Men’s Health Problems
Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
What is an benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia––also called BPH––is a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a man’s life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retention––the inability to empty the bladder completely––cause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
Less than half of all men with an enlarged prostate show symptoms. Those who do have symptoms of BPH, usually have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Urinary dribbling following the end of urination
- Inability to urinate (urinary retention)
- Feeling of incomplete urination
- Nocturia, or the need to urinate more than 2 times at night
- Pain with urination or bloody urine (these may indicate infection)
- Slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream (hesitancy)
- Strong and sudden urge to urinate (urgency)
- Weak urine stream
How will acupuncture treat an enlarged prostate?
I use a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary therapy to decrease urinary urgency and night urination, stop discomfort and decrease hesitancy. This is done by using the pattern diagnosis mentioned above to treat the symptoms I see before me. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment. It’s about treating You the Individual, and the whole you, too. Every treatment is fully customized for your specific constellation of symptoms. And relief awaits.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. It is also sometimes also referred to as impotence.Occasional ED is not uncommon. Many men experience it during times of stress. However, frequent ED can be a sign of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign of emotional or relationship difficulties that may need to be addressed by a professional.
What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?
- Inability to get an erection
- Inability to keep an erection
- Decreased sexual desire is commonly a related symptom
What causes erectile dysfunction?
The causes of erectile dysfunction can be both physical and psychological. An erection begins in the brain with sexual arousal. The brain releases chemicals to tell the nerves to relax the muscles that control the blood vessels leading into the penis. This increase in blood causes an erection. If this process is interrupted at any point, ED can result.
How does acupuncture and herbal medicine treat ED?
While it is generally accepted that erectile dysfunction increases with age, Chinese medicine theory believes that through the employment of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and health maintenance exercises and practices, a strong and satisfactory erection can be achieved at any age. Generally speaking, Chinese medicine puts an emphasis on health maintenance rather than healing disease, though it certainly does that quite well. Not surprisingly, acupuncture and herbal medicine are the key modalities I use. In the case of erectile dysfunction, we’re also going to talk about diet and exercise. In TCM theory, the ejaculation is controlled by the kidney and liver, when you are stressed out or with the age getting older, your liver and kidney will lose the control of sex function, with the acupuncture and herbal medicine, we can strength your kidney and release the liver Qi in order to improve your sex ability.
What is low libido?
Low libido is simply defined as having low sex drive; that is, a low desire to have sex. Low libido is probably one of the least likely things you’ll hear a man freely talking about. But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening to men. With that said, low libido, also known as low sex drive, is a subjective feeling of disinterest in having or lack of desire to have sex. Sometimes this means there is a lack of desire for masturbation, too. Low libido is also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
Low libido can cause a strain on relationships when one partner wants to have sex more often than the other. It’s important to be open when discussing sexual desire and needs with your partner. It’s easier for partners to accept a decreased interest in sex as medical problem when you talk about not having lost attraction, too. Low sex drive doesn’t mean you don’t find your partner attractive, pretty, handsome, etc.
It’s important to keep in mind that there’s no average for how much sex a person is supposed to want to have. Everyone is different. That being said, low libido is about you feeling like you don’t want to have sex often enough. If that’s the way you feel, let’s talk about bringing back your desire through acupuncture and herbal treatments.
What causes a low libido?
The causes of low libido can be both physical and psychological, and may include:
- Psychological disorders, such as depression and stress
- Hormone levels (especially low testosterone)
- Endocrine disorders
- Certain medications
- Alcohol and other recreational drugs
- Sleep deprivation
How does acupuncture treat low libido?
When treating low sex drive – acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary therapy are very important treatments. Three of them help each other to improve your sex drive. In TCM theory, the sex drive is controlled by the kidney. When you have kidney deficiency, you may have such problems. So our aim is to supplement your kidney function with both acupuncture and herb. In addition, I may suggest you take some nutritional supplements. In essentially all cases, I will also teach you some exercises and self-massage techniques. Self-massage is something you can also do with your partner to build intimacy.
Women’s Health Problems
Which menstrual irregularities does acupuncture treat?
