How Acupuncture and TCM help men’s health
” A man too busy to take care of his health, is like a mechanic too busy to care of his tools”
~ Spanish proverb
Part of being a man is caring for your health and well-being through all the stages of your life. While it can sometimes be difficult to talk with your doctor or practitioner about issues such as prostate conditions, erectile dysfunction, or infertility, it’s important to be open and honest. After all, these concerns can have a major impact on your overall health as well as your sex life, your relationship, and your emotional health.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer powerful tools to help you feel your best. They’ve been used for thousands of years to treat men’s health concerns and they can be safely used along with Western therapies.
How can Acupuncture and TCM help Men’s health?
Acupuncture is a complex system of care used to maintain health, relieve symptoms, and improve well-being. At the core of this ancient medicine is the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, which protects the body from illness, pain and disease. This energy flows through the body in pathways called Maridians that are connected to specific organs and glands. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. If it is out of balance or restricted, illness and symptoms – prostate problems or infertility, for example – can result.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder). It produces semen, the milky-colored fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation. Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate that can cause urinary symptoms and pelvic pain. The most common type is chronic (or ongoing) nonbacterial prostatitis. Its causes are unknown, making it difficult to treat. Symptoms may include a frequent and urgent need to urinate: pain or a burning sensation when urinating (dysuria): pain in the pelvic area, lower back, and genital area.
While more research is needed, some studies have shown that acupuncture and herbal therapies are able to relieve the pain and urinary symptoms caused by chronic nonbacterial prostatitis.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
The prostate naturally grows larger as man age. Often, this doesn’t cause any discomfort. But if the prostate compresses the urethra, it can cause a range of urinary symptoms. This condition, known as BPH, is the most common prostate concern, affecting about 50% of men over 60. Symptoms can include slowness or dribbling of the urinary stream; hesitancy or difficulty starting to urinate; frequent urination; and the need to get up at night to urinate. Typical treatments for BPH can include self-care techniques, medications, or even surgery. Acupuncture can help with rebalance and support urinary system health.
Prostate cancer affects about 1 in 6 men in the United States. When caught early, it can respond very well to treatment, so it is recommended that all men over age 50 get yearly prostate cancer screening. Symptoms can include urinary problems, pain in the lower back or hips, and blood in the urine or semen. If you or a loved one s diagnosed with prostate cancer, acupuncture and TCM may be helpful in relieving the side effects of treatment and boosting overall health.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
ED is the inability to sustain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse at least 25% of the time. It’s common condition that happens to most men at some time during their lives, but ongoing problems could indicate a more serious issue. ED can be caused by conditions such as heart disease, clogged blood vessels, atherosclerosis, or diabetes. Other possible causes include medications, stress, depression, and anxiety. There are many treatments available, ranging from medications and mechanical devices to surgery. Acupuncture can be helpful for ED related stress and anxiety, enhence help boost and support sexual stamina.
Most causes of male infertility are related to a low concentration of sperm, or poor quality or movement of sperm. Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve sperm production and quality, as well as help increase the chances of success when used in conjunction with Western reproductive technology. Acupuncture and TCM can also help both partners deal with the emotional aspects of struggling to conceive.