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5/23/2018 Urinary System Disorders

Urinary System Disorders

Dr. Swami Karmananda Saraswati, MB, BS (Syd.)

Disorders of urination are troublesome and common. Symptoms of urinary


frequency, urinary incontinence, excessive urination, urethral discharge and pain on
urination plague many men and women, and often prove difficult to eradicate. Often
people suffer from recurrent bouts of urinary tract infections over many years and
are prescribed innumerable courses of antibiotics, without ever gaining more than
temporary relief, because the underlying root problem is not corrected.

The underlying cause of recurrent urinary tract infections is a deficiency of vital


energy. This energy or prana shakti becomes depleted over many years, until the
urinary and reproductive systems no longer possess the capacity to resist infection
with micro-organisms, which are part of the normal bacterial flora of every human
body. When the urinary excretion mechanisms become sluggish, stasis of urine
occurs, and retrograde or ascending infections from the urethral orifice below are
able to take hold.

The result is a range of symptoms including pain and burning on passing urine,
frequent passage of urine, poor control and co-ordination of urination, urinary
discharge, and so on. These symptoms are classified as different disease entities by
medical scientists, depending on the exact site in the urinary system where the
infection lodges and multiplies. Infection of the urethral passage which empties urine
from the bladder to the outside is termed urethris, infection of the bladder is termed
cystitis, and infection of the kidneys, ascending from the lower urinary tract is
termed pyelonephritis. The important thing to remember is that each is really a
different name for the same underlying process - a deficiency of energy in the
urinary system resulting in bacterial overgrowth.

Infections of the reproductive system, which is closely related automatically and


physiologically to the urinary tract, also produce symptoms of burning and pain on
urination, urinary frequency, together with a urethral discharge, and signs of
inflammation in the prostate gland. These are notoriously difficult to eradicate by
conventional methods, but quickly correct themselves under yogic management.
Orchitis and epididymitis- infections of the testes and seminal conducting pathways,
are also common. These frequently develop in a system which is weakened by long
term depletion of sexual and reproductive power through excessive and neurotic
expression of the sexual instincts and desires.

In the female body, ascending infection frequently develops in the reproductive


organs, which are very vulnerable and exposed to the outside environment. Vulvitis
(infection of outer genital region), vaginitis, cervicitis (of cervix), endometritis (of
uteric lining) and salpingitis (of the fallopian tubes) are often severe and long
standing, and can easily result in sterility. Sexual activity is a common means of
transmission of urinary and reproductive tract infections. It serves as a means of
transfer of micro-organisms from one individual to another, as a visible manifestation
of energy transfer and interaction occurring in the sexual act. Excessive, neurotically-
inspired sexual activity, based on mental and emotional tension, boredom and
frustration in life, depletes energy from the lower centres and makes them
susceptible to infection, both via sexual transfer, and also from the neighbouring
bowel and urethra. The venereal diseases such as gonorrhoea, non-specific
urethritis, syphilis, infectious mononucleosis etc. are manifestations of this process,
but cannot be really classed separately from the other urinary and reproductive
infections, which may or may not enter through sexual interaction as well. The
fundamental problem is one of energy depletion of the lower centres where vital
economy has been depleted through excessive sensual gratification. In this way the
sexual impulse becomes a source of pain rather than of pleasure, as it is intended to
be, and abstention while vital re-accumulation reoccurs is a fundamental step in
yogic management.

The urinary and genital tract

The urinary and reproductive systems are interconnected, and cannot really be
considered in isolation, especially in the male, where they share a common urethral
passageway for discharge through the penis. The urinary tract begins with the
kidneys, two fist sized organs lying on the back wall of the abdominal cavity in the
loin region. Each kidney is composed of millions of tiny filtering structures, nephrons
which filter the bloodstream, removing excessive salt and water and extracting
wastes of cell and protein metabolism such as urea, ammonia, uric acid, oxalic acid
and so on, which together go to comprise the urine.

The urine passes into numerous collecting ducts within the kidney substance, which
collect together to form the ureter. From each kidney a single ureter passes down
into the pelvis and enters the bladder. The bladder is an expansive muscular bag in
which urine is stored. It is continually filling from above as urine enters via the two
ureters, and has the capacity to expand automatically as the volume of collected
urine increases. When the bladder volume reaches a certain size, the brain receives a
sensory nervous impulse to this effect and we become aware that we need to empty
our bladder.

