Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine For Erectile DysfunctionAccording to the Urology Care Foundation, approximately 15 to 30 million men (ages 45-65) suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). However, the number of men approximated as having ED is low due to the fact that it is a very sensitive issue. An estimated 10 million or more may be suffering in silence.

The range is wide due to the many aspects of this condition. Some men have difficulty producing an erection but once they do they are able to maintain it while others lose it during intercourse. There are also those that only get an erection on occasion or cannot get one at all.

Conventional medicine has answered the call for an ED medication with popular brands of prescription drugs. These are relentlessly advertised on long television commercials with equally as long warning disclaimers citing a laundry list of side effects.

Yet, the American Urological Association (AUA) reported in 2013 that approximately 75% of men suffering from ED do not fill their prescription when diagnosed. This may be due to the fear of side effects intertwined with the embarrassment of having to take a pill before sexual relations.

Traditional medicine is another place men have turned to address ED and many have found improvement or a complete reversal of symptoms. Working with a naturopathic doctor, ED symptoms can be treated with a variety of different approaches according to each individual constitution. Treatments may include one or a combination of acupuncture, botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutraceutical supplementation and/or clinical nutrition.

Acupuncture for ED
The thought of needles and erections don’t seem to mix, however when an acupuncturist addresses this issue, needles will be placed far from the penis.

The approach consists of determining just what may be the underlying factor(s) contributing to each patient’s ED. Unlike conventional medicine where medicines are manufactured to address problems en masse, traditional medicine focuses on specific clues per patient. These may include prescription drug and overall health history, pulse, tongue color, eye color, diet, stress factors, psychological challenges, and much more.

Once a valid assessment can be determined then the acupuncturist will create a treatment plan. This a far cry from a fifteen minute office visit with minimal palpitation or even measurement of vitals simply ending with a scribbled prescription to add to the Big Pharma till.

The acupuncture treatment can be different for everyone, however the approach is the same; insert hairlike needles with minimally painful or completely painless (depending on the individual) reactions along meridians (pathways) that correlate with that patient’s health assessment. It is the attempt to move out stagnant or stuck “energy” to reintroduce healthy flow for a systemic response (not just a targeted pharmaceutical fix) that will hopefully result in continued erectile success.

Study results reported in the International Journal of Impotence Research (2/99 Vol.11 No.1) conducted by researches at the University Hospital Nijmegen, Netherlands concluded that, “The use of acupuncture as a mono-therapeutic modality in ED, did improve the quality of erection and restored the sexual activity with an overall effect of 39%.”

Another study out of Department of Urology and Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute of Andrology and Urology, Lainz Hospital, Vienna, Austria also reported in the International Journal of Impotence Research (2003) looked at the psychogenic effects of ED. This is a stress reaction having to do with the fight or flight response.

“In psychogenic erectile dysfunction, the patient has trouble with the balance of his sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems,” says Paul Engelhardt, M.D, the study’s author. The conclusion reported that, “A satisfactory response was achieved in 68.4% of the treatment group and in 9% of the placebo group (P=0.0017). Another 21.05% of the patients had improved erections…The results of our pilot study indicate that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option in more than two-thirds of patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction.”

Naturopathic Additions
In addition to acupuncture, a naturopathic doctor can apply other, aforementioned, remedies that could prove highly beneficial.

These may include nutraceutical supplementation, botanical medicine or homeopathy supplements such as:

  • Zinc – “Low zinc levels are blamed for a wide variety of health woes, including erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence.” (Healthline)
  • L-Arginine & Pycnogenol – A Bulgarian study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (5/03) found that, “L-arginine combined with pycnogenol, a plant product from tree bark, restored sexual ability to 80% of participants after two months, and to 92.5% after three months
  • L-Carnitine – The Journal of Urology (4/04) published study results from Italian researchers that found the amino acid L-Carnitine proved better than testosterone for ED
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – “The Massachusetts Male Aging Study showed that men with ED were more likely to have low levels of DHEA” (Healthline)
  • Gingko Biloba – A safe herb for increasing blood flow to the extremities.
  • Homeopathic remedies: Nux Vomica and Caladium

Note: Never take an alternative remedy without the guidance of a professional naturopathic doctor as it may be dangerous to your health regarding medical contraindication, over-dosing and more.

Clinical nutrition counseling may also be recommended to offer dietary changes to help alleviate ED symptoms.

A combination of the above (or similar) remedies could alleviate, or in some cases (especially when using acupuncture), eliminate ED symptoms altogether. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or contact us to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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