Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction

Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction

Needles and erectile dysfunction (ED) may not seem like a good match, however, posing no risk to the male genitals, acupuncture may be a good treatment option. 

This modality is over 4000 years old with early ancient records indicating the use of wood, stone, and animal bones made into hair thin needles painlessly placed on certain points along energy paths throughout the body called meridians. Up until the nineteen seventies, acupuncture was strictly a healing practice steeped in observational studies. Once it came to American shores after a New York Times White House reporter experienced it firsthand during a President Nixon visit to China, western scientists have been studying it ever since. 

From back pain to migraines and weight loss to smoking cessation, acupuncture can be found in private practice as well as departments in some of the most renowned medical hospitals in the world. 

New research combined with archival studies have been linked to good benefits when patients are professionally assessed and treated by a licensed acupuncturist for erectile dysfunction. 

The Mechanisms of Acupuncture for ED

When acupuncture is explained it can be described in two ways, traditional and conventional. 

Traditional acupuncture is the investigation of a person through visual clues (eyes, tongue, skin, etc) as well as temperature, pulses (there are 8 in traditional medicine) and symptoms. Once these clues are all tallied a professional licensed acupuncturist (which can help if also trained in naturopathic medicine) will administer acupuncture accordingly. 

The goal is to move life energy (known as ‘qi’ – pronounced “chee”) toward or away from areas that need assistance. By re-adjusting stuck or stagnant qi it is believed by eastern standards, particularly Classical Chinese Medicine, that in many cases healing can be accomplished.

In the case of ED some meridian points that may be utilized include:

  • LV3 – Liver 3 is located on top of the foot slightly below the big toe
  • CV4 – Conception vessel 4 is located just below the bellybutton 
  • LV4 – Liver 4 is located on top of the foot between both ankles
  • BL18 – Bladder 18 is located mid back
  • ST36 – Stomach 36 is located just below the knee along the shin
  • SP10 – Spleen 10 is located along the side of the outer leg slightly above the knee

Conventional acupuncture may use a traditional philosophy yet approach this modality through scientific data. Life energy would not be considered as this is something that cannot be located and measured. A description of acupuncture for erectile dysfunction is explained by the Mayo Clinic,  

“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 the Office

As the global pandemic rages on, in many acupuncture practices the modality can still safely be applied. Upon your visit you will explain your ED symptoms in as much detail as you can to the acupuncturist. 

A full body assessment will be carried out and then the correlating areas will be addressed. You will lie on a padded table and each sterilized, packaged needle will be opened and gently, painlessly inserted into your alcohol swabbed skin. The only pain you may feel could be a very slight sting and an occasional nerve impulse at the site. 

Once all the needles are placed in each meridian point, which could be anywhere (except near your genitals), you lie there for upwards of thirty to forty minutes. In many cases the acupuncturist will lower the lights and leave the room for this time. It is recommended that you close your eyes and meditate or even sleep. Listening to music, working on your phone, computer or watching television are not recommended as it is important to give your body peace to acclimate to the needles and the movement of qi. 

Sometimes the acupuncturist will attach some needles to an electric stimulation machine to jolt the energy into movement. There is no pain with this treatment other than some slight tingling. If it is possible, some acupuncturist masters will perform moxibustion which is the burning of a small spongy herb called mugwort over certain points. The aroma is earthy and there is no pain. 

It is recommended to adhere to one to two acupuncture sessions per week for six to eight weeks to see improvement.

According to Healthline, 

“In one study, participants were tested in two groups. One group had acupuncture in the specific acupressure spots for ED. (For ED treatment, acupuncture needles are placed along the abdomen, hands, and legs.) The control group was given acupuncture in other areas of the body. About two-thirds of those in the group getting the ED treatment showed signs of improvement of their ED symptoms compared to the control group. Some in the control group were allowed to “cross over” and receive the ED treatments as well. Several of those patients also showed improvement of ED symptoms.”

Acupuncture for erectile dysfunction is a natural way to open your body’s pathways without the use of drugs. It can be an empowering experience you may want to continue for ED as well as other health concerns or to maintain as an overall health tuneup. It is important to note that it is highly beneficial to also change some lifestyle habits that could be impeding erectile flow such as avoiding too many processed foods, excessive alcohol, smoking, and keeping your weight under control.