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Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects a vast number of men. The other name for this condition is impotence. Impotence is the inability of a person to achieve and maintain an erection that is needed for a normal sexual intercourse. Even though the problem is not a big one and can be easily treated, lots of men still avoid going to the doctor. The main reason why that is so, is embarrassment.

Reasons for Erectile Dysfunction

According to the experts, the most vital parts of sexual function are the integrity and balance of the automatic nervous system. Neurotransmitters and neuropeptides are also included in the biochemical mechanism. Apart from other neurotransmitters, dopamine, serotonin, nitric oxide, acetylcholine and norepinephrine are also a part of the neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are all part of the central nervous system. On the other hand, corticotropin, a-melanocyte stimulating-hormone and other related peptides, opioid peptides and oxytocin are the part of the neuropeptides.

A person can end up suffering from sexual impotence due to various different reasons. Some of the most often seen sexual dysfunctions are loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, retarded ejaculation and orgasmic failure. Imbalance in hormones, physical damage and psychological and emotional problems are some of the other possible causes of erectile dysfunction.

Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been a part of sexual therapy among the emperors of Chinese dynasties for centuries. Sexual therapy was important due to the fact that a single emperor had approximately 3,000 wives. According to the documents, the acupuncture point closest to the Cinnabar field might be the first acupuncture point for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. This was thought to have happened sometime during the 16th and 17th century. Some Chinese physicians and acupuncturists consider the Cinnabar field to be of vital significance in their fields of work. The use of acupuncture in sexual therapy further developed in the coming centuries. The Chinese believed that the kidneys were to blame for any kind of problems connected with sexual dysfunction. A person who experienced sexual dysfunction was considered to be suffering from kidney failure.

Various researches in China showed that the goal of acupuncture in treating sexual dysfunction was to influence the activities of norepinephrine, acetylcholine and the biological enzymes located in the central nervous system. The use of central norepinephrine and synthesis are speeded up. Another reason why acupuncture is effective in treating sexual dysfunction is because the acetylcholine levels in the brain are changed when acupuncture is performed.

Even though acupuncture has been in use in the Far East as treatment option for various kinds of ailments, the situation is quite different in the West. In the West, acupuncture is still considered to be a potentially new treatment option for various conditions, from back pain to depression. Impotence is another condition that the scientists are looking into and trying to discover whether it can be treated with acupuncture.

A certain study in Vienna, Austria, was performed in the year of 2000 in order to be seen whether impotence that developed due to a mental cause can be treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture is the procedure that involves placement of fine needles in the skin at certain points in order for the stress and pain to be eased. The study included 13 men. The average age of these men was 42 and all of them received acupuncture. After that, they were divided into two groups that received different treatments. One group received acupuncture that was meant to treat impotence, while the other group received normal acupuncture. The goal of the study was to be discovered whether a strong placebo effect can provide relief in patients who are just thinking that they received a proper treatment. The first group received two acupuncture sessions in a period of 7 days for 10 weeks. The other group was made of 6 men and they received acupuncture for a period of 4 weeks. Before the testing started all men were tested in order to be determined whether impotence was not due to a physical cause. The men were given a certain drug that was supposed to cause an erection for three nights and all men achieved it. After some time, the groups exchanged treatments. Not even one of the six patients in the placebo group showed any progress at all and all of the men switched to acupuncture that was meant to treat impotence. In the end eight of 13 patients claimed that they were cured of erectile dysfunction. None of the patients who claimed that they were cured asked for any additional treatment. The remaining patients claimed that some progress was visible but the impotence was not cured. These patients were treated then with Viagra, because they required additional therapy. The doctors, who were in charge of the study, also said that talking to the patients was also a significant part of the treatment.

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