This acupuncture and erectile dysfunction post
was written by guest author, David Jaynes.
And I need to mention something before I send you over to David…
He and I both analyzed the study mentioned in the article, but our takes on it are slightly different.
I personally believe that the placebo effect was minimal in this trial, because the placebo group responded so poorly.
In other words, if the placebo effect did play such a big role, why was there a 92 percent failure rate with this segment?
Or put another way….
Two thirds of those given acupuncture treatment, specific for erectile dysfunction, saw improvement.
But a whopping 91 percent of the men in the placebo group saw no improvement.
To me this is proof that the placebo effect had a minimal impact.
One more thing..
This study’s focus was on men suffering from psychogenic erectile dysfunction (mental ED).
This is the type typically found in men with anxiety, depression and hypoactive sexual desire…
(otherwise known as low sex drive)
And this deserves mentioning as well…
Because this specific type of ED was discussed extensively in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study…
Where the scientists found that mental ED was associated significantly with self-reported symptoms of depression.
So my take on the study below is, if you’re dealing with psychogenic erectile dysfunction and you have low sex drive…
And you’re depressed or anxious because of it, acupuncture may be a viable treatment option for you.
Now here’s David with more…
Acupuncture and Erectile Dysfunction-Part 2:
Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide array of health problems for at least a few thousand years.
But what about acupuncture and erectile dysfunction?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this post.
First by looking at the science and then at other possible explanations.
First though, let’s get a good idea of what acupuncture actually is.
Basically, it’s an old traditional Chinese medicinal technique where small needles are poked into your body (between 5-20 needles per session usually).
The idea is that these needles are carefully positioned at specific points in your body (called acupoints) to relieve pain, stress or other physical symptoms.
There’s a broader Chinese philosophy here concerning internal balance and qi, but in this post we’re going to focus on the physical benefits of acupuncture and ED.
Acupuncture and ED Studies
Now that we know what acupuncture is, let’s take a quick look at what the science says about acupuncture and erectile dysfunction.
Frankly, not a lot.
But there is one study worth mentioning…
Written by a group of researchers out of Austria….
And published in the International Journal of Impotence Research in 2003, the study found that acupuncture worked in about two thirds of cases of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
The researchers, led by Dr. Paul Engelhardt, took 22 men with an average age of 39 who reported psychogenic erectile dysfunction over the last two years.
They then split them into two groups.
The first group received acupuncture treatment specific to ED.
The second group received acupunctural treatment for headaches.
This second group was the placebo group, tracked just to see if they reacted to the acupuncture experience itself, rather than the ED specific treatment.
The researchers also did a crossover….
Where they took the non-responders from the placebo group and put them into the treatment group to see if these individuals would respond to the treatment (after not responding to the placebo).
The study was measured against all the major erectile functionality scores, including:
- Levels of sex hormones
- IIEF scores (a questionnaire to evaluate erectile functionality)
- Nocturnal penile tumescence testing (measuring nocturnal erections)
The researchers also measured the response rate to Viagra just to check that it wasn’t a physical thing, as opposed to psychogenic ED.
Each patient received up to 20 treatment sessions, depending on the response rate (some received as few as five treatment sessions).
The researchers found that:
- Of those who underwent the placebo treatment, 91% reported no results.
- 13 of 19 patients who received the actual treatment reported success.
- 4 of 19 patients reported that it was moderately successful.
- 2 of 19 patients saw no difference.
Therefore, the researchers concluded that yes, acupuncture works – and it is effective at treating ED in most people.
But they do admit that their sample size was small and the results only worked for two thirds of the patients.
Acupuncture And ED – The Placebo Effect
But what’s really going on here?
On the face of it, this study seems pretty cut and dry – do acupuncture, and for two out of three men, it’ll work wonders.
For 21% of men, there will be some (but perhaps not enough) improvement. And for an unlucky 11% of men, there will be no result.
What this means is that 89% of men will experience some improvement – so what have you got to lose?
Because even if other things are going on here, that fact that it does have an impact is all that really matters, right?
The researchers ran their study over 10 weeks, with the patients coming in and talking openly and frankly about their psychogenetic erectile dysfunction problems.
This might have been the first time that these men had openly discussed the issue with anyone.
And the first step towards solving any problem is admitting that there is one.
Dr. Engelhardt himself said that over the 10 weeks “there was strong interactive communication with the patient.”
So the patients were working through their ED issues during the experiment emotionally and psychologically as well experiencing the potential benefit of acupuncture.
Second, to further conflate matters, acupuncture will have a generally positive impact on your mind and your mood, regardless of where you’re getting punctured.
That improvement might very well have been enough to push non-performers into the morning wood zone.
Third, regardless of the action taken, there was proactive action taken to cure the patients’ erectile dysfunction.
Because these men volunteered to do this study, they were already looking for a solution to their erectile dysfunction.
Plus, the average time of affliction was 23 months.
In short, these were men who were desperate to get their sex lives back on track (since they had, on average, not really performed for two years) and were willing to try anything to do it.
They wanted to believe that the treatment would work.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t doubt the scientists’ results or the fact that acupuncture is likely to help some people.
I just think that in the case of acupuncture, there may be other things at play here.
Acupuncture Erectile Dysfunction – Conclusion:
Based on this study, I think that acupuncture can help and did help most of these men, which is a superb result.
However, we’re not certain that it was the actual puncturing or the experience surrounding the act of getting acupuncture.
But then again, who cares?
All men deserve to have strong erections. They’re a sign of cardiovascular health, they deepen relationships and keeping them alive is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Acupuncture might work. It might not work. But from the study, it seems like if you believe it will work, then it probably will to a certain extent.
All in all, acupuncture is just another tool to have in your arsenal…
As far as I’m concerned, if acupuncture gets the job done for YOU, then go for it.