- Acupuncture

Electrical Acupuncture, Point Injection and BPH

When men reach 50 years old, about 50% of them experience frequent night urination, urgency to urinate, and urine retention. These symptoms can influence their sleep and social life, creating anxiety and insomnia. Medications can help relax the smooth muscles of the bladder and the prostate to reduce the urgency and frequency of urination but can also lead to erectile dysfunction, UTI and urine retention.

The newest research on acupuncture and chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome was just published in 2018 in the Journal of Urology by Qin et al. This research was a 32-week randomized controlled trial, which included 8 weeks of treatment and then 24 weeks of follow-up. Sixty-eight patients ranging from 18 to 50 years old were randomly assigned to acupuncture or non-invasive sham acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) total score differed significantly between the two groups at 8, 20, and 32 weeks after treatment. There were no significant differences between groups in NIH-CPSI pain and quality of life subscale scores and International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) at Week 4 (p > 0.05 for all). For all other secondary outcomes, the acupuncture group was statistically better than the sham acupuncture group. The researchers concluded that acupuncture showed clinical and long-lasting benefits compared with sham acupuncture for chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome, but sufficient dosage was needed to achieve the best result.

Electroacupuncture can reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia but did not reduce the level of testosterone. This has been verified by R. Zheng in 2017 in Zhong Guo Zhen Jiu. Sixty patients were randomized into an electroacupuncture group and a medication group with 30 people in each one. In the electroacupuncture group, electroacupuncture was applied to Zhongji (CV 3) and Qugu (CV 2), once a day, 5 times a week. In the medication group, 0.2 mg of tamsulosin hydrochloride sustained-release capsules was prescribed for oral administration once a day. The duration of treatment was 6 weeks in both groups. The changes in serum testosterone (T), estradiol (E2), E2/T, IPSS, erectile function score (ⅡEF5), serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as adverse reactions were observed before and after treatment in the two groups. Clinical therapeutic effects were compared between the two groups.

Before and after treatment, the differences in serum T, E2 and E2/T were not significant in the electroacupuncture group (all P>0.05), but the difference in E2/T was significant in the medication group (P<0.05). IPSS was reduced compared with that before treatment in the electroacupuncture group (P<0.05. The difference was significant in comparison of the two groups after treatment (P<0.05), and the electroacupuncture group had the better effect. After treatment, symptom severity was noticeably reduced in the electroacupuncture group, and the patients’ overall situation was better than that in the medication group (P<0.05). The total effective rate was 60.7% in the electroacupuncture group, almost double the improvement rate of 30.8% (P<0.05) in the medication group. This study indicates that electroacupuncture can relieve the symptoms of chronic prostatitis more efficiently without changing serum testosterone and estrogen levels very much and electrical acupuncture may improve the testicular function by bringing more blood flow to the testicles and adrenal gland.

If men do not have time to do acupuncture treatments twice a week for 8 weeks, they may be able to use saline or herbal injections to reduce the frequency of the acupuncture treatment needed. The following study supports this interesting combination of electrical acupuncture and point injection for prostate enlargement.

An interesting research article was published in the Journal of Acupuncture Meridian Studies titled Hwanglyunhaedok Pharmacopuncture versus Saline Pharmacopuncture on Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis/ Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome by K.M. Seong et al. In this study, 63 patients diagnosed with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome were treated with electroacupuncture and injections of eight 1 mL herbal injection or saline at the acupoint CV1 twice a week for 4 weeks. The herbal injection group had 32 patients, while saline group had 31 patients. After twice a week treatment for 4 weeks, researchers found that the total NIH-CPSI scores were significantly reduced in both groups. Pain scores in both groups were also decreased significantly. In addition, IPSS was reduced significantly after treatment in both groups. However, there was no significant difference between the herbal injection and saline injection group in NIH-CPSI scores and IPSS.