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Acupuncture treatment for overactive bladder and chronic pelvic pain

What is Acupuncture?

There are two main types of acupuncture broadly available in the UK. Traditional acupuncture and western (medical) acupuncture. The fundamental difference between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture and the western approach to acupuncture lies in the way that each approaches acupuncture and the philosophy behind the diagnosis and treatment.


Traditional Acupuncture

This is an ancient form of medicine practiced in the east for over 2000 years. Acupuncturists who follow the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) take a holistic approach to health. They believe that an energy called ‘qi’ flows around your body through channels called ‘meridians’ with equal and opposite properties called yin and yang. They regard illness as a sign that the body is out of balance.

Certain symptoms such as overactive bladder (OAB) are thought to result from an imbalance in energy properties (qi)

To restore the balance of yin and yang fine needles are inserted by the acupuncturists into points along acupuncture ‘meridians’ thereby affecting the flow of energy (qi) around the body and restoring the balance between yin and yang.


Western (medical) Acupuncture

Medically trained healthcare professionals who will have undergone additional training in acupuncture will perform western acupuncture.

They use their medical knowledge to diagnose and treat conditions that are suitable for acupuncture and work on the theory that the use of acupuncture needles can stimulate nerve endings in the body to modify the nerve signals sent to and from the brain.

Acupuncture can prove to be an effective treatment, which will often be used in conjunction with other more conventional treatments.


How does western acupuncture work?

Compared to traditional acupuncture western acupuncture is a relatively new form of acupuncture. It has been developed following Western discoveries about the brain and the nervous system.

As in traditional acupuncture, Western acupuncture involves very fine needles being inserted through the skin to simulate the nerves of the nervous system in the skin and muscles.

Stimulating the nervous system causes the release of the natural neurochemicals in the body such as endorphin and serotonin, which act as the body’s natural painkillers.

Acupuncture also encourages biochemical changes and influencing changes in the central nervous system promoting physical and emotional well-being.


Can acupuncture help in the treatment of bladder conditions?

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating  certain individuals with urinary symptoms such as overactive bladder and chronic pelvic pain syndrome,


The treatment will involve simulation of specific nerves relating to the bladder function by placing fine needles at various points around the body. The needles are left in position for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes accompanied by fine manual manipulation being applied to the needle. The number of needles required varies from two or three up to as many as 20.

A course of treatment is usually consists of six weekly sessions lasting between 30 -60 minutes. Improvements in symptoms normally become apparent after 5-6 sessions. Depending on the improvements attained some patients will require further sessions every two weeks. Symptoms in others may have improved to an extent were no further treatment or just the occasional top up session is required.


Are there any side effects or pain with acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very safe minimally invasive painless procedure. The very fine sterile needles used may produce a slight sensation as the needle is placed in the skin and a dull minor ache in the vicinity of the needle while in place


The treatment is suitable for most people but should be avoided if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator or have a history of excessive bleeding.


Getting help

If you wish to make an appointment to seek further advice and or treatment, please contact Mr Ockrim’s secretary.




The information contained within this website has been provided as a general guide and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own GP or any other health professional.