If you have an overactive bladder your need to urinate is frequent, powerful and often without warning. This need can hit eight or more times a day, and may continue all night. You may experience leakage after the urge hits (urge incontinence).
Overactive bladder isn't usually life threatening but it imposes restrictions and can make your life miserable.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) differs from conventional western medicine in that TCM takes a holistic approach in discerning what is out of balance.
Correcting imbalance between muscles, tissues and organs allows the body to heal itself.
The bladder doesn't function, or malfunction, alone, so treatment doesn't focus only on the bladder. Unlike conventional western medicine, traditional Chinese medicine scrutinizes the bladder, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and spleen, or a combination of these organ systems.
The nervous system, muscles of the bladder, urinary sphincters and pelvic floor muscles are all involved.
Any of these can malfunction and trigger an overactive bladder.
Accompanying symptoms help determine which organ systems are involved. For instance, deficiency in lung and spleen qi are indicated by incontinence, distended abdomen after meals, loose stool and difficulty breathing.
Overactive bladder, in traditional Chinese medicine, often involves the spleen. The spleen is indicated if urination problems are accompanied by fatigue, digestion problems, a pale tongue, and loose stools.
The liver reflects muscle health. So if the muscles of the bladder can't hold urine, this points to the liver. If the condition worsens in times of anger or stress, this also indicates the liver.
Traditional Chinese medicine sees yin and yang. If the bladder can't hold urine, this is deficiency of kidney yin.
Deficiency of kidney yang is indicated if you're cold, with lowered libido and impotence, abundance of pale urination especially at night, and lower backache.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses treatments of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas. Treatments of acupuncture may be once or twice a week for ten to 12 sessions.