also needled. They were BL 10 and BL 23 (The Shu points of the Kidney), and BL 23 (the Shu point of the bladder). Slight electro-stimulation measuring about 4 Hz was applied to BL 23 for fifteen minutes. This was followed by electro-stimulation to BL 28 for fifteen minutes.

After the 3rd visit, the patient had retained normal urinary function. Self-catherization yielded no residual urine at all. The self-catherization was discontinued after the 4th visit. The final two visits were conducted to complete the course of treatment and follow up visits and treatments were continued every 3 or 4 weeks for a few months. This represented a very remarkable treatment regime for this particular problem.

A discussion of acupuncture points for bladder retention will leave most people not trained in acupuncture theory in a bit of confusion. In order to fully understand the logic behind point selection, it is necessary to have a fairly complete understandings of the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture points. In many cases, the selected points will differ from patient to patient even thought the clinical history might seem identical. It is through a complete Four Point examination, that the acupuncturist determines the underlying cause. The acupuncture points are selected to deal with that cause and not the outward symptoms that are the result.