March 25th 2006 – Copyright by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac., MSTOM, RH (AHG)
I was at a workshop on mens’ diseases recently, and we were discussing ways to keep morning erections and to prevent erectile dysfunction later on.
Men have a lot of assaults on their fertility, hence sexual health in this day and age. Plastics and pesticides put xeno-estrogens into their systems and into the water table. Meats, traditionally good for testosterone, are often from estrogen-treated animals unless organic. Soy, a common meat substitute has high phyto-estrogens levels. Zinc and magnesium, necessary to male health, are missing from the soils. Phythalates from plastic attack androgens (male hormones). Increases in diabetes, coronary artery disease and CVD, along with smoking hurt the arteries filling the penis. Laptops are often used on laps where they heat the scrotum. As a result of stresses to the male system, sperm counts are way down- 3% anually in Europe and 1.5% anually in the US. A recent study showing a 29% decline since the 80s had to be withdrawn because the men were from New York where sperm counts are _higher_ than in most of the rest of the country. So the problem may be worse.
So in addition to avoiding all of the above stressors, studies have shown that pelvic floor exercises can be very useful. You can locate the pelvic floor muscles around your urethra by trying to stop the urine stream while peeing. (Once you find them it is not a good idea to do regularly while urinating.) You can tighten the muscles around your anus by drawing up for 10 seconds. When done properly, the scrotum and base of the phallus should slightly elevate.
To deal with ED, morning erections, or incontinence, do the exercises for 10 seconds each, with 10 seconds in between, 10 times each of three positions: while sitting, standing and lying down. Do three times a day. (Okay if you skip the lying down one at work, do the other two 15 times.) You can also do shorter ones anytime.
Dr. Grace Dorey of Surrey England, a major proponent of pelvic floor exercises undertook a survey of 55 men with an average age of 59 who had experienced erectile dysfunction for six months or more. With the exercises:
40 per cent regained normal erectile function.
35.5 per cent improved
25.5 per cent showed no difference.
The improvement resulting from pelvic floor exercises compared to the use of Viagra had identical results.
Pelvic floor exercises should be combined with squats because strong glutes help the pelvic floor muscles lengthen. You need good muscle tone when the muscles are both contracted and when lengthened.
All men should do some form of pelvic floor exercises to maintain health and we should teach our sons to do it too. -We teach them all kinds of other exercises and these will be a major factor in their well-being for life. Feel free to forward this onto your sons if you would rather not talk about it with them.
There is a good article with illustrations at:
And there is a good video illustrating male pelvic floor exercises:
Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac.
253 Garfield Place 1R
Brooklyn, NY 11215 US
Dr. Grace Dorsey, Peter Deadman, http://www.bbc.co.uk/relationships/sex_and_sexual_health/exercise_pelvicm.shtml http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/features/pelvicexercises_003841.htm