The efficiency of acupuncture in women with cystitis depends upon how their condition is diagnosed according to traditional Chinese medicine. Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder which leads to frequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and a burning pain when urinating. It's common among women and can greatly impair their quality of life.
Terje Alraek of the University of Bergen, Norway, describes a new approach to the treatment of cystitis in women. He gave a group of 90 women who were prone to cystitis either acupuncture or no treatment at all, looking at the ability to empty the bladder during a six month period.
One sub-group having acupuncture responded well, and these were the women who, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) had a condition which made it hard to empty the bladder. According to TCM, the other women's problems arose from either overweight and slow metabolism or irritability of the bladder. These women did less well on acupuncture. The study suggests that acupuncture may work well for certain women with cystitis, so long as the characteristics of their problem are well diagnosed - by either conventional medicine or TCM.