How Does Acupuncture Influence the Kidneys and the Urinary System? (Research science explained in plain English)

How Does Acupuncture Influence the Kidneys and the Urinary Tract?

(Research science explained in plain English)

Medical and science jargon is it’s own language. Let’s be honest, if you haven’t studied that language you may as well be deciphering Ancient Greek. Please enjoy this plain English summary of two research trials looking at the mechanisms (how it works) of Acupuncture relating to the kidneys and the urinary tract. If you have any questions about Acupuncture or your specific condition, please e-mail me! I would love to hear from you, will give you the best response I can and may even write an article on the subject to help others.


Plain English: Japanese researchers showed that Acupuncture increased the amount of time between needing to urinate for rats with an irritated bladder by influencing certain nerves in the bladder wall. 

Scientific Explanation: Acupuncture improved inter contraction interval (ICI) in animal trials when the mucous membrane of the urinary bladder was irritated using acetic acid. This happens due to the impact on afferent C fibres 1.


Plain English: Acupuncture improved the protein filtering function of the kidneys in rats and lowered arterial pressure. This was achieved through a calming effect on the “fight or flight” response and triggering the secretion of the body’s own “happy gas”, which can dilate blood vessels.

Scientific Explanation: A Brazilian research team carried out an experiment examining the functional parameters and histology of rat’s kidneys based on a review of the influence of Acupuncture and moxibustion. The team, supervised by Josne C. Paterno, found that acupuncture’s influence on the sympathetic nervous system and secretion of nitrous oxide leads to lowered arterial pressure and decreased proteinuria 2.

I’d like to thank the Evidence Based Acupuncture for their tireless efforts analysing and clarifying Acupucnture research and for being the original source of this information. Please check out their website by clicking here for much more research into Acupuncture.

Dr Scott Baker is a licensed acupuncturist in Burleigh Waters, Gold Coast, focused on pain relief, women’s health and chronic disease management. He enjoys sharing his passion for natural approaches to health through his online articles and at his clinic, Allied Acupuncture, on Executive Drive. Call for an appointment at 07 5522 1691.

1 Hino K, Honjo H, Nakao M, Kitakoji H „The effects of sacral acupuncture on acetic acid-induced bladder irritation in conscious rats.” Urology. 2010 Mar;75(3):730-4

2 Josne C. Paterno et al. „Electroacupuncture and Moxibustion Decrease Renal Sympathetic Nerve Activity and Retard Progression of Renal Disease in Rats” Kidney Blood Press Res 2012;35:355–364

*Royalty free image sourced from Vectorstock