By Toni Eatros, MS, Dipl Ac, AP
Many women come into my office complaining of high stress, fatigue, and complete loss of sex drive. Too often, the discussion is about sex hormone imbalance. Yes, your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) are important, but the hormones we need to start looking more closely at are your stress hormones. When the stress hormones are controlled, the sex hormones balance automatically.
These stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline), are designed to be used by the body in times of acute stress to help you deal with physical danger quickly. When released, these hormones temporarily activate the immune system, setting off an inflammatory response to deal with incoming pathogens, and prepare your body to either fight or run away from the danger you are facing.
Unfortunately, most of the stress we have on a regular basis is chronic and not the kind where we can run away or fight ourselves out of the situation. The release of these stress hormones over time, results in what we call in Chinese medicine, Kidney Yang Deficiency. This is known as adrenal fatigue in the Western medical paradigm.
Clinically, symptoms of kidney yang deficiency include extreme fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet and/or joints, weakness of the lower body, low back pain, knee pain, low sex drive, sexual disorders, hormone imbalance, bright white skin, depression, and urination is frequent, clear and usually a large volume.
Most women blame their sex hormones for the symptoms they are experiencing. Hormones can play a role, but typically, these come after several decades of putting your own needs last and caring for others instead. A threshold is eventually reached, where your body just says, “Stop it, I will not do another thing.” If sex is just another item on your To Do list because you should do it for your partner, then of course, you are going to have trouble feeling sexual desire. This has nothing to do with your age or your hormone changes.
Today, women are presented with unattainable expectations of doing everything for everyone at all times, often with a large amount of shame thrown in if they are unable or do not want to comply with these expectations. That is what is killing the sex drive in women today, not age and not hormones.
The good news is there are many things that can be done to reverse this scenario.
Pelvic muscle strength is vital to maximizing the amount of pleasure you receive during sexual activities. One of the best things to naturally stretch and tone these pelvic muscles is to squat. Whenever you take a shower, squat to urinate. The butt muscles you use to help you balance in this position will support the toning of the pelvic floor muscles. Your urethra will be pointed downward, allowing gravity to help you naturally release urine. Squat when you can during the day too. Also, simply standing up 32 times per day, then sitting back down, will apply gravity to your pelvic floor improving pelvic tone.
Use your toilet time to build your pelvic floor muscles. One habit all of us should change is how we use a toilet. Women tend to sit up straight like proper ladies instead of leaning forward or putting our feet on a stool to raise the knees. Whether you’re sitting to urinate or defecate, lean forward and place your elbows on your knees, or put your feet up on a step stool to raise your knees above your waist. This squat-like position supports the toning of pelvic floor muscles. I like to use the Squatty Potty toilet stool for this purpose, which you can find online. See if using it regularly doesn’t reduce the number of times you have to urinate during the day and night.
Yang herbal tonics have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat female sexual disorders. I have a variety of herbal formulas that I can prescribe based on your TCM diagnosis. Formulas to lower the stress hormones and formulas to increase libido.
One striking difference between western and traditional Chinese medicine is that western medicine focuses and excels in crisis management, while traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes and shines in holistic and preventative treatments. Therefore, in emergencies, such as gun shot wounds or surgery, western medicine is generally the treatment of choice. However, for treatment of chronic illness of unknown origins, where all lab tests are normal and a clear diagnosis cannot be made, traditional Chinese medicine is distinctly superior.
Although it may fly in the face of everything you’ve been told, research shows that older women have far better sex lives than many younger women. Women in their 60s and 70s are having the best sex of their lives. If you are ready to be one of these women but need a little help getting there, schedule online today at, www.AcupunctureSolutionsOnline.com, or call 239-260-4566. You can reclaim the goddess within and enjoy your sexuality well into your 60s, 70s, and beyond.