Movember is a Men’s Health Awareness Movement in the US highlighting Prostate Health, Testicular Cancer, and Mental Health.
One platform, Prostate Health is an issue that does not get a lot of press, though millions of American men suffer from some type of urinary or sexual concern related to the prostate. The prostate is a little organ next to the bladder. Symptoms of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) are as varied as the causes of prostatitis. Prostatitis can be due to acute or chronic bacterial infections, and it can be idiopathic (cause is unknown). This last diagnosis is especially frustrating for men, as they can suffer from an array of symptoms such as: pain or burning with urination, difficult or hesitant urination, frequent or urgent urination and pain in the abdomen, testicles, penis or lower back and painful ejaculation, without knowing the cause or how they can resolve these issues.
Due in part to my extensive background in fertility, I have a great deal of experience treating Men’s health issues such as infertility, prostatitis, erectile dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain. Oriental medicine has a great deal to offer men suffering from these issues. Below is a sample of studies showing acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating prostatitis and related syndromes:
- Clinical studies on chronic prostatitis and prostatitis-like syndrome. Electric acupuncture therapy for intractable cases of chronic prostatitis-like syndrome. Hinyokika Kiyo. 1994 Jul;40(7):587-91. “This therapy was administered to mitigate the congestion of pelvic circulation, especially around the prostate. The clinical efficacy of long term treatment was considered excellent in 30% of cases and moderate in 70% of the patients, with an overall efficacy rate of 100%.”
- Acupuncture ameliorates symptoms in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Urology. 2003 Jun;61(6):1156-9; discussion 1159. “Acupuncture appears to be a safe, effective, and durable treatment in improving symptoms in, and the quality of life of, men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome refractory to treatment.”
- Clinical studies on treatment of chronic prostatitis with acupuncture and mild moxabustion. J Tradit Chin Med. 2005 Sep;25(3):177-81. “The treatment of chronic prostatitis with acupuncture and mild moxibustion can remove the stagnation of succus prostaticus, improve the blood circulation in prostate, inhibit or kill the pathogenic micro-organisms, strengthen or regulate the immune function of the patients, improve local blood circulation, eliminate the accumulation of secretion and relieve the obstruction of the prostatic ducts.”
- Acupuncture for the alleviation of hot flashes in men treated with androgen ablation therapy. (androgen ablation is a prostate cancer treatment) Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Apr 1;79(5):1358-63. Epub 2010 Jun 3. “Acupuncture provides excellent control of hot flashes in men with a history of AAT. The absence of side effects and the durable response at 8 months are likely to be appealing to patients.”
The Chinese have been treating urinary and erectile problems for thousands of years. Now, we are beginning to see some compelling research published in a variety of journals world-wide demonstrating acupuncture’s effectiveness for these issues. While many men suffer from prostatitis and the aftereffects of prostate cancer therapy, they don’t have to. An Integrative Medicine approach combining Acupuncture, Oriental medicine therapies, Western herbs and supplements can help these men by decreasing symptoms and increasing quality of life.
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