The core understanding of the male and female body by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the same, with both having similar organ function, meridians and points. There are obvious physiological differences between the sexes; but while the male body is simpler and less prone to problems, they tend to be more at risk because they seek medical help less often, and wait longer when dealing with problems.

TCM and acupuncture for men

TCM for men’s health
TCM aims to restore balance to the male body, to prevent reliance on ongoing treatment or medication. When the natural rhythms and cycles of life are out of sync, illness can occur. TCM looks at each patient’s body as a whole, taking into account their symptoms and personal constitution. It works in conjunction with Western science and medicine to take a holistic approach to men’s health.

Common conditions in men
Men are at increased risk of some diseases and conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stroke. They also have unique health concerns:

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
An important issue, but difficult for men to discuss. Related to a block in kidney energy caused by age and lifestyle factors including overwork, drugs, alcohol and poor sleep. Conditions can include erectile dysfunction (impotence), low libido and premature ejaculation. TCM recommends a balanced and moderate sex life to protect kidney energy.

INFERTILITY
This condition can be tough for men, as sexual potency is often related to masculinity. Problems include low sperm count, abnormal shape (morphology) or movement (motility). Studies have shown that acupuncture can improve sperm production and quality, as well as help increase the chances of success when used in conjunction with Western reproductive technology.

PROSTATITIS
The prostate gland is unique in men and sits between the bladder and urethra. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate, which can cause pelvic discomfort, pain or difficulty urinating, and frequent urination. Studies have shown herbs and acupuncture can be effective in relieving chronic bacterial prostatitis.

PROSTATE CANCER
Occasionally, men will experience symptoms like pain or burning when urinating, blood in the urine or semen, and pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs. It’s important to have these symptoms checked by a doctor, as they could mean prostate cancer, though it’s not always the case. TCM can work in support of prostate cancer treatment and boost the health of patients.

BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
BPH is a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate, experienced by many men over 50. Symptoms include needing to urinate more often, difficulty starting or holding back the flow, and poor flow. It can be treated by acupuncture; and fear not, the points stimulated are not necessarily located in the prostate area!

HAIR LOSS
One of the most common conditions in men. Hair growth and development depends on healthy kidney and liver systems. Chinese Herbs can boost growth and restore hair condition, while blood tonics activate circulation, reinvigorating the hair follicle. Kidney-supporting herbs can also help regulate the age-related hormonal imbalances leading to male pattern baldness, thinning and premature greying.

ANGER, IRRITABILITY
These emotions can be very common for men, possibly as they are the only emotions men are “allowed” to openly express. Anger mainly relates to the liver, which is easily affected by stress, alcohol or poor diet. TCM treatment can include herbs and acupuncture to improve liver function and calm the individual.

MALE DEPRESSION
Men experiencing depression can feel fatigued, frustrated and may notice a lack of concentration, sleep disturbance and a loss of interest in work and social activities. TCM can be very helpful in cases of mild or reactive depression; stress and anxiety can be calmed by acupuncture, which can help restore the body’s natural emotional balance.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, give Meridian Medical Centre a call on 1300 886 668, or email us. We’ll talk with you in confidence about what might help. In a private consultation, we’ll structure an individualised treatment program designed to relieve your symptoms, and treat the problem at its source so as to avoid further discomfort.

About Dr. Tsai