Ask the Doctors: Patching Protocols for Bladder Pain and Frequent Urination

Bladder or Abdominal Pain Photo

In this radio show, Dr. Dennis Lobstein reviews the different acupuncture points related to the symptom of bladder pain and frequent urination and how to use LifeWave phototherapy patches for optimal alleviation of these symptoms. You can connect with Dr. Dennis on Facebook here. To get on the mailing list so you get alerted to the next LifeWave radio show and Q & A, sign up at Go to for acupuncture point locations mentioned in this blog.

5 Elements

In the Chinese 5 Elements chart, the water element can be regulated by the other elements. The Earth is the “grandmother” has controlling influence on the water in general. It is the Stomach meridian that influences the bladder since both are yang. The mother of the water is Metal. The Large intestine/colon is the yang phase of metal and that influences bladder. Wood is the child of water which can also influence water. The gallbladder is the yang phase of the wood.

Earth, Metal and Wood points will be included today to treat the big picture of managing the Water element and the bladder organ and meridians.

Western Medical Perspective

Bladder pain syndrome – called interstitial cystitis, which is preceded by an infection, sexually transmitted disease, cancer, prostatitis, or endometriosis. There is no “cure” for this condition, but there are western treatments for this condition. Half a percentage of the population has these symptoms. Pain is in the suprapubic area just above the pubic bone in the midline. Burning sensation, hesitancy, and discomfort with movement. About 5-10% of these people have ulcers. At the chronic stage, antibiotics don't help as there isn't an active infection on urine culture found.

GAG – glycosaminoglycan deficiency will lower the protection of the mucosa and could potentially be related to this condition. Increased permeability of the mucosa can cause susceptibility to toxins or chemicals. An acidic pH from coffee or black tea or psychological stressors may make things worse. This can trigger an autoimmune reaction, mast cells, that cause a cascade of pain in the walls of the bladder.

There is a lowering of cell proliferation in the bladder walls in IC. The Western treatments include: PPS – pentosan polysulfate repairs the GAG coating. Interestingly, PPS binds to prions which are proteins without DNA and they cause diseases like “mad cow” disease, spongiform encephalopathy in the brain. It prevents prions' ability to attach. Medication side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, headache, rash, insomnia and hair loss to name a few.

Urinary frequency outside of bladder irritability can be caused by diabetes, diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol. Cold and altitude also cause diuresis caused by an increase in atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). This lowers blood pressure by increasing diuresis (peeing more).

People on blood pressure medications may not realize they are taking a diuretic and that can cause them to urinate frequently. When people urinate more frequently at night, it could also be due to fluid in the interstitial space moving back into the main circulation, causing the baroreceptors in the carotid arteries to stretch and sending the signal to urinate the excess fluid out.

Chinese Medicine Perspectives

Damp heat or damp cold in the bladder can cause these symptoms. Dampness means accumulation of water or fluid. Damp heat is burning urination and the urine is dark yellow and concentrated and it can be turbid or cloudy. The urine can even contain blood, a sign of ‘reckless' blood from a heat issue.

The damp can be considered cold. There is a feeling of heaviness in the urethra. Women have a shorter urethra and thus have a more tendency to have infections. Pale and/or turbid urine is what you get with damp-cold.

Both can cause bladder pain. Pain is caused by blockage or stagnation. That can be caused by inflammation which can be from irritation or infection. The irritation causes frequent urination.

A Shan disorder involves problems with urinating, hernia, organ protrusion and weakness in the area of the lower Jiao energy center. (Triple warmer – the lowest one where the bladder lives). Damp heat in the bladder causes frequency, burning urination, difficult urination, dark yellow urine, turbid urine, blood in the urine, sandy-colored urine, fever and thirst. Could be accompanied by a red tongue with a sticky yellow coating.

Less often, one of deficiency, is damp-cold bladder. That is characterized by frequent and urgent difficult urination, feeling of heaviness in the urethra, pale and/or turbid urine, and sticky white coating on the tongue.

Dispel Damp Heat in the Lower Jiao

Similar to herb formula Ba Zheng Shan remedy, we can treat damp-heat in the bladder and thus is used in Chinese Medicine for acute infection as well as chronic interstitial cystitis. Uva Ursi is a native American berry that is used to get rid of bladder inflammation. D-mannose the sugar in unprocessed cranberry juice. This type of sugar makes the bacterial detach from the inside of the bladder. Vitamin C helps support the bladder by lower inflammation via neutralizing free radicals.

