Prostate health might not be at the top of every guy’s health checklist but it’s important for men to get checked and get checked early if they have a family history of issues or cancer. And while it isn’t talked about very much, there is some promising research showing acupuncture is an effective treatment option for prostate health issues.
What the Research Says
A 2018 review of three published studies found that acupuncture has the potential to reduce prostatitis symptoms without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs. According to Harvard Health, “more than 90% of the time, prostatitis symptoms (which can include painful urination and ejaculation, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction) have no obvious cause.” Treatment options vary and most doctors start with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory painkillers.
A clinical trial published in August of 2021 in the Annals of Internal Medicine actually shows acupuncture was successful at reducing symptoms and the results were long-lasting. The study assigned 440 men with prostatitis to receive 20 sessions across eight weeks of either real acupuncture or a control sham procedure. Results showed that by week eight, approximately 60% of men in the acupuncture group were reporting significant symptom improvements compared to 37% of the sham control group. And perhaps most encouraging, by week 32 these differences were little changed, suggesting the benefits of the acupuncture treatments were holding steady months later.
Another common prostate issue for men is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Men can begin to show signs of this in their 40’s and it is estimated that by the age of 80, as many as 80% of men report some type of issue related to their prostate.
A 2017 study involving 661 men with BPH compared acupuncture with a sham-acupuncture treatment and found that in the short term (4-6 weeks), acupuncture significantly improved symptoms, concluding “Statistically significant changes were observed in favor of acupuncture in moderate to severe BPH with respect to short-term follow-up endpoints.”
Acupuncture is known to treat and improve prostate function as well as energy flow throughout the body. As men age, kidney function can decrease which can then lead to other issues including diminishing prostate health. Acupuncture focuses on the kidney meridian to help improve the body’s circulation.
If you or someone you love is having prostate issues, don’t just write it off as a sign of getting older. Make sure you get yourself checked so an issue doesn’t lead to something more serious like prostate cancer. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history and answer any questions you might have about how acupuncture can work to improve your prostate health, as well as your overall health and wellness. The body is connected and if one area isn’t functioning optimally, it will begin to impact other areas as well.