Urinary Incontinence and Chinese Medicine

Yang Deficiency Topical RemedyUrinary incontinence is a common condition with aging, especially among women who have had children. Common actions such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing can lead to embarrassing involuntary losses of urine with incontinence. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been shown by scientific research effective in quelling incontinence. A major pattern of imbalance leading to incontinence as we age is waning Kidney Yang.

For best outcomes using self-care, combine associated Aroma Acu-Sticks® to acu-points, topical remedies, and good lifestyle practices.

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Acupressure for Urinary Stress Incontinence

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Applying Acupressure Linked Here!essential oils for acupressure

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Patterns of Imbalance Causing Urinary Incontinence

Qi Deficiency and Urinary Incontinence

In Chinese medicine, the Kidney energetic organ system "governs water", and is in charge of the metabolism of urination. Kidney Qi helps to hold the urine in the Bladder; therefore, Kidney Qi Deficiency could be the root cause of an urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder. Spleen Qi Deficiency can often lead to Qi Deficiency of other energetic organ systems of the body, symptoms could include:

  • A feeling of bearing down
  • Abdominal distention after eating
  • Loose stools

Kidney Yin Deficiency and Urinary Incontinence

Bladder function and the Chinese medical Yin-Yang theory can also point to certain patterns of imbalance. The bladder’s ability to hold urine is a Yin function. With Kidney Yin Deficiency, the bladder will not be able to hold the urine with symptoms such as:

  • Frequent or sudden urination or urgency incontinence
  • Stress incontinence with a leakage of urine while lifting heavy objects, laughing, coughing, or sneezing
  • Night sweats, low grade feverish feeling, dizziness, poor memory, nighttime urination, and dry mouth

Kidney Yang Deficiency and Urinary IncontinenceYang Deficiency Topical Remedy

Yang Deficiency would be common with urinary problems associated with prostate issues, but is also seen in women. Urinary incontinence associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency would include symptoms such as:

liver essential oilsLiver Imbalances and Urinary Incontinence

In TCM, the Liver energetic organ system "governs the muscles and sinews" ; this means that the general function and health of the muscles are affected by Liver imbalances. Since muscles are involved with the ability to hold urine, an imbalance of the Liver can contribute to urinary incontinence or overactive bladder. Other signs of the Livers' involvement are indicated when the condition is worsened stressful situations or are accompanied by frustration or anger

Lung Qi Deficiency and Incontinence

While not as common as the other patterns, Lung imbalances can be at the root of the cause of incontinence; here a couple of the reasons why:

  1. The Lungs and the Kidneys are closely interrelated in Chinese medicine, and an imbalance in one of the energetic organ systems can easily have an impact on the other.
  2. The Lung energetic organ system is central in the formation of Qi energy for the whole body, thus Spleen Qi Deficiency or Kidney Qi Deficiency could be related to Lung Deficiency.

You may notice incontinence occurring during asthma attacks or during coughing attacks with this pattern. 

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Stress Incontinence

The most common type of incontinence among women is stress incontinence with symptoms of involuntarily leaking urine while exercising, coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting with the sudden pressure to the bladder causes urine to leak. While weaknesses due to childbirth to muscles that hold the bladder in place is the most common cause, a weakening of the bladder itself can also occur. Other causes of stress incontinence include:

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Robinson D. Patholophysiology of female lower urinary tract dysfunctionObstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1998;25:747–756.

Philip T, Shah PJ, Worth PH. Acupuncture in the treatment of bladder instability. Br J Urol. 1988;61:490–493.

Yang BS, Ye DW, Yao XD, et al. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi (The study of acupuncture therapy for postprostatectomy incontinence). 2010;48(17):1325-1327.

Chang PL. Urodynamic studies in acupuncture in women with frequency, urgency, and dysuria. J Urol. 1988;140:563–566. 

Bergström K, Carlsson C, Lindholm C, Widengren R. Improvement of urge- and mixed-type incontinence after acupuncture treatment among elderly women - a pilot study. J Auton Nerv Syst. 2000;79:173–180.

Knardahl S, Elam M, Olausson B, Wallin BG. Sympathetic nerve activity after acupuncture in humans. Pain. 1998;75:19–25. [PubMed[Google Scholar]

Paik, S. H., Han, S. R., Kwon, O. J., Ahn, Y. M., Lee, B. C., & Ahn, S. Y. (2013). Acupuncture for the treatment of urinary incontinence: A review of randomized controlled trialsExperimental and therapeutic medicine6(3), 773–780.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.