Men’s health in Brisbane
Historically men have not been terribly proactive in caring for their health, but we can see this changing. More and more men are tending to their health and appearance.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) men’s health encompasses everything from general musculoskeletal pain and digestive health, and sometimes intimate issues like erectile dysfunction (ED).
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for improving some really common health complaints like lower back pain and knee pain (1). As of 2015, professional health bodies from other 30 countries have recommended acupuncture as an intervention for over 100 conditions including, tension headaches and migraines, post operative pain and more (1). Research continues in our field and we endeavour to keep abreast of the latest information as it comes to light.
We will always give you our honest opinion based on available research as to whether or not acupuncture and Chinese Medicine may be able to help you. Please get in touch to start a conversation.
Below gives you some ideas on how we think about the Male energy from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.
Your male energy
The fundamental energy within the body is the kidney energy. It is seen as the root of all Yin (cool) and Yang (warm) energy in the body. The spleen and stomach are responsible for extracting energy from the food we eat, whilst the liver is responsible for the free flow of Qi throughout the body. The liver is important. If it is not in free flow, then functioning of the other organs is compromised, possibly leading to stagnation, poor Qi production, poor digestion, poor sexual performance and so on.
We’re all susceptible to overwork and overuse syndromes. Long hours, many commitments and perhaps too little (or poor quality) sleep all take their toll on our energy as a whole.
At Ginseng Clinic, by taking time to listen to your story we are able to examine the areas of your life or lifestyle which are impacting on your energy, and to try and address them with acupuncture and herbs, and dietary advice where appropriate.
Looking good usually requires some sort of physical exercise as well as a balanced approach to eating. An increase in gym memberships has also seen an increased need for body-mechanic work. Acupuncture, massage and cupping are the three treasures in this sense. The research tells us how effective acupuncture can be for things like knee or back pain (1). Chronic, acute and unexplained muscular symptoms, in the absence of severe structural pathology, can all benefit from these three tools of TCM.
Stubborn pain may also benefit from Qi and blood moving herbs. Chinese medicine has a long history of using herbs and liniments to help the healing process after injury. The benefit of this type of medicine is that we address the underlying causes of the pain in a way which is particular to you. So whether your pain or injury is caused by Qi stagnation and cold, or blood stagnation and cold, we prescribe a Chinese herbal formula or liniment to suit.
Sexual, genitourinary and reproductive health
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine has some role to play in the reproductive health of men (2-5). Again, we always talk about the way we diagnose and approach men’s health in terms of Yin and Yang.
Whilst the gold-standard Western scientific trials have left us demanding more research to be done in order to clarify the exact effect that acupuncture may be having in relation to things like premature ejaculation , Erectile dysfunction and sperm health (quantity, and motility) (1-4), we have seen some excellent peer reviewed papers indicating that regular acupuncture and herbal therapy can bring positive results to things like poor sperm quantity, morphology and motility (5).
At Ginseng Clinic, we accept that you might feel embarrassed and unsure about sexual and genitourinary conditions. John Taylor has considerable experience in this area and the natural ability to put you at ease.
When addressing impotence ( now referred to as erectile dysfunction ED ) from a TCM perspective, there are a number of different mechanisms which can negatively impact male sexual performance. Kidney Yin and Yang, which are at the basis of all of our energy, are often involved. If you think of the structure of the penis as Yin and blood (like the steel structure of a crane), and the raising of an erection delivered by the free flow of liver Qi and kidney Yang (this is the winch that lifts the crane), this gives you some idea of how we can come to an effective diagnosis surrounding impotence. Are we looking at erectile difficulty because of a ‘stuck’ liver not pulling its weight in winching the crane, or is it a kidney Yang deficiency not providing enough motive force to get things lifted.
Some common pathologies we see in this area are:
- Kidney Yang Deficiency – the patient is often suffering from the cold, always feels cold, cold hands and feet, poor erectile function
- Kidney Yin Deficiency – the patient tends to feel warmer, perhaps warm hands and feet at night, thirst in the evening, low back ache or sore knees, perhaps premature ejaculation is an issue
- Liver Qi Stagnation – the patient is often stressed, frustrated or perhaps harbouring some emotional distress. Digestive symptoms such as belching and abdominal distension may be present. The liver acupuncture channel wraps down around the penis, so moving the liver Qi can be an effective way of helping this kind of erectile dysfunction.
- Spleen Qi and Heart Blood Deficiency – performance anxiety is often the presenting pattern here. Overwork, over worry and rumination all tie up the spleen energy and its ability to make fresh Qi and blood. As a result, the heart becomes undernourished and symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations and insomnia may appear.
Each case is treated with sensitivity and respect. Dietary and lifestyle advice will always form part of our TCM approach. We have already mentioned that the gold-standard research surrounding acupuncture and erectile dysfunction has given us inconclusive results and/or weak evidence. Continuing research should help us to clarify the exact role that acupuncture can play in the treatment of Men’s Health issues.
What we often see at the Ginseng Clinic
The types of health issues that our male patients present with to our clinic, include:
- Poor erectile strength
- Premature ejaculation
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
- Poor digestion
- Low mood
If you would like to get in touch, call 3357 3205.
- McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised Edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
- Siterman S et al Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9. Andrologia
- Chen A et al, Jnl Acup Tuina Sci 2011 Vol 9, Number 4, 219-222 Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science
- Sunay et al. Eur Urol. 2011 Jan 20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21256670Acupuncture Versus Paroxetine for the Treatment of Premature Ejaculation: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. (Viewed 20.10.11 )
- Macdonald N. 2016 Vol 10 Issue 2 Case Study: Improving sperm parameters with acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Australian Journal of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine