Ian enjoys working with men and recognizes that more and more men are taking responsibility for their state of health and wellbeing. Chinese Medicine is very effective in helping both men and women return to a state of health and wellbeing. In Chinese Medicine the core understanding of the body is the same for both sexes, i.e. organ functions, channel locations and point functions. The only major difference is the obvious physiological differences. The male physiology is more simplistic than the female system and, because of this, can be less prone to problems. However, there are many conditions which can affect men's health, some of which are identified below.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can be a very effective tool, on its own or as an adjunct to other health systems, in returning you to a state of health and wellbeing. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can help the following conditions:
Prostatitis is a broad term that refers to inflammation or infection of the prostate gland; these conditions include acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis and non-bacterial prostatitis. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia refers to the enlargement of the prostate gland.
Chinese Medicinal herbs and Acupuncture can offer alternative or complimentary treatment to help men recover from the above conditions.
In the case of prostate cancer, Chinese Medicine can effectively support the body while undertaking the Western medicine treatments of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in cases of mild and reactive depression. It is often the case that difficult emotions, i.e. anger, grief are being suppressed. Emotions are energy in motion and relate to particular organs. When the body's energies are prevented from flowing freely, imbalance and illness occur. The Chinese herbs and Acupuncture help the body to function normally and help return the normal flow of energy around the body thereby returning the body and mind back to balance. When the individual starts to feel better it is often easier to deal with the situations or relationships that initially caused the problems.
Acupuncture and Scrubbing can provide very effective, drug free pain relief. If an injury is acute then Acupuncture and Scrubbing can often provide quick relief, if the injury is old and pain is chronic then it will take longer to remove the cause of the pain. Chinese Medicine aims to remove the cause of pain to give relief and help the body recover properly. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, pain can be caused by the stagnation of Qi (energy) and Blood (Chinese version) which flow through channels and collaterals. Phlegm, Heat, Cold, Wind are just some of the factors which can also impede the flow of Qi and Blood causing pain.
Pain caused by stagnation is often acute initially and can be very sharp in nature. A lack of Qi and Blood in the channels can also cause pain but this tends to be more chronic. Chronic pain can be caused by a weakened, tired body or if any acute injury goes untreated - the blockage causes poor Blood and Qi flow leading to an aching pain.
Due to the flow of Qi and Blood in the channels and collaterals being more ethereal and energetic in nature, the causes of pain do not tend to show up on modern western diagnostic scans, such as X-ray, MRI and Ultra sounds. Often our clients have had full investigations completed only to be told that the scans cannot find the cause of their pain.
There are many different causes for headaches, in the case of migraines the Liver, Gallbladder and Kidney organs and channels are often involved. Headaches can be caused by too much energy, too little energy or a combination of both. In the case of migraines it can often present as a Kidney deficiency (lack of energy) and excessive Liver and Gallbladder energy. Symptoms include throbbing pain on both sides of the head (Gall Bladder channel), often it can move from side to side as nearly all channels run bilaterally around the body, and can be located behind the eye (Liver channel). The headache can often be accompanied by nausea and vomiting (Liver energy attacking the Spleen and Stomach organs), dizziness and blurred vision (excessive energy moving up to the head).
Treatment usually involves herbs to help the organs return to normal function and Acupuncture to help regulate the energy flow in the channels and organs. The main aim of treatment is prevent or reduce the incidence of migraines rather than trying to alleviate a full blown migraine attack.
Modern diets and lifestyles can lead to many different types of digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In Chinese Medicine the Spleen organ as well as the Stomach organ plays a major role in processing food and fluids. The Spleen organ does not like cold, raw, sweet or fatty foods and these types of foods can damage the Spleen function over time and lead to digestive and bowel problems like bloating, acid reflux, wind, burping, feeling full all the time, constipation, sluggish stools and diarrhoea.
In Chinese Medicine the Liver and Gallbladder organs have a strong impact on the digestive system and these organs react badly to stress. Excessive worry can have a strong affect on the digestive system as it is said to knot Stomach energy.
Foods that help Spleen function include:
Leek, turnip, zucchini, pumpkin, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, white sweet potato, fennel, cherries, several dates, red lentils, rice cooked for long time, millet, cardamom, nutmeg.
Meat: Small amounts of beef and chicken.
Fish: Tuna, anchovy, halibut.
Treatment involves a combination of herbs and Acupuncture to treat the relevant organs and helping them return to normal function.
This is a large and important area of men's health; conversely it is also a very difficult topic for men to discuss. There is a lot of stigma attached to sexual function and masculinity. If men or women are working excessively, stressed or fatigued then it is very common for them to loose interest sex. Sexual function requires a lot of energy, mainly from the Kidneys (which in Chinese Medicine provides life force).
Chinese texts always recommend a balanced and moderate sex life in order to protect your Kidney energy. In the Western world so many aspects can draw on or damage Kidney energy, eg. drugs, alcohol, poor sleep and excessive work. It is then no surprise that our libido is one of the first things to disappear. From a Chinese Medicine perspective Kidney energy naturally depletes as people age, again this will greatly affect sexual function. We commonly see erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, male infertility and andropause. Treatment consists of consultation to provide diagnosis and then the use of Acupuncture and herbs to help the body/organs return to their proper function.
These emotions can be very common for men, often they are the only emotions men can show safely in most cultures. They are very unhealthy emotions to be stuck in physically and can be very damaging to relationships. Anger mainly relates to the Liver organ, which is easily affected by stress, alcohol and excessive or poor diet.
Liver energy easily becomes stuck and difficult to move. I often describe the energy as a caged Tiger - put a Tiger in a cage and imagine how agitated and violent it will become. Over time, if not released, the Tiger will also become extremely lethargic because it cannot roam freely.
Treatment consists of herbs and Acupuncture to help the Liver organ function normally again, freeing the flow of energy and allowing the individual to feel calmer.
Insomnia is a very common condition seen in our clinic and in Chinese Medicine it can have many different causes. The main organs involved can be Liver, Kidney, Heart and Spleen. If the insomnia is acute, people can often recover quite quickly with a combination of herbs and Acupuncture. Sometimes the insomnia starts in early childhood and this can take much longer to rectify. Sleeping behaviors can also greatly affect your sleeping pattern, i.e. a lunch time nap or falling asleep after work in front of the TV can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Treatment involves re-establishing a healthy sleep pattern by re-balancing your body.