This blog comes from an article that I was asked to write for St. Vincent’s for men’s health so I thought I’d share it on my blog!
Staying healthy needs to be a priority for everyone, especially men. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. Many men have come into my office wanting to try acupuncture but are unsure of how it can help them. Having hormonal balance and keeping inflammation at bay are two ways to help prevent prostate cancer, both of which acupuncture can help. Acupuncture can also address stress, anxiety, digestive issues, weight loss, pain relief, and other ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Keeping a healthy prostate has many benefits. Some negative symptoms to watch out for include frequent urination, hesitancy, dribbling, pain with urination or getting up to urinate during the night. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine provides a systematic approach to the overall body constitution and the underlying causes of your symptoms, addressing not just the symptoms but the root of the problem. Having an annual physical with your physician should also be a priority.
Sexual vitality is considered a treasure in Chinese Medicine. In Asia, men use acupuncture, herbs and Qi Gong, an exercise to increase energy to our internal organs, to maintain healthy sexual function. Many men have concerns of erectile function, premature ejaculation, high or low libido and even pain with intercourse. Acupuncture helps encourage the body to maintain blood flow and muscle tone that will help maintain a wonderful sex life.
Men often ask where the needles will be placed. The most common places are points on the arms and legs. Men need to be patient with their treatments as it may take several treatments to revitalize the body naturally with acupuncture, especially if you have undergone cancer treatment. Depending on the treatment, using just acupuncture may take months to help men with their libido and sexual function.
Insomnia, Stress and Anxiety
To be healthy, we need to sleep, relax, and be happy! Many of us, however, struggle with sleep issues, stress and anxiety. Acupuncture is a great alternative to help address these issues. Acupuncture helps to stimulate the para-sympathic nervous system allowing more blood to flow into our cardiovascular system and digestive areas. This is turn helps ease our stress, and allows for a more relaxed evening and deeper sleep. Regular weekly acupuncture treatments for six to eight weeks are recommended to address these issues properly, with follow ups determined on what each individual needs.
Cancer Symptom Treatment
Whether it’s the side effects of the cancer medication or the symptoms of the cancer itself, acupuncture may benefit you in several ways. Fatigue, neuropathy, nausea, incontinence, and digestive issues can all be addressed using acupuncture regularly. Acupuncture during cancer treatments will net the best results and may help the side effects of the cancer treatment medications easier to cope with.
The Acupuncture Profession
All acupuncturists must complete a 4 year or 3 year accelerated Masters Degree program. Therefore even before entering into acupuncture school you must have an undergraduate degree. On completion, graduates must pass national board exams in the Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine, Point Location, and in some states Chinese Herbs. The results are submitted along with a background check, clean needle technique certification to the licensing board in their state.