Acupuncture and impotence

Male impotence, more commonly referred to as erectile dysfunction, is a common dilemma in men, particularly those over the age of 40 years old.  Several factors have been found to blame for this condition, including a decline in hormones, stress, anxiety, fatigue, and poor communication in the relationship.  

The ability to maintain an erection can affect a man tremendously, resulting in a damaged self-esteem when he is unable to perform in the bedroom.  Acupuncturists believe that impotence is caused by declining fire from the gate of life, Mingmen Fire.  The symptoms of Mingmen Fire are cold extremities, frequent urination, lower back and knee discomfort, penile erection dysfunction, and/or dizziness and depleted supply of blood due to an excess of earlier sexual activity.  

They also believe that the cause can be from kidney damage and heart and spleen damage, as well as what they refer to as the downward flowing of dampness-heat.  The symptoms of this are thirst, urine that is unusually warm in temperature and dark red in color, bitter taste in the mouth, a penis that fails to erect and/or a muscle ache and/or weakness in the legs.

For a man to maintain an erection several physiological changes must take place.  These are most notably blood vessel flow with increased stimulation towards the area of the penis, nervous system arousal resulting in, again, increased blood flow to the penile area, and the male arousal factor.  Acupuncturists theorize that there are 14 main energy pathways that run from the head to the toe of the body.  

The treatment of impotence with acupuncture involves invigorating the kidney qi and heart/spleen benefits.  The acupuncturists believe that this condition is caused by kidney qi deficiency.  

Some acupuncture remedies include:

Ear acupuncture:  Points surrounding the ear are treated by placing a needle in the skin in two to four of the points for 10-20 minutes each time.  This treatment should sustain itself for approximately 3-5 days.  

Electric acupuncture:  A low frequency pulse circuit is applied at various designated points for 3-5 minutes at a time.  

Pricking therapy:  This again is done at various points in the body one to two at a time for 5-10 minutes.  This is done every couple of days for a total of five times.  

With the proper treatment, whether the traditional approach or another method, such as natural supplements or acupuncture, your sexual life can improve and be fulfilling once again. Consult with your primary care physician discussing treatment options that fit your needs in the best way possible and do not allow impotence or erectile dysfunction to cause dysfunction in your relationship. 

RESOURCES

Acupuncture.com: Impotence
http://acupuncture.com/Conditions/impotencec.htm

Acupuncture: Erectile Dysfunction
http://www.acupuncture.com/newsletters/m_nov05/main2.htm

NeilKingham: Acupuncture for Impotence and Erectile Dysfunction
http://neilkingham.com/2012/03/acupuncture-impotence-erectile-dysfunction/

Reuters: Evidence for Acupuncture in Impotence is Weak
http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/04/us-acupuncture-impotence-idUSTRE5735R720090804

Acupuncture Research UK: Acupuncture and Impotence
http://www.acupunctureresearch.org.uk/papers/FS2_impotence.pdf

PingMingHealth: Impotence and Chinese Medicine
http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/1870/impotence-and-chinese-medicine/

Medical Acupuncture: Male Sexual Impotence
http://www.medicalacupuncture.com/aama_marf/journal/vol13_1/article5.html

International Journal of Impotence REsearch: Acupuncture int he Treatment of Psychogenic Erectile dysfunction
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14562135

Medical Acupuncture: Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Erectile Dysfunction
http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/journal/vol15_3/case3.html

University of Maryland Medical Center: Sexual Dysfunction
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/sexual-dysfunction-000150.htm
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