Dr Sharon Elizabeth Allison LAc DAOM

Everyone wants a healthy and fulfilling sex life and you have the right to do everything you can to achieve that. Most sexual health concerns are a symptom of other concerns that are going on in your body. Some of the contributing factors that can lead to erectile concerns are stress, diabetes, heart conditions, cholesterol, injuries and emotional stress. So lets take a look at what you can do to remedy these concerns and get back on track with your sex life.


Even though there are many causes that can affect our sexual health there are also ways to address these concerns so you can achieve the sexual life you desire. Lets look at stress. Stress is a word that is used a lot in todays vocabulary. What exactly does it mean? Is it the feeling of being overwhelmed with situations in our life? Is it from an inadequate diet and lifestyle? Is it from dealing with passed trauma?


Stress in the body can be brought on by many factors and can cause our bodies to stay constantly in a fight and flight response. Our fight and flight response system is very much needed in our bodies to protect us from events in our life that maybe dangerous however as humans have evolved and our stressors are not so much lions and tigers chasing after us but other survival stressors such as mortgage payments, career paths, health concerns and keeping a well balanced family and friends social life.


When our body experiences stress it will go into a fight or flight response and start to prioritize its survival. The first thing the body does is take care of its vital organs. The heart, liver, kidneys, lungs are top of the list. The bodies attention is taken to these organs so that it can function as best it can to keep you alive. Down on the priority list is stomach and intestines and genitals. In times of stress there is no time for these organs to rest or digest and have sex so the body shuts them down. With chronic long term stress the body will feel that this is normal and operate in that mode constantly and you may not even feel stressed, as it has built up slowly over a long period of time.   So, how do we climb our way out of the stress response and get our bodies back to working in a recreational way? After all sex is a recreational activity so we need to remind the body it needs a vacation.


How can acupuncture help? Are you wondering how a few little needles placed in the back or legs can help with stress? After all you are scared of needles correct and this feels like an even more stressful situation……

Lets look at erectile dysfunction first and give you the opportunity to diagnose yourself the same way an acupuncturist would.

What we do is find out a little information about overall symptoms and see if you have any that are similar to the patterns that we see below. You may have symptoms that cross over from multiple patterns and that can be common. We can treat for combined patterns as not everyone fits into a neat box. Once we see which pattern you mainly belong to then we choose the most effective acupuncture points that will help that pattern. The points may differ with each practitioner we do not decide on the points till you are right there in front of us as we also check your tongue and pulse to see which pattern they match.


Grouping number 1

Erectile dysfunction, oppressed spirit, timid, irascibility, fullness, pain, distention of the ribcage, a tendency to sigh, under a lot of emotional pressure.

Grouping number 2

Slow inset of erectile dysfunction, shrunken and soft penis, slight erection that is not hard enough for satisfying sexual activity, hyper tonicity of the lesser abdomen, soreness and distention in the inguinal region and the perineum, dribbling, incomplete and unsmooth urination, urinary urgency, frequent urination, yellow turbid urine, scrotal sweating, dampness, itching, and malodor, bitter taste in mouth, dry throat.

Note: This pattern usually presents in men with a history of excessive alcohol intake or genitourinary tract infections or inflammation including cystitis and prostatitis.


Grouping number 3

Erectile dysfunction worse with cold and relieved by warmth, shrinking and retraction of the penis and partial or complete inability to achieve erection, cold damp scrotum, lesser abdominal hyper tonicity, pulling pain in the testes.

Note: This pattern usually presents in men who either have a constitutional or natural tendency to be cold or could be exposed to cold damp conditions in their work or recreational activities, and in men who have had enduring and recalcitrant genitourinary infections or inflammations.


Grouping number 4

Complete or partial lack of erection, black facial complexion, purple lips, thirst without a desire to drink liquids, episodic chest oppression and discomfort.

Note: this pattern occurs in men with a history of diabetes, heart disease, trauma or surgery


Grouping number 5

Low libido gradually progressing to include softness and limpness of the penis and erections that lack strength or a complete lack of erection, physical fatigue, lassitude of spirit, insomnia and copious dreaming, poor memory, timid, a tendency to have many doubts, heart palpitations, spontaneous sweating, reduced food intake, loose stools, lusterless facial complexion.

Note: this pattern is generally seen among men with a consumption of qi and blood from enduring diseases and general weakness, from using their mental capacity excessively in their work (such as professors, writers, researchers, scientists etc) and from excessive worry and preoccupation.


Grouping number 6

Complete of patial lack of erection, somber white facial complexion dizziness of the head and eyes, tinnitus, listlessness of essence-spirit, soreness and limpness of the lumbar and knees, coldness or the lesser abdominal, fear of cold and cold limbs, night time urination, urinary frequency and dribbling, inhibited urination.

Note: this pattern generally occurs in men with a constitutional physical weakness, in older men, or men who have endured an illness.


Grouping number 7

Hyperactive libido with the ability to have an erection but the erection is not firm enough and rapidly wilts, insomnia and copious dreaming, and a tendency to have dream emissions, exhaustion of essence-spirit, heat in the heart palms of hands and feet, soreness and limpness of lumbar and knees, dizzy head and tinnitus, dry mouth with inability to drink fluids, scanty reddish urine.

Note: This pattern is most common among men who have a natural endowment insufficiency, or who have had excessive sexual activity.


Group number 8

Soreness of the lower back and knees, frequent urination, dream emissions, palpitations, frightens easily, timid, a tendency to have many doubts, insomnia and copious dreaming, distracted spirit.

Note: this pattern usually occurs in men who have a complete or partial lack of erection and who have a history of traumatic and fearful experiences such as combat or victims of violence, torture or other forms of abuse.


Symptoms taken from Anna Lin Handbook of TCM Urology Poppy Press 1997