While western medicine uses hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams to alleviate certain sexual disorders and painful sexual intercourse, recent studies have found that TCM can also provide a long-term solution when it comes to addressing problems in sexual wellness.
Global pleasure brand We-Vibe recently began working with Master Ruth Lee, a Registered Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Licensed Dietitian from Hong Kong, to better understand how TCM can help achieve a high level of sexual wellness in a natural, non-invasive way through traditional Chinese practices like acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal remedies.
According to Master Ruth, sexual fulfilment is often overburdened by stress, work and family life, and some people may even lose their desire in experiencing the joy of sexuality. “many of my female clients coming for TCM treatments have a block in their sexual energy. Some are going through their postpartum journey, adapting to new household changes and responsibilities that impact the quality of their sexual health. Some suffer from fertility issues and lose spontaneity and intimacy, especially in situations when their main goal for sexual intercourse is to conception. Some patients have painful breakups or long-distance relationships, while others have traumatic experiences of childhood sexual abuse. The result of sexual frustration, separation and loneliness then turn into physical and emotional issues.” – Master Ruth Lee
The potential of TCM and its contribution to medical knowledge is also gaining international recognition. Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) added TCM therapies to its global diagnostic compendium for the first time. TCM in Singapore is officially recognized by the Ministry of Health while all TCM doctors are registered by the TCM Practitioners Board since the 2000 Traditional Chinese Medicine Act.
How is sexual wellness viewed in Traditional Chinese medicine?
The foundation of sexual wellness in Traditional Chinese medicine is not about the genitals, but mainly in a more unexpected organ: the kidney. This system is not just a filtration organ but also the root of life. From the TCM perspective, it stores the essence of our vitality and longevity, allowing women to conceive and men to fertilize. Sexual desire also depends on the equilibrium of the Yin and Yang of the kidney. Kidney Yang is like sunshine in our body, it warms the reproductive sex organs, while Kidney Yin is like water streams in our body, nourishing the essence. As the energies of the kidney’s Yin and Yang build up through body contractions of the uterus during the release of orgasm, such accumulated energy promotes the free flow of Qi. When the Yin and Yang of the kidney are healthy and in balance, sexual vitality and performance are likely to be strong.
TCM And Sexual Wellness
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic therapy: there is no single herb or acupuncture point that can magically ignite a person’s libido. According to a recent survey by pleasure brand We-Vibe, Singapore residents rank their average libido at 6.58 on a scale from 1 to 10. They also rank an average satisfaction of 6.19 on their sex lives.
From a TCM perspective, low libido and unsatisfying sexual performance are rooted in an underlying imbalance and lack of harmony between the Yin and the Yang. “We emphasize on treating a person as a whole.” Master Ruth says. “We customize a plan with appropriate treatments of acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, moxibustion or a selection of herbal tea. That way, the kidney system is nourished and the Qi and blood flow is enhanced.” Amongst others, TCM can provide the following sexual wellness benefits:
- Boosts natural lubrication
- Improves sexual desire
- Enhances sexual senses and response to stimuli
- Improves sexual performance and boost stamina
- Regulates erectile dysfunction
- Balances body, mind and spirit to relieve stress
- Balances sex hormones
How Acupuncture And Acupressure Help In Sexual Wellness
Acupuncture and acupressure work the same way but with different levels of stimulation. Acupuncture provides a stronger stimulation by inserting needles into the body’s acupoints for around 30 minutes, while acupressure uses fingertips or a device to hold and massage the area.
While acupuncture is more effective in manipulating the Qi flow, it needs to be practised by a licensed acupuncturist; whereas acupressure is an inexpensive, safe, and simple form of self-care that everyone can practice. Massaging acupoints is a crucial component in the Taoist “Yin-Yang energy integration” practice and vibrators have proven to be useful tools in the process.
As an example, here are some of We-Vibe’s popular products for a self-administered acupressure treatment that anyone can do at home by focusing on the following acupoints:
Sanyinjiao SP6: located four finger widths above the tip of the bony bump on the inner side of the ankle. This is a must-use acupoint to nourish the Yin as it is the intersection of the three Yin meridians including the kidney, liver and spleen. The We-Vibe Touch X’s ultra-soft silicon makes it the perfect tool to stimulate this point.
Yongquan KI1: On the sole of the foot, about one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel, the point lies in the depression that appears when the toes are curled. It is the first point of the kidney meridian. Besides it being great for activating the Qi of the kidney, this point is effective for calming the spirit and balancing excessive heat in the heart system. The Touch X’s 8 intensity levels along with seven modes delivers deep powerful vibrations for a pleasurable massage.
Taichong LR3: On the dorsum of the foot, in the depression where your big toe and the next toe joins. It is often used to get the Qi moving, great for decreasing stress and anxiety. The Touch X is waterproof, making it easy to massage this spot any where and is simple to clean.
Qihai CV6: Lies 2 fingers’ width below the umbilicus (belly button). The point is famous for its ability to replenish Qi into the body, particularly the reproductive system. An important point for regulating gynaecological and sexual conditions. Ensuring Tango X won’t switch itself on accidentally, the travel lock is automatically deactivated when the toy is recharged.
Zhongji CV3: Lies 6 finger’s width below the umbilicus on the midline. This point is effective in strengthening the Kidney essence and moving the stagnation on the reproductive and urinary systems. Convenient and eco-friendly, the Tango X is rechargeable with up to 120 minutes of massage on a single charge.
Shen Shu BL23: On the back, 3 fingers’ width lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 2nd lumbar vertebra. This point is also known as ‘Sea of Vitality’ which is important to tonify the Kidney Yin and Yang, facilitating the production of Kidney essence. Designed to be discreet, Tango X is whisper quiet.