In this post I will explain the approach of Japanese acupuncture in treating frequent urination during pregnancy. This is a common condition during pregnancy and there is a very logical explanation for this condition according to the paradigm of East Asian medicine.
To grow a child in utero requires what we would describe in East Asian medicine as a lot of kidney energy. The foundational, structural energy of the body is called upon to provide the energy to grow the baby in utero. This energy that is being called upon is of a finite quality. So when a woman falls pregnant with a specific constitution, there is great potential for her to experience frequent urination and, as a result of that, also constipation. We will, however, focus on the frequent urination issue at the moment.
The cooling, calming aspect of what we call the kidney energy is eroded or utilised and diverted to grow the baby. This means that there is an excessive amount of heating energy available in the body. Thus quite often when women are pregnant, their temperature will rise.
The body has to deal with the excess amount of heating or Yang energy. One of the most productive ways to do this (and the easiest because of the connection between the kidneys and bladder in the genitourinary system), is to direct the heat into what we call the bladder meridian and the bladder organ. That heat is what causes the body to increase the amount of urination, it is a way the body rids itself of heat.
The body will expel excess heat – it can expel heat through the head, heat can come out through the skin in the form of perspiration, out through our breath in the form of expiration and, to some degree, through the feces when we go to the toilet … and also through the urine.
So this elimination process as described above is one of the very key factors and underlying concepts that we hold in traditional acupuncture … and it is quite unique. Having this paradigm or understanding at out disposal enables us as acupuncturists to treat frequent urination in a very constructive and generative manner.
In other words, we are not looking to get rid of the heat per se, we are looking more at building up the supply of cooling energy so that the baby growing in the uterus is nourished. It also means that less of what we call deficient heat (heat resulting from a lack of the cooling factor), is being wasted or pushed out through the body by frequent urination and that the heat is more utilised as a generative energy in the limbs and the trunk of the body.
So often with frequent urination during pregnancy, there will be a tiredness that comes with it and, sometimes, there can be some lower back pain. The frequency and power of the urination will also hold some explanation as to what is going on.
The good news (certainly from my perspective having treated this condition many, many times in my acupuncture clinic over the last 30 years), is that we can effectively treat frequent urination with acupuncture. Through traditional acupuncture, using very gentle techniques (along with moxibustion) that I have developed over 30 years with many teachers and mentors, we have been able to resolve this condition without the use of medication at all.
The lack of use of medication is a high priority in pregnancy because of the potential side-effects of many medications on the baby growing. It is one of the wonderful features of traditional acupuncture where we are able to effect these changes without imposing any chemical interaction on the body or running any risk of deleterious side effects for either the mother or the baby.
Acupuncture treatment for frequent urination during pregnancy thus builds up the body and the energy of the mother-to-be which is the opposite to the potential energy-draining effects of medication.
To see my video on this topic, please go HERE!