Natural Alternative Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

If you have a penis there is a reasonable chance that you may experience a condition called Erectile Dysfunction, (ED) at some point during your life. Erectile dysfunction is when an erection is achieved on an inconsistent basis, when an erection does not last beyond short periods of time, or when an erection can't be achieved at all - all impeding or preventing the completion of sexual intercourse. Once a very hush-hush topic, the taboo of speaking out about erectile dysfunction began to dissipate in the early to mid 90's when it became recognized as a medical condition with a popular new drug that could "fix" it. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and are unable to take medications for this condition (such as contraindications with heart medications), or prefer not to take a pharmaceutical for this condition due to side effects or other reasons, there is a safe, natural alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction that may be a good solution for you. Acupuncture for erectile dysfunction, combined with nutrition, lifestyle recommendations & Chinese herbs may be the solution you are looking for. This is called Whole System -Traditional Chinese Medicine (WS-TCM) for Erectile Dysfunction. 

How Common is Erectile Dysfunction?

Impacting more than 18 million, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction has shown to be significant and increases with age.  In a study called the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, the number of men (aged 40-70) that experienced combined mild, moderate and complete erectile dysfunction was 52%.  

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction can be the result of many factors, some that may be serious, which is why it is important to speak with your healthcare provider. In many cases, erectile dysfunction can be improved or resolved fairly easily. Other underlying factors that caused it in the first place can be managed with your provider which will result in not only a better sex life, but improved overall health - in some cases it may save your life. 

Quite often there are multiple factors contributing to this condition and both the mind and body need to be addressed as one could exacerbate the other. Here are some examples of what causes erectile dysfunction.   

  • Health Conditions: Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Elevated Cholesterol Levels, Obesity, Smoking and Drugs/Alcohol

  • Physical Conditions: Decreased Blood Flow, Nerve Damage

  • Mental Health & Lifestyle Factors: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, lack of physical exercise/movement

  • Medications/Drugs: First, you should absolutely not stop taking any prescribed medication without speaking with your doctor. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and are taking a medication that you suspect could be contributing, please ask your doctor. You can review this list of the many drugs and medications that may play a role in erectile dysfunction.

How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?

Most of you have seen the commercials or at least heard of the drugs that are generally used as the first line of defense to combat erectile dysfunction such as Viagra and Cialis. However, this class of drugs called Oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, don't necessarily resolve the underlying reason why an erection cannot be achieved or maintained, but rather override the body systems by inhibiting certain enzymes and changing how/when cyclic guanosine monophosphate is metabolized. 

Seems like a simple fix, but many people don't respond to these drugs, can't take these drugs due to a contraindication with other medications (such as nitrates) or experience unpleasant side effects like headaches, stomach upset, pain, dizziness and rashes. What is concerning is that lots of people don't have any idea that they have heart disease - they are not symptomatic and have not been diagnosed or treated. Yet, the most severe side effects to these medications, such as heart attack and stroke occurred in people taking Viagra that had a previous heart-related condition. The lesson here? Everything that plays a role in your heart health is important and should be taken seriously. Regular physicals and monitoring by a healthcare provider is crucial to managing risk factors. And the relationship between your your mind, heart body and sex/reproductive health are significantly linked.

An alternative to Viagra?

The Natural Way To Treat Erectile Dysfunction.

As modern practitioners of Chinese Medicine, we embrace an east meets west approach and regularly work with physicians in the treatment of reproductive system health conditions. WS-TCM, which includes acupuncture, can help with erectile dysfunction. Acupuncture can also help treat erectile dysfunction by  addressing many of the factors that contribute to this condition such as improving heart disease risk factors, improving sleep, reducing stress and bringing attention and improved circulation to the reproductive organs. Here are some articles and studies that you may find helpful:

WS-TCM for Erectile Dysfunction

WS-TCM for Sleep Improvement

WS-TCM for High Blood Pressure

WS-TCM for Premature Ejaculation

WS-TCM for Stress

Though acupuncture and the use of needles has become popular (*needles are never placed on the genitals BTW), true Chinese Medicine always embraces the complete medical system. Using food as medicine, Chinese herbs, lifestyle recommendations, along with proper acupuncture and additional adjunct therapies - this is the way we practice and how we address erectile dysfunction.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the human body, mind and spirit from a different perspective. We recognize the complex energetic relationships and pathways within us and in nature. This allows for a deeper understanding of how our delicate system works and is based on thousands of years of observation and patient testimony.  WS-TCM offers a complete picture of how our constitution, familial patterns/genetics, environment, lifestyle, diet, emotions and spirit, all interact and find balance. 

Breaking it way way way down - Chinese Medical theory is based on some basic principles:  yin and yang energy theory, the concepts of how our energy (called qi) behaves, our blood (called xue), our essence/fluid (called jing) and our spirit (called shen).  Erectile Dysfunction from a TCM perspective is a symptom, not a condition itself. This is a lengthy subject and can be complicated to explain - certainly a lot to write! If you want to dive into this or nerd out about it - send us a note! 

The diagnosis in TCM is based on identifying a pattern that shows what energetic and organ systems are out of balance. Common patterns may involve the kidney organ/meridian, liver organ/meridian, heart organ/meridian and spleen organ/meridian. 

Illustration by Lara Gwaltney Design.   The TCM Organ Clock is pretty cool. Can you see any patterns that might present for you?

Illustration by Lara Gwaltney Design.

The TCM Organ Clock is pretty cool. Can you see any patterns that might present for you?

Ready To Address The Root Cause of Erectile Dysfunction?

Our team has over 50+ years of combined experience and we specialize in reproductive system health conditions. We can help identify the physical, medical, emotional and energetic factors contributing to erectile dysfunction and help identify your individualized TCM pattern - everyBODY is different and unique. We can also help guide you to the proper western medical physicians if factors are present that should be addressed by a primary care provider or specialist.

How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?

Many shy away from Traditional Chinese Medicine due to worry about the cost. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that acupuncture is a covered service under many health insurance plans! You can check your insurance eligibility here.

I'm Covered, What's Next?

Your medical history and personal story are important and we collect a very comprehensive health intake. Please fill out our secure form here.

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