Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about 52% of people between the ages of 40 and 70 who have a penis. It is estimated that there will be over 320 million cases worldwide by 2025.

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get and maintain an erection at least 25% of the time. Over time, this condition can lead to feelings of insecurity about sexual performance, deteriorating relationships, depression, and an overall lower quality of life.

There are several options for treating erectile dysfunction, including a number of effective prescription drugs. Additional treatment options for the treatment of erectile dysfunction include penile pumps, psychosexual therapy, psychological therapy, herbal medicine and injection of vasoactive drugs and penile prosthesis.

There are also natural alternative solutions that show promise as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, such as acupuncture. This centuries-old practice, which involves stimulating specific energy points in the body with thin needles like hair, is used to help treat many conditions such as chronic pain and arthritis and may also have beneficial effects. on erectile dysfunction.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of acupuncture and how it can help treat erectile dysfunction.

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The origins of acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been practiced for over 2000 years. The practice involves using strong metal needles, thin as hair, to penetrate the skin. Once the needles are inserted, they are activated by gentle and specific movements of the acupuncturist’s hands.

According to TCM tradition, the human body has over 400 acupuncture points which are connected by meridians, which are pathways through which energy flows through the body. This energy (called Qi, pronounced “chee”) is believed to influence overall health. In TCM, it is believed that the blocked energy flow in certain meridians is what creates the disease. Acupuncture aims to restore the flow of Qi to restore health and homeostasis.

Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial for a number of conditions such as back pain and arthritis. Although not originally a Western medical practice, it is available and accessible in most places. If you decide to try acupuncture, be sure to find a licensed practitioner. Also, discuss the options with your doctor to make sure it’s the right decision for your condition.

Benefits of acupuncture for erectile dysfunction

Some research suggests that acupuncture may be effective in treating erectile dysfunction, but the studies are small and have mostly focused on erectile dysfunction caused by psychological issues rather than medical or physical issues.

A recent meta-analysis showed that acupuncture had beneficial effects on people with psychogenic erectile dysfunction and found that acupuncture combined with the prescription drug Tadalafil (Adcirca) was even more effective in “curing” ED.

Another study suggested that acupuncture combined with psychological therapy may be more effective in reducing erectile dysfunction than psychotherapy alone. Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in improving sexual function and the satisfaction of patients with erectile dysfunction as a side effect of antidepressants.

More research is needed to determine if acupuncture can effectively treat erectile dysfunction, but the current data is promising. It is believed that acupuncture can help stimulate blood flow to the pelvic area and has stress reducing effects that can help with the psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.

Acupuncture may be particularly beneficial when used as part of an integrative treatment approach for erectile dysfunction, alongside other interventions such as therapy, medications, herbal medicine, diet, and erectile dysfunction. exercise.

How does acupuncture work

Before the start of your acupuncture session, you will have a conversation with the practitioner about your goals and concerns. Now is the time to raise any questions you may have.

Then you will be asked to lie down on a table and relax in the space. The acupuncturist will place needles along the ears, hands, legs, and abdomen to stimulate specific meridians. Typically between five and 20 needles are used.

Once the needles are inserted, the practitioner can apply heat or electrical pulses to the needles to stimulate them. The needles will stay in the specified area for 20 minutes as you relax in position.

At the end of the session, the practitioner will remove the needles. After a session, people report different responses, some feeling very relaxed and others feeling energized.

Possible risks and side effects

There aren’t many potential risks with acupuncture. The most common side effect is a bruising where the needles are inserted. Some people also experience minor pain and bleeding.

However, if you have a health problem, such as heart disease, it is a good idea to consult your health care provider before making an acupuncture appointment.

If a person suffers from a bleeding disorder, pacemaker, or is pregnant, they should notify their practitioner to address any safety concerns. Bleeding or bruising may increase if a person has a bleeding disorder or if they are taking blood thinners. Electro-acupuncture is also known to affect the function of the pacemaker.

Find a licensed specialist

When looking for an acupuncturist, it’s a good idea to see your health care provider first, especially if you have any health concerns. They will review your medical records and any medications and supplements you take, and help you determine if acupuncture is right for you.

Acupuncture is not a panacea for health and medical conditions. When looking for an acupuncturist, be sure to find someone who is a certified acupuncturist and who complies with specific state guidelines and regulations. Some doctors are also acupuncturists. Once you find an acupuncturist, you can ask them if they offer consultations to determine if they are right for you.

Other natural erectile dysfunction treatments to try

There are some lifestyle changes you can make that will help reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. These include exercise, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, eliminating smoking and alcohol consumption and, where appropriate, seeking psychological help.

If you take certain medications, erectile dysfunction could be a side effect. Talk to your doctor to see if they can change your medication or offer you other treatment options.

When a person receives acupuncture for erectile dysfunction, the needles are usually placed on the ears, hands, abdomen, and legs. They are not placed in the penis.

There are a few supplements that are known to help ED. It is important to talk to your health care provider about supplements. If a person has additional health problems or is taking a particular medication, the supplements could have harmful effects.

Research has shown that acupuncture is a promising natural solution for erectile dysfunction, but more research is needed to confirm these results. Studies suggest that acupuncture may be more beneficial for those whose erectile dysfunction stems from psychological rather than medical triggers.

Acupuncture costs typically start between $ 75 and $ 100 per session and increase from there. Some practitioners may offer a sliding scale payment option. Some insurers also offer coverage for acupuncture.

A word from Verywell

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, remember that you are not alone and that there are many treatment options that can help restore your erectile function and improve your quality of life. Talk to your health care provider about treatments that may help.

If you are interested in trying an alternative treatment like acupuncture, your health care provider can be a valuable resource offering recommendations and advice. Often times, erectile dysfunction treatment involves a process of trial and error to find what’s best for you. Be gentle and patient with yourself. It’s also important to speak openly with your partner to help them understand your condition and manage expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do the needles go during an acupuncture session for erectile dysfunction?

    When a person receives acupuncture for erectile dysfunction, the needles are usually placed on the ears, hands, abdomen, and legs. They are not placed in the penis.

  • Do ED Supplements Work?

    There are a few supplements that are known to help ED. It is important to talk to your health care provider about supplements. If a person has additional health problems or is taking a particular medication, the supplements could have harmful effects.

  • What does acupuncture research say for erectile dysfunction?

    Research has shown that acupuncture is a promising natural solution for erectile dysfunction, but more research is needed to confirm these results. Studies suggest that acupuncture may be more beneficial for those whose erectile dysfunction stems from psychological rather than medical triggers.

  • How much does an acupuncture session cost?

    Acupuncture costs typically start between $ 75 and $ 100 per session and increase from there. Some practitioners may offer a sliding scale payment option. Some insurers also offer coverage for acupuncture.