Friday, February 26, 2021

Incontinence (Oriental Medicine View)


With urine incontinence, usually, one can’t notice one’s pee coming out surreptitiously. Other than inconvenience, shame and depression from it deter the normal social relationship. It can even develop to interpersonal avoidance.

Urine incontinence can occur to people of all ages and both sexes; but more frequent in women and the old. According to a survey done to 2,500 Korean people of both sexes over 40, 30.5% of them have hypersensitivity bladder: one’s bladder shrinks without regard to one’s will. Among the subjects, 5.7% of men and 10.8% of female are suffering from urge incontinence. Many of them regarded urine incontinence as mere an aging phenomenon or an incurable disease.

The treatments are divided along three: operation, medicinal treatment and physical therapy. All depend on the condition of patient, therefore one should consult with doctor.

Medicinal treatment makes the tense and sensitive bladder muscle stable, but there are some side effects like dyspepsia. Nowadays, there come out many new ways of operation. Operation can cure 80 to 85% of cases, but the recurring rate within 1 to 3 years is up to 33%.

The core of the treatment is physical therapy that helps toughen the contractile force of muscle around uterus and anus. A weight gets inserted inside the vagina, and patient sustains it as strong and long as possible. This treatment toughens the contractile force of muscles in the bladder and pelvic floor, which enables the patient to control. However, the force can’t be made easily, because the muscles of pelvic floor are Involuntary. Rather, when concentrating on abdomen and anus, it can worsen the urine incontinence instead of the muscles of pelvic floor. The most effective treatment for this is bio-feedback therapy. A medical device is inserted into vagina and electrodes are attached on abdomen. The patient can see the computer screen and senses the concentration feeling on the muscles of pelvic floor instead those of abdomen.

– Magnetic medical device for urine incontinence

In this treatment, patient, watching TV or listening to music, sits on the treatment chair and relaxes. Its principle is that magnetic field made by magnet’s revolving stimulates the slacked pelvic muscles thereby strengthening the contractile force. Magnetic field do no effect on bones, subcutaneous fat, nerves other than on muscles. There some exception for this treatment:

  • (1) when the disease is from only the bladder itself;
  • (2) when artificial joints or heart is in the body;
  • (3) pregnant woman, or person who are suffering from chronic neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

– Urine incontinence viewed from oriental medicine

In oriental medicine, the cause of urine incontinence lies primarily in bladder and kidney. The cause of feeble discharge of urine for men is in ‘yang’; in this case, it can be cured with pouring out some energy and making the smooth energy flow. However, for women, this disease occurs due to the disorder of ‘yin (eum)’; in this case, some measure of energy should be poured in. In oriental medicine, it occurs when kidney or bladder is weak and cold. Therefore, the cure is the herbal medicine that can make them warm and energetic. Other than these, for women of weak vagina and digestion function, this disease can occur; in this case, the fundamental treatment can only be made with herbal medicine that can raise up the energy in the spleen, stomach and vagina. Moxibustion on abdomen and back is also helpful. During the treatment period, fatigue and excessive sexual intercourse should be avoided, for they could weaken the kidney and bladder.

Wang Wei
Wang Wei is a holistic health practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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