Why, yes. Yes it can.
Taoism, which is the foundation of Chinese medicine, places value on sexual energy and love. For thousands of years Taoist practitioners have understood that a healthy sex life results in physical vitality and minimal illness. A strong libido and abundant kidney qi (pronounced chee) are associated with health and longevity. And good health boosts sexual energy. It all comes full circle.
Our sexual desire can diminish with age, high stress levels, relationship challenges, physical pain, emotional issues, or with certain medications. Luckily, Chinese medicine offers a natural way to keep your fire stoked, so to speak. Whether low libido or sexual dysfunction is due to physical or emotional issues, acupuncture and herbal medicine are used to treat the person as a whole and can enhance both men and women's sexual health.
Studies have shown that acupuncture may affect parts of the central nervous system related to sensation as well as certain body functions through which blood pressure, blood flow, body temperature, and hormones are regulated. These functions factor greatly into sexual vigor.
Acupuncture also regulates the flow of energy (qi) in the body. There is another form of energy which we call jing energy. Jing energy is responsible for growth, development, and reproductive health. The Chinese believed that everyone is born with a certain allotment of jing, which is passed down by our parents. Jing is lost little by little throughout life, and once we lose jing, it cannot be replaced. We can lose jing more rapidly if we live recklessly -- drinking too much, working too hard, or with excessive sexual behavior. Acupuncture can slow down the loss of jing, and with greater success when paired with a moderate lifestyle.
There are also certain herbs that enhance the qi of the kidneys and help preserve jing such as goji berries, ginseng, and rehmannia. It is best to see a licensed herbal practitioner to see which herbs are appropriate for you. In many cases there may be an imbalance other than kidney qi deficiency.
Once you work with an acupuncturist on restoring your libido or sexual functioning, you can enjoy the health benefits that your sex life provides. The "side effects" include:
- A Happy Immune System: Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of antibodies which defend your body against illness compared to students who had sex less often.
- Lower Blood Pressure: Studies conclude that sexual intercourse lowers:
- Systolic blood pressure,which measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats.
- Diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
- Less Pain: “Orgasms can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a professor at Rutgers State University of New Jersey. It releases hormones that helps raise your pain threshold and have been found to help menstrual cramps, back and leg pain, arthritic pain, and headache.
- Improved Bladder Control in Women: Sex is like a workout for your pelvic floor. An orgasm will cause contractions of these muscles which can help strengthen them. A strong pelvic floor helps to avoid incontinence, which 30% of women have trouble with at some point in their lives.
- Improved Sleep: After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
- May Help Prevent Prostate Cancer: A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer than men who ejaculated less frequently.
- Reduced Stress: Sex helps to reduce stress levels and it also counts as exercise and improves cardiovascular health.
So, apart from feeling good and bringing us closer to our partners, healthy sex lives have even greater benefits to our body and mind.
If you need help strengthening your sexual energy and function, please call Sarah Johnson L. Ac. and book a consultation. 617-308-6620