The irregularities in the period we see most commonly in the clinic are:
- Early periods/short cycles – menstrual cycles shorter than 28 days and/or periods that come up to 9 days early
- Late periods/long cycles – menstrual cycles longer than 30 days for at least three months in a row. Some cycles may be up to 50 days
- Irregular periods (metrorrhagia) – periods that are sometimes early and sometimes late, but unpredictably so. This is normal before the onset of menopause or in the first months after a woman’s first period
- Heavy periods (menorrhagia) – Heavy periods are normal in frequency and duration, but above average blood loss. Periods usually require frequent change of tampons or pads
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea) – This includes pain before, during and after menstruation. Cramping may be felt in the lower abdomen, back, and legs. Pain may be so severe as to cause nausea, vomiting and even fainting.
- Spotting between periods – This is usually seen as mid-cycle bleeding. It is important to distinguish this between early periods or vaginal discharge with blood. Basal body temperature (BBT) charting and thorough review of symptoms will be helpful in determining this.
- No periods (amenorrhea) – This can be primary amenorrhea (has not had a period by the age of 18) or secondary amenorrhea (no periods for at least 3 months). Temporary amenorrhea after childbirth or during breastfeeding is normal. It’s also important to rule out pregnancy when there is a sudden stoppage in periods.
- Alternating heavy and light periods – this typically a period that starts suddenly with a heavy “gushing” flow and then becomes scanty during the period itself.
You can read more about acupuncture treatment for pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) on the PMS page.
What are the causes of menstrual irregularities?
Stress, lifestyle, diet, emotions, overwork and environment may all contribute to menstrual irregularities. All of these factors will be discussed during your acupuncture treatment for irregular periods. It is important to rule out a complication with the thyroid or other hormone imbalances.
Acupuncture treats menstrual irregularities
For centuries, acupuncture has been used to regulate women’s periods when they lose balance. Few women we see in the clinic have a “perfect” 28 day menstrual cycle. Some women have never had a regular menstrual cycle, some lost their regularity after taking the birth control pill, and some aren’t sure why their cycles changed. Regardless of the cause, menstrual problems can make getting pregnant more difficult, so regulating the period is one of the first steps of fertility treatment. Acupuncture and herb can treat menstrual irregularity and help restore regular cycles.
What are uterine fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow in and around the wall of the uterus, or womb. The cause of fibroids is unknown. Risk factors include being African American or being overweight.
Many women with fibroids have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include
- Heavy or painful periods or bleeding between periods
- Feeling “full” in the lower abdomen
- Urinating often
- Pain during sex
- Lower back pain
- Reproductive problems, such as infertility, multiple miscarriages or early labor
What causes uterine fibroids? Who gets fibroids?
The causes of fibroids are unknown. However, doctors think that fibroids are caused by multiple factors, like hormones and genetics. Doctors do know that levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the size of fibroids.
They grow rapidly during pregnancy, when hormone levels are high. They shrink when anti-hormone medication is used. They also stop growing or shrink once a woman reaches menopause.
There are factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids, like age, family history, ethnicity, being overweight and poor diet. Women usually develop fibroids in their 30s and 40s
How does acupuncture treat uterine fibroids?
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes fibroids are caused by obstructions in blood flow, and therefore are alleviated through processes which remove those obstructions. Acupuncture near the site of the fibroid has been seen to reduce proliferation of abnormal cells. Chinese herbs are used to help restore optimal blood flow to the pelvic organs. Reproductive organ massage helps to manually breakdown the tissue and aid the body in recovery. Not only will Chinese medical treatments shrink and eliminate the fibroids, but when used together can re-balance hormonal production, improve ovarian production and ovulation, regulate menstrual cycles, lower FSH levels, create better egg quality, and strengthen embryos– all of which improve fertility and your chance of conception.
Acupuncture treatment focuses on realigning the delicate hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis which controls the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. When estrogen levels are increased, fibroids tend to grow in size, causing pain and inhibiting implantation. By curbing excess estrodial, abnormal cell proliferation can be slowed, and when in combination with herbal and reproductive organ massage, often halted entirely.
Chinese herbs concentrate on invigorating the blood, which helps to break up the stasis of the fibroid itself and flood the uterus with oxygen and nutrient rich material. By moving the blood swiftly to the area, herbs that have documented antineoplastic effect can begin addressing the improper cellular proliferation. Formulas also contain individual herbs that have a direct effect on smooth muscle, helping to generate uterine contractions to eliminate the dissolved stasis.