The prostate steadily grows from the size of a pea to roughly a walnut’s size during birth up to the start of adulthood. Then around the mid 40’s up to the age of 50, a second growth spurt of the prostate again occurs. During this phase, certain cells in the gland, particularly the area surrounding the urethra start to rapidly multiply. Because of this the tissues swell restricting the flow of urine. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There are other factors though that also cause the prostate to swell. One is bacterial infection, which is medically termed chronic or acute bacterial prostatitis. Another factor is not caused by pathogens although the origin of the condition is unknown.
Prostate enlargement is a significant problem for men starting from their 60’s and beyond. Statistics have shown that almost all men in their 70’s and 80’s have enlarged prostates. Treatments considered can be with medications, non-surgery or surgery modalities, herbs, nutritional supplements and acupuncture.
The degree of prostate enlargement varies per male and mostly is not a significant health issue. Still around 50% of males with enlarged prostates show symptoms and signs that are bothersome and prominent compelling them to seek medical solutions for these problems. Some of these symptoms and signs can include:
- Chills and fevers due to infection
- Pain during ejaculation
- Lower abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Inability to entirely empty the bladder
- Difficulty in controlling urinary urges
- Frequent desire to urinate
- Tendency to often stop and start urinating
- Urine dribbling
- Trouble starting urination
Traditional acupuncture Davis sees prostate enlargement as caused by excess heat and dampness in the torso or as excess yin in the liver meridian often with chi deficiency in the kidney. This state of energy imbalance is the reason for all the aforementioned signs and symptoms. Acupuncturists depending on their specialty treatment can choose traditional acupuncture, moxibustion or laser acupuncture to restore normal urinary function and with the use of herbal formulas can facilitate the underlying problem of prostate swelling. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are often combined to address the cause of prostate enlargement and its symptoms. Also, studies done in the past have shown the effectiveness of electro-acupuncture in treating chronic prostatitis problems that were unresponsive to conventional modalities.
For the treatment of chronic prostatitis a treatment program of 1 to 3 weeks with 2 or 3 sessions per week using laser, electro, traditional acupuncture or moxibustion is usually enough to treat this condition. Chinese herbal medicine can be taken together with vitamins and other supplements. Alterations in diet may be recommended by the acupuncturist to remove substances that may induce the prostate condition.