Meditating your way to better bladder control

May 5th, 2009 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 5 (IANS) After nine years of living in constant fear of venturing out of her house, 53-year-old Anna Raisor approached physicians for alternative measures to treat embarrassing accidental or involuntary loss of urine.
Physicians of the Loyola University Health System (LUHS) in Chicago enrolled Raisor in a clinical trial using cognitive therapy to manage her overactive bladder.

“Before entering this clinical trial, I saturated seven to eight pads a day and was afraid to leave home as a result,” said Raisor.

“Today, I am 98 percent free of leakage. The therapy has allowed me to successfully recognise the link between my brain and bladder to manage my incontinence and remain virtually accident free,” she added.

Cognitive therapy employs deep-breathing and guided-imagery exercises that train the brain to control the bladder without medication or surgery.

Findings from this study revealed that cognitive therapy is an effective management

strategy for incontinence, according to a LUHS release.

“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 Aaron Michelfelder, vice-chair of the family medicine division at LUHS.

Michelfelder’s patients attend an initial office visit where he introduces them to cognitive therapy.

They then listen to an audio recording with a series of relaxation and visualisation exercises at home twice a day for two weeks. Patients track the number of incontinence episodes that they experience in a pre and post therapy diary.

The majority of patients, including Raisor, experienced a substantial improvement in symptoms.

These results also were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Urology.

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