Meditation and guided imagery can help you regain control over your body and reduce incontinence.
In a 2009 study, Loyola University Health System researchers found that cognitive therapy involving deep breathing and guided imagery exercises training the brain to control the bladder helped reduce the average number of urge incontinence episodes per week from 38 to 12.
Try relaxation and visualization exercises for a few weeks to notice an improvement in your condition.
According to Chinese medicine, acupuncture can help reduce urinary incontinence by strengthening the urinary system and correcting the imbalance of the kidneys.
It can help increase your ability to hold urine and reduce urinary urgency. Studies have also shown this therapy to be beneficial in treating incontinence, but further well-designed studies are still needed.
Get your acupuncture treatment done by a qualified acupuncturist. Some of the acupressure points used to treat an overactive bladder include LI 11, ST 36, BL23, BL28, BL31, BL32, BL39, KI3, GV4, CV3, CV 4 and CV6. Most of the acupoints for urinary problems are located on the lower abdomen and lower back.
- Add more fiber to your diet. Lack of fiber contributes to constipation that puts pressure on the bladder.
- Drink sufficient, but not too much, water.
- Lose excess weight.
- Exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
- Quit smoking. Heavy smokers are at greater risk of developing an overactive bladder.
- Steer clear of alcohol and caffeinated beverages including tea, coffee and some sodas. They can worsen an overactive bladder and contribute to bladder irritation.
- Avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegars, hot peppers and spicy dishes as they may irritate your bladder.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners. They tend to aggravate urinary urges and frequency.
- Maintain a consistent schedule of urinating every 2 to 4 hours, even if you do not feel like going.
- Keep track of your symptoms to help identify the triggers and help your doctor determine the best course of treatment for you.