A new study shows that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting). Nocturnal enuresis is involuntary urination during sleep and is most typical among children. Most children overcome this disorder by age seven but clinical conditions may persist indefinitely in some patients if left untreated.
In a surprising finding, acupuncture was shown to be more effective than bedwetting alarms. Bedwetting alarms, a standard in conventional medicine, detect moisture and wake the patient with an audible tone. The study also concluded that electro-acupuncture achieved better clinical results than acupuncture without electricity. The researchers note that, “Acupuncture can influence spinal micturition centers and parasympathetic innervation to the urinary tract and is known to modulate brain function via the descending serotonergic system.”
Nocturnal Enuresis According to Chinese Medicine Theory
Nocturnal enuresis is caused by deficiency of Kidney Qi leading to the inability of the urination bladder to regulate urination. The kidneys form urine and the bladder stores and excretes urine. If the kidneys are deficient they are unable to support the function of the bladder in regulating urinary output.
Chronic nocturnal enuresis typically exhausts the patient and leads to the inability to properly distribute nutrients to the body. In Chinese medicine theory this is referred to as Spleen Qi deficiency. As a result, this condition often presents with a pale complexion and a low appetite. Classic acupuncture points for this condition include: Shenshu (UB23), Pangguangshu (UB28), Zhongji (CV3), and Sanyinjiao (Sp6). Supplementary points include Shenmen (Ht7) and Zusanli (St36).
Acupuncture as a treatment for nocturnal enuresis, W.F. Bower, M. Diao , Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical; 28 October 2010 (Vol. 157, Issue 1, Pages 63-67)