Researchers in Turkey believe that they have found a painless, noninvasive, drug-free approach to bedwetting based on Traditional Chinese Medicine that will stop bedwetting after just a few treatments.
Turkish Doctors Create Laser Acupuncture Equivalent of Chinese "Shut the Sluice" PillBedwetting is a profoundly embarrassing affliction of young children, affecting up to 5 million children under the age of 10, experts tell us, in the United States alone. Researchers in Turkey believe that they have found a painless, noninvasive, drug-free approach to bedwetting based on Traditional Chinese Medicine that will stop bedwetting after just a few treatments.
About 1,500 years ago, Chinese herbalists devised an herbal remedy for bedwetting they called suo qa wan, or "Shut the Sluice Pill." Compounded from the herbs lindera and alpinia and the spice cardamom mixed with Chinese yam, this herbal remedy was used to treat all kinds of excessive urination. Acupuncturists studied the effects of the herbal remedy and theorized that in some indescribable way the herbs changed energy flows in the body that could also be altered by acupuncture. The use of acupuncture, which works more quickly, became the preferred treatment for excessive urination.
Dr. Dr. Orhan Koca, a researcher at Haydarpasa Numune Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul, says that laser acupuncture, which uses no needles, may be an even better, natural approach to treating nighttime bedwetting in young children. Dr. Koca and colleagues recruited 91 children under the age of 10 who wet the bed an average of four nights a week to participate in a study.
Approximately half the children would receive laser stimulation of the "bladder points" used by acupuncturists three times a week for four weeks. The other group of children would go to the clinic three times a week for four weeks, but receive treatments with a fake laser that did not really stimulate the bladder energy points.
Two weeks after completing the treatments, the researchers found that 40 per cent of children who received laser acupuncture with a real laser had no more incidents of wetting the bed. This was also true of 8 per cent of the children who received sham laser acupuncture.
Six months after completing the treatment, the researchers found that 54 per cent of children who received laser acupuncture had stopped wetting the bed, compared to 12 per cent of children who did not.
Other experts question these results. Since there is no theory of "energy" or acupuncture points in conventional medicine, some doctors flatly state that the results of the study had to be based on luck. They argue that drug treatment of bedwetting is less expensive and works just as well.
These doctors overlook that the drugs for bedwetting usually cause dry mouth, which leads to more cavities and chronic bad breath, which condemns the child to both daytime and nighttime humiliation. For the fortunate 54 per cent of children for whom the procedure seems to work, laser acupuncture would seem to be a kinder but equally effective therapy.
"Pee alarms" prevent bedwetting but do not correct the underlying problem. Treating constipation to treat bedwetting sometimes results in diarrhea. Of all available treatments for this all too common childhood problem, short of buying a bottle of Shut the Sluice Pill and seeing a traditional acupuncturist, laser acupuncture seems to be the easiest for both parents and child.