First, let’s go over how many trips to the bathroom are within a normal range. Six to eight trips in 24 hours are considered “normal”. Frequent urination is annoying and is disruptive, especially at night. A lot of times after getting up and using the bathroom, it can be hard to go back to sleep. There are a lot of reasons for frequent urination and you’re not alone. Whether it is due to aging, nerve damage, hormones, prostate issues, cancer treatment, weak bladder or pelvic muscles, or just plain stress there are ways to find relief from frequent urination!
Firstly, monitor your fluid intake. Drinking coffee, tea (herbal tea is ok) or alcohol before bed can make the problem worse. These drinks are diuretics which make you have to pee. Secondly, be mindful of the amount of sodium consumed daily. Salty foods and hidden salt in your diet (processed foods are a huge culprit) can increase the feeling of thirst, leading to more fluid intake. Third, do an inventory of medication with your doctor as some medications can increase the frequency of urination. A note about nerve damage: if nerve damage is present, you may not be able to feel that your bladder is full. In which case, going to the bathroom at set intervals will prevent an overfull bladder or leakage. Lastly, support the muscles in the pelvic floor. Consulting a physical therapist on what exercises to perform to strengthen the pelvic floor will support a healthy bladder. Whatever the root cause, acupuncture can help!
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is crucial for cardiovascular and heart health. With heart disease and stroke being two of the leading causes of death in the United States, its no wonder that maintaining a healthy blood pressure is top of mind for many people.
While salt intake is crucial to reducing high blood pressure, there is another often forgotten factor: stress. Reducing stress is very, very important. Stress triggers the body's fight or flight response: one of the features of which (besides increased heart rate and blood flow to muscles) is elevated blood pressure. If the fight-or-flight response is repeatedly triggered or even stuck on, then the blood pressure in the body can be higher than it otherwise would be.
How do we reduce stress on our bodies? The main ways are through relaxation techniques (including acupuncture and meditation), a low-sodium diet, and exercise. While you may not add salt to your foods, there are many foods that contain high levels of sodium that you may not be aware of. Think of deli meats, pre-packaged foods with a long shelf life, and common condiments such as hot sauce, ketchup and soy sauce. If you consume a little less salt daily, your taste buds will adjust to the lower salt levels. This in turn will help your body reduce blood pressure. In general, the less processed the food is, the better it is for you. The perimeter of the grocery store is a good place to start looking for lower sodium foods as well. Hydration is also important to regulate blood pressure so make sure you're consuming enough water. Including regular exercise in a daily routine can also help regulate blood pressure. Exercise doesn't have to be complicated, walking counts! Acupuncture helps reduce blood pressure as well. In addition to your acupuncture treatment, add in lifestyle modifications like a low-sodium diet, regular water intake, and exercise for maximum results.
Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM) is an acupuncturist, business owner and mother of 2.