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ALRAEK and BAERHEIM, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Norway E:,, describe health changes experienced by women after acupuncture treatment for recurrent cystitis .


The study aimed at exploring health changes reported by women after receiving prophylactic acupuncture for recurrent cystitis.


Qualitative study based on written free text on women's own experience of changes in health after completion of traditional acupuncture treatment. Patients included in the study were women who had had three or more episodes of lower urinary tract infection in the previous 12 months . Data were analyzed using Giorgi's phenomenological approach .


Patients reported mainly improved pressure during micturition and more complete bladder emptying ; more normal bowel movement and less abdominal discomfort ; more energy, reduced stress-levels, and better sleep . A few reported feeling worse .


The symptoms described by the women in this study fit traditional Chinese medical theory for diagnosis of their vulnerability to cystitis . Qualitative methods have a role in complementary health research and may enrich our knowledge in other ways than conventional quantitative methods.


Alraek T, Baerheim A. 'An empty and happy feeling in the bladder…': health changes experienced by women after acupuncture for recurrent cystitis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 9 (4): 219-223, Dec 2001.

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