Use of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Male Impotence

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been involved in the treatment of male impotence since the time of the Chinese Emperors. It was a condition of concern to those poor emperors who often had as many as 3000 wives. Although the common Chinese male did not have a similar problem, impotence treatments designed to help the emperor would have certainly filtered down to his level.

Impotence is often called erectile dysfunction. It is defined as the inability to have a successful sexual encounter due to the inability to have or maintain an erection. There are three basic physiological changes that must take place in order to have a successful erection. The first is basic arousal. The arousal must signal the nervous system to increase the blood flow to the penis. Finally, the blood vessels of the penis must relax in order to allow the increased flow of blood. If any of these three functions do not take place, an erection can not be maintained. Stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and even the effects of drugs may have an impact on these functions.

Chinese Medicine divides the condition into two different conditions. The first is called “The Decline of Mingmen Fire”, and the second is “The Downward Flowing of Damp Heat.” Each of these conditions has symptoms that are uncovered in a complete examination of the patient. The Decline of Mingmen Fire is marked by dizziness and frequent urination and Downward Flowing of Damp Heat is accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth and thirst. These symptoms are an example of the holistic approach of acupuncture treatment. The Chinese view the kidney as the source of the problem. Male Impotence is sometimes called Kidney Failure in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The acupuncture treatments would be based on which of the two conditions is suspected as the culprit. Many people fear acupuncture treatments for this condition because of the sensitivity of the areas involved. This is a common misconception because the acupuncture body points that are used in the treatment are located on the extremities, the abdomen, and the back. These acupuncture body points are concerned with increasing qi flow to the kidneys or preventing the flow of damp heat.

Recent studies on acupuncture as a treatment for impotence have compared the effectiveness of the treatment with the use of such chemical substances as Viagra. The acupuncture treatments have been shown to increase the flow of certain hormones and biological enzymes into the nervous system. These studies have been done on animals for the most part. Although Western Medicine still does not completely understand the reasons for the high success rate of acupuncture treatment for impotence, it is admitting that these treatments tend to treat not only the sexual dysfunction as well as chemical substances, but also the physical and psychological causes. It does this with a great deal less adverse side effects.

Chinese Medicine Treatments for High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is a symptomatic condition. Primary hypertension has no known cause although it is usually associated with certain causative factors such as high cholesterol levels or excessive sodium intake. Secondary hypertension has a known cause such as kidney disease or endocrine abnormalities. Regardless of the type, it is a very dangerous condition that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. In many ways, hypertension is treated in Western Medicine with what seems more like the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach. The lifestyle, diet, and general health of the patient are a major part of the treatment.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the major cause of hypertension as a problem with the circulation of vital energy (Qi) in the body. It is viewed as a liver Meridian pattern disharmony. Since the liver is thought to control blood in TCM, a circulation problem usually comes from disharmony of the liver. As in Western Medicine, certain emotional problems can contribute or increase the condition. Depression, anger, obesity, and the high intake of fatty foods are all harmful to the flow of Qi through the liver and thus can cause hypertension.

Acupuncture therapy is often indicated in the treatment of high blood pressure. The needle points will be ones that increase Qi flow through the liver and remove excess heat from that organ. There are several natural food treatments that are used and have been shown to have beneficial results. These include water chestnut, turnip, honey, Chinese celery, Hawthorn berries, and Mung beans.

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a herbal remedy that is used in TCM in the treatment of hypertension. It has been shown to help normalize blood pressure and is a powerful antioxidant. In fact, Kudzu has about 100 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E. It helps prevent heart disease and cancer also. When used in the treatment of hypertension, it can be brewed into a tea for easy digestion.

TCM also looks at diet and lifestyle choices that can reduce the tendency toward high blood pressure. This treatment approach is also used in Western Medicine. The Chinese approach here is not as unusual as it tends to take this holistic approach to any illness, so in that regard, the treatment regime for hypertension is not unique to that disease. As always Chinese Traditional Medicine seeks out the underlying cause of disharmony and seeks to restore balance.