Nocturnal enuresis can accompany damp-cold.

Acupuncture Points

Frequent Urination

  • Lung 5 – He Se point, water point of the lung channel. We would sedate it to clear heat, to lower pain and clear water passages, expel damp and to treat a weak bladder.
  • Conception Vessel 3 – Front mu point of the bladder. That's where the energy is concentrated and the meeting point of the conception vessels spleen, liver, and the kidney. Lowers damp heat, tonifies kidney releases stagnation in the Lower Jiao and helpful for all urine disorders. It is located 1 cun above the pubic bone.
  • Conception Vessel 4 – Front mu point for the small intestine. It is the meeting point for CV, spleen, liver, kidney etc. It tonifies kidney and regulates the lower jiao and assists with conception and fertility. It is a super point for tonifying yang qi. If there is a yang collapse it helps to restore it. It gets things moving when it is stagnant.
  • Kidney 6 – It is a master point of the Yin Chao Mai – the movement channel. It is often used to treat incontinence and drip-urination. good combos including Kidney 8 and Stomach 36 points. Kidney 8 is the Xi Cleft point of the Yin Chao Mai, where Qi and blood converge in acute conditions. (acute pain, swelling etc.) It is good with treating acute swelling and pain in the genital area and known to regulate the Chong Ma vessel. It is a smaller channel deeper that goes from the Uterus and deep in the pelvis.
  • Kidney 8 is to lower damp-heat and to harmonize all the officials (heart, spleen, lung, kidney, liver). It is used to treat ‘lazy' bladder for urinary retention.

Frequent and Copius Urination

  • Lung 7 – indicated for hot and painful/bloody urine. It is the connection point with the colon, so it draws energy from the colon into the lung and it is the confluent point of the conception vessel and the command point for the face and the neck. It also helps emotional stagnation or incomplete expression of grief. The lungs receive. they have to be clear and let go energetically and spiritually, in order for the large intestine to “let go” as well. It is also involved with changes in gonadotropins – affecting sex hormones. Kidney 6 is often used with Lung 7 will help motility (get the urine to move out).
  • Bladder 23Back Shu point for the Kidneys. You can tonify Kidney and Jing. The Shu exists for all the officials and organs. You can tonify the yin energy of each official. The Jing is the essence that is made up of both yin and yang. when we are born, we have a charge of Jing energy from our parents, from the Universe, the spark of life that gets infused into the embryo. This is called original Jing. We can also generate Jing through food, focused breathing qigong but it never replaces original Jing. If someone is “low on jing” we are talking about their physical essence being low – like wasting away. It regulates water passages, benefits urination (frequency and dripping)
  • Bladder 26 – Source Shu point for all the other gates/shu. It is the source for all the shu points on the back. It is located at the lumbar 5 level on either side. It regulates lower Jiao, tonifies deficiency, urination frequency, wasting and thirsting disorders (diabetes)
  • Kidney 3is Shu Stream point, meaning that you can use these types of points for obstructions (Bi), wind, damp, heaviness and joint pain. Emotionally it helps to wash away fear and stagnation. If the water stream isn't flowing very well, it helps a lot, especially with psychological disturbances. It is one of the points used in the LifeWave 5 Element Rotation protocol.
  • Liver 1 is a Jing Luo point of wood and releases heat in the liver channel and Shan disorders where there are retention and difficulty urinating. It restores self-esteem. You can let go.

