Let's talk about sex baby... how it affects your general day to day life and what alternative medicine has to offer ~ To be healthy sexually, our bodies need a balance of yin and yang and also in our relationships. Whether that relationship is with a partner or yourself. The whole act of having sex, or not, is a complex interplay of yin and yang in Chinese medicine. Initiating sex is yang from either partner, being receptive to the initiation and transforming it into something mutual requires yin energy from the other partner, a man's erection is yang and the woman's ability to receive is yin. In addition to yin and yang Chinese medicine refers to Qi. Qi is the "Vital Life Force". In regards to our sexual health and wellness it will provide our bodies warmth, movement, transformation, protection and retention. If Qi is weak it may cause a lowered libido or erectile dysfunction. If Qi becomes stagnant this is when orgasm problems occur or premature ejaculation. A person's sex life according to TCM is a indication of their constitution and a state of health. Deficiency may present as disinterest/lack of arousal. This is due to weak Kidney qi and yin. Yin is the material basis and what gives our bodies lubrication. Symptoms would include night sweats, dry mouth, thirst, dreaming, or a feeling of heat in the chest area. An excess constitution will be over indulgent. If masturbation or sex is too frequent it will deplete your Qi which will affect the Kidney's. The Kidney's are said the be the root of the reproductive system. Symptoms would include losing willpower, low back or knee pain, or frequent urination and/or other reproductive organ issues. Celibacy on the other hand also comes with it's own set of symptoms. Suppression always leads to an excess behaviour. This can come out in a mental or physical way. The force is yang in nature and can cause a stagnation in the heart, liver or spleen meridians. Excess symptoms: Heart - Over-analysis Liver - Bitterness and frustration Spleen - Creates obsession For example more aggressive sexual behaviour may be due to stagnant Liver qi (stagnant liver qi is so common in today's society due to high stress levels). The liver channel flows through the genital area and also promotes the free flow of Qi within the body. Refraining from sex may cause this stagnation. Herbs can be helpful for these patients as we can use them to move qi. Painful intercourse is also related to stagnation in Chinese medicine, also known as blood stagnation. In Western medicine, painful intercourse is associated with a diagnosis of endometriosis or fibroids, in Chinese medicine the pain is attributed to some kind of local obstruction (stagnation). We give these patients blood moving herbs. In saying that ejaculation is a cycle which, like the menstrual cycle in women, can’t be controlled by the mind. You can’t just not ejaculate! In conclusion and as I have said time and time again, it's all about that balance. Yin and yang harmoniously together. Do what feels right within your body. If practicing celibacy feels right at the moment do that, if your feeling free and freaky empower yourself to do that! Chinese medicine is a great tool to use when feeling a bit off balance it seriously works for so many things that we may not normally think about. With acupuncture and herbs we can move qi, unblock stagnations, relax our nervous systems, and create homeostasis within our bodies. And our sexual health definitely contributes!