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Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) is often due to a bacterial infection of the lower urinary tract. Each year, around 5% of women present to their GPs with typical symptoms of cystitis, such as pain when passing urine and urinary frequency, about half of whom are found to have a urinary tract infection.

There is little published clinical data on the effects of acupuncture treatment on cystitis. Two controlled trials in Norway with positive results have indicated that acupuncture may be a worthwhile alternative in the prevention of frequently recurring cystitis in women.


Acupuncture may help in the treatment of cystitis by:

  • •reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors ; reducing pain and swelling.

  • improving bladder irritation by inhibition of capsaicin-sensitive C-fibre activation.

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