Focus on men’s health: Acupuncture

Posted by Travis Young, L.Ac.
June 06, 2014

Travis Young, L.Ac.

As a massage therapist and an acupuncturist, I can tell you that women are more likely to be treated by these modalities. Women’s health is a very common and important specialty among acupuncturist. As a man, I find this unfortunate for our gender. It is great that the ladies are taking care of themselves. Women in my practice have seen good results in relief from premenstrual issues to breast fibroids. But acupuncture can help men, too. 

June is Men’s Health Month, and I’d like to share three ways men benefit from acupuncture.

Acupuncture makes you more relaxed.
One thing most people agree on is acupuncture reduces stress. A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology confirms this. 

Although men and women experience many of the same stressors in life, they handle them differently. Men are more likely to deny rising stress levels and keep chugging along. For some men, stress is actually a status symbol, indicating that he is productive, important and successful. No matter how well a man handles — or thinks he handles — stress, it still takes its toll on his health. 

My male patients often are surprised by the stress-lowering effects of acupuncture and massage. They find that they sleep better, have more energy and fewer digestive issues. 

Acupuncture will make you better in bed.
Advertisements for men’s sexual health are everywhere, from TV commercials shown during football games to magazine ads to daily email junk mail. These advertisements lead us to believe that erectile dysfunction and low testosterone can be conquered with a pill.

While drugs can offer symptomatic relief, they do little to address the root cause of the problem. From a traditional Chinese medicine standpoint, they make the problems worse and create dependence. 

The complexity of sexuality means there are a variety of factors that inhibit its healthy manifestation, meaning a one-pill-fixes-all approach isn’t adequate. Acupuncture looks at a collection of symptoms to identify a pattern of disharmony rather than trying to induce a temporary anatomical response. It can actually alter the underlying pattern of disharmony, allowing men to engage in sexual activity that’s dictated by instinct rather than medication. 

Acupuncture also can improve sperm count quality, while reduced stress and better sleep can improve testosterone levels and libido. In case you were wondering acupuncture is done clothed, needles do not get placed near the penis.

Acupuncture makes you more mindful.
In our go-go-go society, it is nice to have permission to take a pause. To sit still and focus on your breathing is the easiest way to relax the body and reduce stress. Unfortunately, some guys are so busy plowing through their daily routines that they forget to give themselves time for stillness. 

Acupuncture is an opportunity to be still for at least 30 minutes. The goal isn’t to excel or compete, but simply be quiet with your own breath. Being intentional about carving out time for stillness is a perfect way for men to awaken their senses and discover new ways of experiencing themselves. Acupuncture gives men an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and trains them to be in the moment. The more a man can become aware of himself at any given moment, the easier it becomes to address potential health problem whether they be physical or emotional.

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