Water Element. The water type, five element acupuncture treatment. The water element and acupuncture, the Torbay Acupuncture Centre, Devon.

The Renal System

The Bladder, Ureter and Urethra

The physiology of the Bladder
The walls of the bladder are made from special cells that have the capacity both to stretch and contract.

Male BladderWhen the bladder is full (which in healthy adults usually means in contains around 300 millilitres of urine) nerve impulses stimulate it to contract. Through the first years of life we learn to override this impulse, which means that from then on this stage is simply recognised as the need to urinate.

The physiology of the Ureters
Urine flows steadily into the ureters. They receive between 20 – 100 millilitres an hour. This is propelled down the length of the ureter by steady muscular contractions within the cell walls. Urine is pushed into the bladder, through a structure which acts like a one way valve, in impulses about every 10 seconds.

Female BladderThe physiology of the Urethra
The urethra links the bladder to the outside of the body. It passes through the floor of the pelvis (the perineum) and the pelvic floor muscles. In men the first part of the urethra also passes through the prostate gland.

Where the urethra meets the bladder there is a ring of muscle called the internal urethral sphincter which remains contracted until we want to urinate. This holds the urine in the bladder. The pelvic floor muscles also act as an external urethral sphincter to perform the same job.

Rachel Geary

Rachel Geary BA(Hons), Lic. Ac. MBAcC is a fully qualified acupuncturist, having graduated from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in 2002. She has previously practised in Inverness and Barnstaple. "I first became interested in acupuncture whilst I was at university studying History and Philosophy. I was particularly drawn to eastern philosophy, which I found particularly elegant and beautiful. I then went on to complete a three and a half year course of study in acupuncture and discovered it to exemplify these very same qualities. I feel very privileged to have been able to learn so much about the Chinese understanding of health and to be able to use this knowledge to help others." Rachel Geary is a Registered Acupuncturist, she is registered at The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), and The Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinic (ACMAC).