Better than Viagra, the treatment of impotence with Oriental medicine. 1


Better than Viagra

The East­ern approach to treat­ing impot­ence is longer last­ing without the side effects of mod­ern drug ther­apy, says Olivi­er Lejus

It is now 25 years since the impot­ence drug Via­gra was launched in the United King­dom. Ori­gin­ally con­ceived as med­ic­a­tion for the treat­ment of heart con­di­tions, the Amer­ic­an phar­ma­ceut­ic­al com­pany Pfizer struck gold when the male par­ti­cipants in the drug tri­al dis­covered unex­pec­ted side effects on their sexu­al organs.

This unex­pec­ted dis­cov­ery would soon bring smiles of relief and delight to mil­lions of men, their sexu­al part­ners, and the share­hold­ers of the com­pany.

There was no longer a need to swal­low vast quant­it­ies of oysters, or illeg­ally pur­chase powdered horns of endangered spe­cies; the prob­lem of impot­ence, or “erectile dys­func­tion” could be now over­come with the inges­tion of a simple pill.

Sales took off as soon as the drug became avail­able to the gen­er­al pub­lic. Rev­en­ues of over one bil­lion dol­lars in the first year alone con­firmed that there was a wide­spread med­ic­al demand world­wide.

It is estim­ated that around half of the male pop­u­la­tion will suf­fer from erectile dys­func­tion at least once in their life­time.

To achieve, and main­tain an erec­tion, a man needs to be first sexu­ally aroused (unless he uses Via­gra).

Sexu­al arous­al occurs in the limbic sys­tem, the part of the brain reg­u­lat­ing our emo­tions. This trig­gers a physiolo­gic­al response to the male sexu­al organ; more blood is now diver­ted to the erectile tis­sue around the penis, which makes it rigid. This facil­it­ates the pen­et­ra­tion of the woman’s vagina, and the ejac­u­la­tion of semen neces­sary for repro­duc­tion, and the sur­viv­al of our spe­cies.

So the inab­il­ity to achieve an erec­tion can be due to emo­tion­al reas­ons, such as a lack of interest in sex due to stress or depres­sion.

Or it can be the res­ult of dif­fer­ent med­ic­al con­di­tions affect­ing the blood cir­cu­la­tion through­out the body.

For this reas­on, doc­tors con­sider the onset of erectile dys­func­tion as an early warn­ing sign of a poten­tial heart attack or the immin­ent risk of stroke in a few years time.

Via­gra uses a chem­ic­al (Silde­na­fil cit­rate), which relaxes the arter­ies sup­ply­ing blood to the penis, thus increas­ing the blood flow to the sexu­al organ without any input from the brain. Unfor­tu­nately, since Via­gra does not cure impot­ence, men with this con­di­tion have to keep tak­ing the med­ic­a­tion for as long as they wish to remain sexu­ally act­ive.

One of the unfor­tu­nate side effects of long-term con­sump­tion of the drug, besides aud­it­ory, visu­al and digest­ive dis­turb­ances, is the poten­tial risk of invol­un­tary pro­longed erec­tion caused by the chem­ic­ally induced exten­ded dila­tion of the blood ves­sels. So Via­gra might not be a mir­acle cure after all!

The prob­lem of male impot­ence has been with us since the ori­gin of man­kind, and it is not sur­pris­ing that Tra­di­tion­al Chinese Medi­cine has been treat­ing this dys­func­tion for lit­er­ally thou­sands of years.

Accord­ing to this Ori­ent­al med­ic­al frame­work, the physiolo­gic­al pro­cess of obtain­ing an erec­tion involves the accu­mu­la­tion of both Yang Qi (energy) and blood to the penis. Four organs are involved in this pro­cess: the kid­neys, the liv­er, the spleen and the heart.

The male and female gen­it­al areas of both sexes are encircled by the liv­er meridi­an. So any dys­func­tion with that organ or chan­nel can have a neg­at­ive impact on our sexu­al health. Since it is the kidney’s energy which provides our sexu­al drive, in most cases regard­less of the primary pat­tern, it is this organ that will have to be strengthened.

Around the world, the pace of liv­ing has sig­ni­fic­antly increased in the last few dec­ades and this rising level of stress in the work­force has taken its toll.

Nowadays, most men with erectile dys­func­tion are over­worked pro­fes­sion­als.

Liv­ing in a state of anger and stress for long peri­ods eas­ily leads to the abuse of alco­hol, recre­ation­al drugs, junk foods, and excess smoking. These are the major causes of car­di­ovas­cu­lar dis­ease, which dam­ages the arter­ies cir­cu­lat­ing the blood through­out the body, includ­ing the sexu­al organs.

In Tra­di­tion­al Chinese Medi­cine, there is a cor­rel­a­tion between the mind and the body. Each major organ is asso­ci­ated with a spe­cif­ic emo­tion­al pat­tern.

The liv­er is par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­able to anger, stress, and depres­sion caus­ing the Qi and blood to stag­nate. The male sexu­al organ becomes deprived of both nutri­ents caus­ing the impot­ence to occur. It is often seen in com­bin­a­tion with oth­er digest­ive prob­lems, irrit­ab­il­ity, dizzi­ness, and chest pain.

The kid­ney chan­nel can altern­at­ively be affected by intern­al cold due to poor diet or loc­al cli­mat­ic factors. This cre­ates an imbal­ance in the liver’s func­tion, and the blood cir­cu­la­tion is gradu­ally affected.

For all these pat­terns, a dual approach includ­ing acu­punc­ture and Chinese herb­al medi­cine is recom­men­ded.

In both the West­ern and Ori­ent­al med­ic­al sys­tems, erectile dys­func­tion is con­sidered to be only a reflec­tion of a lar­ger pat­tern of poor health and dis­ease in the body.

When the over­all con­di­tion of the patient is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion and treated accord­ingly, there is ample evid­ence that Tra­di­tion­al Chinese Medicine’s approach can be very effect­ive in treat­ing this con­di­tion which affects the lives of so many couples today.

Olivi­er Lejus

Olivi­er Lejus BHSc.MHSc. is a registered acu­punc­tur­ist and Chinese herb­al­ist prac­ti­cing in Sydney. A former cas­u­al uni­ver­sity lec­turer and tutor in Ori­ent­al medi­cine with over 15 years exper­i­ence in clin­ic­al prac­tice, Olivi­er spe­cial­izes in Japan­ese- style acu­punc­ture for the treat­ment of male and female infer­til­ity, migraine, pain, and insom­


About Olivier Lejus

I was born in France and I emigrated to Australia in 1980. I worked as a circus performer, puppeteer and actor before I began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine a the University of Technology of Sydney in 1997. I graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of of science degree in Traditional Chinese medicine. I am now specializing in Japanese style acupuncture for the treatment of female and male infertility, pain, and anxiety.

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