Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a somewhat nebulous diagnosis with unknown etiology and no effective treatment. Symptoms include pain in various locations (between rectum and testicle, in the testicles, at the tip of the penis, in the lower back, in the abdomen over the pubic or bladder area), pain or burning with urination, frequent urination, pain or discomfort during or after sexual climax. There are also systemic features like decreased libido, myalgias, and fatigue, and there is a higher incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome in these patients.
Physicians of China have been using acupuncture to treat these symptoms for over 2000 years. Even though as many as 35% of men over the age of 50 suffer from chronic prostatitis, few know they can use acupuncture for treatment.
In China, people seek acupuncture for a wide range of diseases, including chronic prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BHP).
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, disease occurs when the body is in disharmony. When imbalances develop in qi (often translated as energy but can also mean function) and blood circulation, illness occurs. Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis for the acupuncture treatment identifies the specific disharmony by analysing the symptoms such as the presence of pain, cloudy or bloody urination, urinary inhibition, as well as the reduction or increase in urine flow. Also, the practitioner carefully takes the pulse and looks at the tongue, which together reflect the internal state. Generally, prostatitis will be caused by an internal disharmony of qi and blood or an excess of pathogenic substances such as dampness, heat, or damp heat.
The acupuncture treatment is individualized to each patient’s presentation. The goal of the treatment is to balance the disharmony, open the acupuncture channels, and stop pain. For some, this may also include stopping bleeding, smoothing urination, and clearing cloudiness. The treatment achieves this goal by regulating the qi flow throughout the body, particularly the lower abdomen and sacral regions. Acupuncture points for chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome tend to be on the lower abdomen, lower back, sacrum, and legs. Generally, a treatment course consists of five to ten acupuncture treatments once or twice a week. For chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome, improvement is gradual but can be long lasting.
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