Emptying of the bladder is under voluntary nervous control (except in extreme cases
of bladder overload due to withholding of the reflex to urinate). The urine is released
into the urethra, the final conducting pathway which emerges from the base of the
bladder. The differences between male and female systems commence at this point.
In the male, the base of the bladder is encircled by the prostate gland- Entering this
gland are the two vas deferens, one from each testis, which conduct the semen to
the urethra. Beyond the prostate the urethra, a common passage for both urine and
semen, passes to the outside. In the female body, the urethra passes directly to the
outside distinct and separate from the vagina.

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5/23/2018 Urinary System Disorders

The base of the bladder rests upon the perineal (pelvic) floor, and obviously the
female urethra is very short (approximately two inches), compared to the male,
which leads through the penis. This is one major reason why simple urinary tract
infection is far more common in women than men. The distance which a
contaminating micro-organism must travel to reach the bladder is far shorter and
thus infection is more likely to occur.

Urinary stasis or pooling of urine in the bladder, contributes to this, for the longer the
short female urethra is left without the downwards flushing of fresh, antiseptic urine,
the more likely is a bladder infection to gain hold, especially in a woman whose vital
energy is lowered. That is why women who have proved susceptible to bladder
infection are advised to drink plenty of water, and also to pass urine soon after
completing the sexual act, when foreign micro-organisms are most likely to be
introduced to the urethra. During pregnancy, urinary stasis and infection are
especially frequent, as the bladder is compressed by the expanding uterus.

In males, urinary stasis is a common problem in later life. This occurs as the prostate
gland hypertrophies (increases in size)- an effect of excessive male hormonal
influence. The gland grows and encroaches inwards upon the urethra which passes
through its lobes, so that the flow of urine is gradually and progressively obstructed.
The process of prostatic hypertrophy is usually recognised and diagnosed in late
middle or old age, but it is actually the end result of a process which begins in the
early twenties. Unless the male sexual metabolism is balanced and controlled during
early sexual life, the pathway of testosterone production becomes wayward and
excessive in later life, and partial loss of urinary continence frequently occurs. As the
gland encroaches on the urethral outlet, the urge to pass urine can only be satisfied
by active straining, with the result that a small amount of urine dribbles through the
urethra. No sooner is this accomplished than the urge occurs again, so that the
passage of urine becomes a continual and time consuming preoccupation. Behind the
glands a constant pool of urine lies stagnating, which can become infected,
producing further irritation and difficulty in the urination process.

Medical management of urinary tract infections is based on antibiotic therapy, but


little is known about the correction of underlying pranic energy deficiency which is
the root cause. Prostatic hypertrophy is usually corrected surgically. The procedure
known as trans-urethral resection, is performed very commonly today. The passage
through the gland is widened so that urine and semen can flow freely.

Yogic management

Yogic management of urinary tract infection is aimed at restoring the depleted


energy in the urinary and reproductive systems. When this underlying condition is
removed, infections can gain no foothold in the urinary passages.

Surya namaskara is the most important pranic regenerator. It should be performed


at sunrise, to capacity, building up to 12 or more rounds. Asanas:
Paschimottanasana, halasana, pashinee mudra, vajrasana, shashankasana,
marjariasana, bhujangasana, trikonasana, ardha matsyendrasana.

Pranayama : Bhastrika pranayama to capacity is recommended to restore energy in


combination with inner retention, moola bandha and jalandhara bandha. Nadi
shodhana up to stage 4, should be performed over a 6 month period.

Shatkriyas: Neti and kunjal should be practised daily and laghoo shankhaprakshalana
3 times a week.

Mudras and bandhas : Moola bandha and vajroli mudra should both be practised
daily 25 times, both in cases of urinary tract infections and prostatic hypertrophy.

Diet: A light diet, free of meat, excessive spices and oils, is highly recommended.
This conserves digestive energy, enabling it to be redirected for healing purposes.
Overeating should be avoided, and the evening meal should be taken around sunset.
Tea and coffee in excess are harmful, and alcohol and tobacco should be
discontinued. Fasting one day per week, or skipping the evening meal every few days
also provides a great deal of energy required to throw off tenacious infections. Plenty
of water is recommended, and amaroli can be commenced if desired. Rest: Adequate
rest is a necessity. A lifestyle based on social activity and late nights should be
suspended at least for some months. If possible, staying in an ashram during this
period is highly recommended. Relaxation and yoga nidra should be practised each
afternoon.

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