Acupuncture and Bedwetting
23 April 2008
(1) A Japanese study has added to the research showing nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) can be effectively treated with acupuncture. 15 patients with nocturnal enuresis were treated by acupuncture inserted bilateral into the acu-point Zhongliao BL-33 and rotated manually for 10 minutes. Bladder capacities and number of wet nights per week were compared before and after treatment. Treatment was deemed effective where wet nights decreased by 50% or more compared with the baseline. The researchers from Kyoto University of Medicine found that 6 out of the 15 (40%) improved immediately after treatment, and 7/15 (47%) 2 months after. In 6 patients where wet nights were cut in half, just after treatment the nocturnal bladder capacity (NBC) increased significantly, from 201 mL to 334 mL. No side-effects were recognised throughout the treatment period. (Int J Urol 2002 Dec;9(12):672-676).
(2) 50 children, aged 9-18 years, suffering from primary persistent nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) were treated by traditional Chinese acupuncture. Within 6 months, 43 were completely dry and 2 were dry on at least 80% of nights. (Scand J Urol Nephrol 2001 Feb;35(1):40-3). A previous study had shown a 50% improvement in nocturnal enuresis in a group of children treated with two alternating groups of points: i. bilateral Sanyinjiao SP-6, Kunlun BL-60, Taichong LIV-3 and Zhongji REN-3; ii. bilateral Yinlingquan SP-9, Taixi KID-3, Neiting ST-44 and Guanyuan REN-4 (mixed manual and electro acupuncture). (Scand J Urol Nephrol 2000;34:21-26).
(3) Italian researchers report that acupuncture produced a 55% reduction in bed- wetting in children. Drug therapy (DDAVP) produced a more dramatic (79%) reduction, but long-term acupuncture was found to be only 10% less effective than DDAVP. (Minerva Pediatr., October 1994).
(4) A study carried out in a Romanian hospital for severely handicapped children aged between 3 and 18 years showed significant benefit in treating nocturnal enuresis in 29% of patients. The most responsive group was the 10-14 year olds (50%). Children with the most severe mental retardation and those with daytime fecal and urinary incontinence responded least. Points selected were Guanyuan REN-4, Sanyinjiao SP- 6, Zusanli ST-36, Shenshu BL-23, Pangguangshu BL-28 and Ciliao BL- 32. Additional points were needled in difficult cases. Treatment was given 3 or 4 times a week for a total of approximately 20 treatments (Acupuncture in Medicine, December 1999, Vol 17 (2), 82- 85).