Pain and Urgency – Hot painful (blood in the) urine

  • Lung 7 – see above
  • Liver 13 – meeting point of the Yin channels and the front Mu point of the spleen. it is a powerful spirit point and it gives hope and vision to people who are recycling old tapes – ruminating in the past and difficulty rebirthing. It is used white discharges with frequency of urine.
  • Kidney 10 – He Se, water point for the kidney meridian. He Se moves energy and substances through the Yang channels. It replenishes water (dehydrated), decreases damp heat in the lower jiao, tonifies kidney, calms, and revitalizes secretions and testosterone.
  • Kidney 8 – see above
  • Spleen 6 – meeting point of spleen, liver and kidney in the lower leg, decreases damp, harmonizes liver, tonifies kidney, regulates urination, lowers pain, benefits bladder, treats Shan disorder, and a good point for treating emotional chaos. It cools blood.
  • Protocols:
    • Alavida on GV 24.5 to rebalance the endocrine system, influencing fluid balance on the body at night.
    • Lung 7 (if hot and painful) and/or Liver 13 (if white discharge) using Energy Enhancer or IceWave patches OR
    • Lung 7 and Kidney 10 if pain and urgency is primary instead of Liver 13. Use Glutathione patch on right, Carnosine/x39 stem cell enhancing patch on the left
      • Add in Kidney 8 (pain and swelling, lazy bladder) or Spleen 6 (if there is excessive pain). Use Aeon on the right and SP6C on the left.

Nocturnal Enuresis – Peeing a lot at Night and Bedwetting

Stomach 28 Shui Dao – “water passage” or pathway. Main point for opening the water passage. Regulates lower Jiao, decreases stagnation, used to release retention of urine and it is used to treat stuck emotions as well as stuck urine and not being able to let go. It is associated with deficiency of water. It is located two cuns on either side of conception vessel 4

Stomach 29 – heavy duty point for nocturnal enuresis. Warms lower Jiao. Weakness of Qi. Treats anorexia, infertility, and nourishes the Jing. It treats “lack”. That is 2 cuns bilateral to Conception vessel 3.

Bladder 40 – (in five elements Bladder 54) in some traditions. It is the He Se, earth point of the bladder. It is command point for the lower back. so great for low back pain. It decreases damp, obstructions (Bi), cools blood, and it treats uncontrolled water (urine out of control). It balances fluids. This point is located behind the knee in the popliteal space.


For the protocols please listen to Part 2 and the blog post HERE.

Questions and Answers

Karen – when she lays down to sleep, she wakes up and has to urinate. It comes out a whole lot and sometimes it is just a trickle, so what type of patching would she do? She gets up 5 am. It happens 2-3x a week. It is light yellow, never dark. Not painful. We advised to try glutathione patch instead of at night, during the day and to stay in bed.

Grandchild has rash – Dr. Dennis suggested Lung 8 (toxic release from skin) or Stomach 37 (release toxins from colon) with energy enhancer patches and Dr. Karen suggested using X39 a few times a week on the outside of the pants around the belly area to heal the gut because healing the gut heals the skin. Watch the child carefully for any annoyance which may overstimulation. Shorter periods of time may be helpful, such as 1 hour a day.

Diane – frequent urination without pain. Ever since using the patches, it has been worse and a sense of urgency which she didn't have before. She finds it is worse with the X39 stem cell enhancing patches, but any of the patches can make that worse. Dr. Dennis said it sounds like detoxing. She was getting headaches so she increased her water. She's been using the patches for about three months. She wants to try Lung 5 with the energy enhancer. I told her to do the 5 Element protocol for 3-4 hours a day, then add back X39 for one day a week

Martha – On the energy enhancers, the tan patch takes out energy and white patch brings in energy, right? Yes. If you put an icewave set with X39 on a pain that is causing problem, what would that do? If you stack X39 on top of the white patch that would still contribute to flow. We told her she can stack the white and X39 or create a triangle

Is there an acupuncture point for blood pressure? Stomach 36

She is working with a gal who refuses to go to the doctor for a growth under the skin on her face that has taken months to grow. It is closing off the one nostril and one ear and near her eye, it is affecting her vision. There is no pain. Her goal is to shrink this growth. She would like to use triad of points with Y-Age patches. Dr. Karen suggested that she see a medical doctor as part of the work up and that it would be safe to do a triangular configuration around the three points, but leave glutathione for daytime use and replace with X39 if using the triangle at night. Also patching Lung 7 to benefit the head/face area with Energy Enhancers would be supportive.

Joe and Renate – bicycle accident hurt her pancreatic duct. They did surgery and now age 32 – drain fluid out. They tried X39 below belly button and IceWave on the pubic bone. They went for when the pain is. It's been two days. Dr. Dennis would use the tan IceWave on Bladder 20 left back shu point and front Mu point for spleen which is Liver 13 – white on left to bracket the spleen organ. Stack X39 on the left Liver 13 on top of the white IceWave. The pancreas is part of the spleen energy.

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