Erectile dysfunction affects roughly 30 million men in the united states. While 5-15% develop this between the ages of 40-70 this can still be found in younger men depending on a variety of factors.
Some cases could be due to an actual disorder of the body. However, there are many things that can attribute to erectile dysfunction that we can work on treating naturally such as: Stress, Emotions, Pelvic Floor issues, Pornography & Dopamine.
For men to achieve an erection or for women to be in a good space to have a baby they need to be in a maintainable level of stress in their daily life, otherwise their body would tell them it is not ready for this yet.
While the act of sex may be very sympathetic (fight or flight), men need to be in a parasympathetic state (feed and breed) to achieve an erection. If they are too stressed they may not be able switch to a parasympathetic mode when it's time to be intimate. This might come through as a lack of erections for men or struggling to become pregnant as a woman. The less stress the body takes on the better state it will be in to reproduce.
Check out these previous blogs to learn more about stress and figure out what you can do to reduce stress:
What P-DTR can do for you?
When approaching this from a neurology standpoint there are a couple things I like to check to make sure the body is in a healthy state in it's daily life.
Check meridians to make sure the body is in balance.
General Organs to make sure the body is properly communicating with the different structures to maintain a balance of homeostasis and hormones.
Specifically check the Adrenals: This means we will do adrenal bullet-proofing which involves temporarily treating the adrenals and then finding everything that bothers them and correcting those things. This is especially common with emotional corrections.
For men making sure that all the equipment is functioning properly can heavily depend not only on stress but also any emotional connections to this activity. Maybe there is some past trauma when to sex or feeling belittled as a man. Maybe there is the memory of letting a partner down and them saying something to you about your performance. Working through some of these issues with a psychotherapist or even a emotion component through P-DTR can be extremely useful.
Client Experience: One of my clients was suffering from ED. He was going through some extreme stress and couldn't achieve an erection. His partner then replied with "are you even a man" and from then on it was a self-fulfilling prophecy that he struggled with. After working on these emotional corrections among other components on this list he did eventually work through his ED.
Testosterone can decrease naturally in men due to old age and other problems. This hormone is critical for enlarge the penis and maintaining an erection. While there are medications and treatments out there, here some of the natural ways to increase testosterone.
Working Out: Exercise has proven to be a very effective way to increase testosterone in the short term. This is the most beneficial with resistance and weight training. However any physical activity such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) should also be beneficial to some extent.
Decreasing Stress and Cortisol: When the body is stressed out it releases cortisol to trigger the fight or flight response. When the body stays in this state for a long time it becomes chronic stress. Cortisol and testosterone often have to tip from one to the other so when cortisol increases testosterone decreases. Cortisol also increases weight gain, fat around organs and more.
Quality and Adequate Sleep: Sleep is a crucial time for the body to enter a parasympathetic mode and recover/rest. Studies have shown less hours of sleep leads to decreased testosterone.
Increase Vitamin D intake: Many individuals are deficient in vitamin D. There have been a number of studies shown that an increase in vitamin D can help with erectile dysfunction and improve testosterone. However, there are also some studies that can conflict this information. Check with a health care provider and take as directed.
There have been a lot of connections or erectile dysfunction to a dysfunctional pelvic floor. Helping to relax and strengthen this pelvic floor can be a key component for someone's issue.
What P-DTR can do for this issue:
P-DTR assesses muscles as under working and overworking (inhibited or hypertonic), but tightness in these fibers can be created in both states. Using P-DTR we can perform indirect muscle tests, meaning the client can simply attempt to contract, and we can figure out what state it is in and work to correct it to reduce the tightness.
Natural Ways to strengthen:
Another effective tool is using Kegals to strengthen the pelvic floor which can be key when it comes to both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Try and incorporate a variety of kegal exercises in help strengthen these muscles and also look into ways to lengthen them to release tension in the pelvic floor.
Pornography & Dopamine
Dopamine is neurotransmitter your body produces naturally as a reward after you've achieved something. This neurotransmitter allows you to feel pleasure and is used to reinforce behavior.
One of the things people have easy access to these days is the internet. Whether that be social media and scrolling videos, or watching pornography it is possible to get many little dopamine hits which just keeps reinforcing this behavior.
One of the bigger issues with pornography brought up by Andrew Huberman who is a neuroscientist, is that the dopamine you get from watching pornography is related to watching other people have sex. This dopamine hit reinforces the behavior of voyeurism and not necessarily a first person or personal experience of the act itself. This means your dopamine release will train yourself to be sexual aroused by watching other people have sex and not having sex yourself, making it difficult to achieve an erection when you are ready to be intimate.
Pornography is a complicated subject with a variety of conflicting studies and I would highly encourage everyone to do their own research on this topic and how to control dopamine release to encourage a positive behavior.
“Masturbation Has DANGEROUS Effects on Dopamine!” | Jordan Peterson and Andrew Huberman Discuss. (n.d.). Www.youtube.com. Retrieved July 10, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GbCnr4gBjE&t=9s
8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally. (2016). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone
8 science-backed ways to boost testosterone naturally. (2018, July 18). Www.medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322508