Interstitial cystitis (IC) is chronic inflammation of the bladder wall. Because it is not caused by bacteria and cannot be treated with antibiotics, traditional Chinese medicine may be a good place to look for relief.
Interstitial cystitis causes frequent urination with urgency. There is intense pain the lower abdomen, and pain in the pelvic region. Sexual intercourse can also be quite painful.
IC can be accompanied by allergic reactions, gastrointestinal distress, joint and muscle pain, and migraines.
Traditional Chinese medicine sees our qi, or chi (life force) running through meridians of the body. Pressure points (acupoints) along the meridians control the flow of qi.
When the flow of qi runs freely, we have excellent health. When the flow of qi is disrupted our health suffers. When qi stagnates, pain will eventually result.
Acupressure is one method of treatment for interstitial cystitis. Balance within the body can be regained by stimulation of the acupoints, relieving symptoms.
Acupressure is applied by the knuckle or fingertip for 15 to 30 seconds. Pressure is then applied to the corresponding spot on the opposite side of the body.
Relief may be immediate, and over the next few days, other benefits are still working in the body. If acupressure does not bring enough relief, acupuncture may be indicated.
Acupuncture strengthens weakened organs. It corrects imbalances, and improves digestion.
Acupuncture with Chinese herbal treatments can encourage increased energy, better bladder control, and can relieve pain in the lower abdomen as well as pain in the pelvic region. Sexual intercourse can cease to be a painful experience.
One diagnosis of interstitial cystitis might be deficiency of stomach and spleen, kidneys, as well as qi and blood. Treating the root cause would be the first choice but when pain is quite severe as in interstitial cystitis, pain relief becomes primary.
Acupuncture may be performed up to twice a week for a few weeks, then once a week. Within the first few weeks, symptoms should gradually decrease.