- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) differs from Western medicine because it treats the body as a holistic unit.
- TCM erectile dysfunction treatments include acupuncture, moxibustion, and herbal remedies.
- TCM therapies often take longer to work but yield longer-lasting effects than traditional pharmaceuticals.
- Men wishing to try TCM healing methods should check with their current provider first.
- Men should carefully check out any practitioner or remedy (particularly herbal supplements) before trying a new form of therapy.
- Western medicines such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are preferred by many men with ED, but they also need to be purchased from a trustworthy vendor.
Western vs. Eastern Medicine
Have you ever noticed the difference between Western and Eastern medicine? In the Western world, doctors are highly specialized. Yes, there are family physicians, but they always refer out with more specific health issues. There is a medical specialization for every part of the body: the ears, the lungs, the sexual organs, etc.
In Eastern healing traditions, such as traditional Chinese medicine, a single doctor treats everything. How is that possible? TCM practitioners take a holistic approach to health issues, including erectile dysfunction.
This article explores the main principles of traditional Chinese medicine and its approach to ED. Learn about different types of TCM treatments and tips on finding the right TCM practitioner.
Holistic View of Health in TCM
Traditional Chinese medicine as we know it today stems from the theory of five elements, called Wuxing. It explains the functioning of the universe as a series of five phases: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. These phases are then translated into a five-organ system (Zhang Fu or Yin-Yang).
There are two organs associated with each element. For example, kidneys and bladder belong to the water element. To make things more complicated, TCM considers the concept of an organ in a much broader way than Western medicine does.
The main task of traditional Chinese medicine is to restore and maintain balance in the body. Disharmony between different elements of the system leads to illness.
TCM and Erectile Health
Chinese medicine is based on the concept of Qi – vital energy that nourishes the body. It flows through special points in the body called meridians. Erectile dysfunction is usually diagnosed in the context of an imbalance of two organs – kidney and liver.
To explain this in more Western terms, the liver system is responsible for good circulation, important for male sexual functioning. The kidney system represents immunity and stores the “essence,” the inner power responsible for growth and reproduction.
If one of the organ systems is out of balance, it impacts the other. As a result, men begin to develop symptoms of ED. The role of a TCM doctor is to recognize dysfunctional patterns and suggest the best treatments. Diagnosis is a very important part of the medical examination, and progress is monitored at each visit.
TCM Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
Traditional Chinese medicine uses a range of treatments for erectile dysfunction. It is important to understand that it may take some time to see results.
Pills from a traditional pharmacy are designed to act quickly, but they often reduce the symptoms only in the short term. TCM methods take longer but should have more lasting effects, as they improve whole-body functioning.
TCM techniques for treating erectile dysfunction include the following:
Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction
TCM is best known for acupuncture. This ancient technique uses very thin needles that are placed in special points on the body. As a result, the flow of Qi energy is unblocked, and the organ can return to balance.
While scientific studies show inconclusive results as to the effectiveness of this method, some countries, such as Switzerland, recognize the treatment and cover its costs. The procedure itself is not very painful and rarely has any side effects, so many people consider it worth trying.
Another, less-known method of TCM treatment is moxibustion. It has been in use for over 2500 years and is based on heating the acupoints in the body with burning moxa sticks. The sticks contain dried mugwort, which is known for its healing properties.
The mechanism of action of this procedure is not fully understood. Modern research suggests the impact of heat on skin tissues. Chinese medicine practitioners explain that the treatment helps stimulate meridians and promotes the flow of blood and qi energy in the body.
Most of the research on the efficacy of moxibustion has been conducted on small groups in China. One study showed a significant reduction in ED symptoms after using this method compared to the use of acupuncture.
Herbal Remedies for Erectile Problems
Traditional Chinese Medicine is founded on the belief that our bodies have an internal self-regulating system. Herbal medicines are used to boost those healing abilities and help the organs detoxify.
The best-known plant medicine for erectile problems is ginseng root. If you’re interested in trying it, consult a naturopath or TCM practitioner first.
As with treatments for other ailments, Chinese therapists tend to take a holistic approach to ED and prescribe complex herbal formulas. These mixtures are supposed to improve the overall functioning of the organ systems associated with sexual function.
Overall, research results have not been favorable regarding Chinese herbal formulas in the treatment of ED. A systematic review of clinical trials did not recommend herbal mixtures for ED but did recommend further study.
Be Careful of ‘Natural’ ED Treatments
Herbal formulas prepared from safe and clean ingredients should not have serious side effects; however, you may notice digestive issues or find it difficult to drink the formula because of its distinct and strong flavor.
Should you decide to try out herbal treatments, order through a pharmacy or a reliable source that guarantees the safety of ingredients. There are many internet shops out there selling “miracle medicines” for ED. Stay away from them.
Some of the popular “natural remedies” for erectile dysfunction can even be dangerous. For example, a certain type of lichen sold online may contain poisonous chemicals, such as lead or mercury. Don’t risk your health for this.
Finding the Right TCM therapist
Traditional Chinese medicine may be a good complementary treatment to what your Western medicine doctor prescribed. Similar to finding a good physician, make sure you do your research before making an appointment at a TCM clinic.
Look for external reviews, and check out the doctor’s credentials and experience. In China, practitioners must graduate from a special medical school to practice TCM. Some Western doctors take extra courses and add natural medicine to their specialization.
Paying a visit to your family physician should always be the first step if you notice symptoms of ED. He or she may order some tests to determine if your problems are more physical or psychological in nature.
Most men can also benefit from modern ED treatments, such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra. These pills are very effective for most men and can enable you to quickly return to a satisfying sex life. To order your medicines from a safe and reliable source, visit eDrugstore.com, a well-established online pharmacy. Take advantage of our free medical consultation to determine which ED treatment may be best for you.