What is acupuncture? How can it help with Men’s Health?
Acupuncture is a complex system of care used to maintain health, relieve symptoms and improve wellbeing. At the core of this ancient medicine is the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital life energy, which protects the body from illness, pain and disease. This energy flows through the body in pathways called Meridians 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 , it can cause illness and symptoms such as prostate problems or infertility.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra and produces semen. Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate that can cause urinary symptoms and pelvic pain. The most common type is chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. It’s causes are unknown, making it difficult to treat. Symptoms may include a frequent and urgent need to urinate, pain or burning sensation when urinating, pain in the pelvic are, lower back, and genital area. Acupuncture and herbal therapies have been shown to reduce the pain associated with non-bacterial prostatitis.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
ED is the inability to sustain an erection suitable for intercourse, at least 25% of the time. It is a common condition that happens to most men at some point 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. Acupuncture can be helpful in boosting and supporting sexual stamina.
Most cases of male infertility are related to a low concentration, 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 interventions. Acupuncture and TCM can also help both partners deal with the emotional aspects of struggling to conceive.
While depression can be experienced by anyone- men tend to exhibit and report feelings of fatigue, frustration, irritability, lack of concentration, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest in work and social activities. Profound emotional feelings such as sadness, guilt, and grief are acknowledged more by women than men. Acupuncture can help calm the mind and body, reduce stress, anxiety and help with male symptoms of depression.
The prostate naturally grows larger as men age. Often, this does not cause any discomfort. If the prostate compresses the urethra, it can cause a range of urinary conditions. The most common condition, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (NPH), affects 50% of men over 60. Symptoms can include, difficulty starting the urinary stream, and slow or dribbling urine. Prostate cancer affects 1:6 men in the U.S. When caught early, it can respond very well to treatment, so it is recommended men over 50 have yearly prostate exams. Symptoms can include urinary problems, lower back pain and blood in urine or semen. Acupuncture Chinese herbal remedies can be helpful in relieving the side effects of treatment and boosting overall health.
Caring for your health and wellbeing is important for all the stages of your life. While it can sometimes be difficult to talk with your doctor or practitioner about certain issues, it is important to be open and honest. After all, these concerns can have a major impact on your everyday life.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offer powerful tools to help you feel your best. They have been used for thousands of years to treat men’s health concerns and can be safely used along with other Western therapies.