Meditation or cognitive therapy may be an effective management strategy to control the frequent urge to urinate among women, according to a study.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) have employed cognitive therapy to treat overactive bladders.
The therapy employs deep-breathing and guided-imagery exercises that train the brain to control the bladder without medication or surgery.
"The mind-body connection has proven to be particularly valuable for women suffering from incontinence. Cognitive therapy is effective with these women, because they are motivated to make a change and regain control over their body," said study investigator Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, vice chair, division of family medicine, Loyola University Health System.
After enrolling for the program, the patients had to attend an initial office visit, where they were introduced to cognitive therapy.
The patients then listened to an audio recording with a series of relaxation and visualization exercises at home twice a day for two weeks. They tracked the number of incontinence episodes that they experience in a pre- and post-therapy diary.
The researchers observed that the majority of patients experienced a substantial improvement in symptoms.
The study evaluated a subset of 10 patients with a mean age of 62, who were eligible to participate in the study, if they had a diagnosis of overactive bladder (OAB), which is the sudden and unstoppable need to urinate.
The patients also had to be stable on all OAB treatments for the past three months before entering the study.
The data revealed that the average number of urge incontinence episodes per week decreased from 38 to 12.
The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of Urology.