My seven year old son suffers from frequent bedwetting. He finds it really embarrassing and is afraid to spend the night at anyone else’s house. Do you have any suggestions for treating this with Chinese medicine?
A: How to Treat Bedwetting with Acupressure and Massage
In Chinese Medicine, the most common cause of bedwetting is due to an imbalance in the Water element. The Water element corresponds to the kidneys and urinary bladder. When out of balance, a child will usually have an abundance of clear urine during sleep.
In addition to bedwetting, your child may have other symptoms of a Water imbalance, such as:
- Cold hands and feet
- A low pitched voice
- Pale complexion (for natural skin tone)
- Lack of focus or poor memory
- Delayed milestones
- Poor tooth development, cavities
- Backache or knee pain
In addition, Water imbalances that lead to bedwetting can be caused by:
- A recent traumatic event such as a car accident or fall
- Stressful life events such as moving, changing schools, divorce of parents, loss of a loved one
- A huge growth spurt (Water is responsible for growth and development)
To help balance the Water element, I recommend massaging KI-3, KI-6, and SP-6 for 30 – 60 seconds twice daily (see photo below).
In addition, you can use massage on the low back to “warm the kidneys” and balance the Water element. Rapidly rub back and forth on the low back for 60 – 90 seconds (see photo below).
While the causes of bedwetting are poorly understood in Western medicine, the good news is that most kids will outgrow it in time. Be patient with the process and be sure to use these acupressure points and massage the low back daily along with the standard recommendations for preventing bedwetting. The more consistent you are, the more it will help.
In addition to a Water imbalance, there can be other causes for bedwetting, and I would highly recommend seeking out a Pediatric Acupuncturist (PA) who can do a thorough health history consultation. A qualified PA can make a more specific Chinese medical diagnosis, prescribe herbs, and offer customized dietary and lifestyle advice. Visit the Kids Love Acupuncture Directory to find one in your area.