Natural ED treatment
In this blog we look at the major natural ED treatment approaches. These include;
- Psychological therapies,
- Lifestyle changes.
None of which require you to put anything unnatural into your body. To read ‘Everything you need to know about ED’ click here
Natural ED treatment – exercise
Male Kegal exercises – A lot of guys try these for two weeks and then give up, well I’m here to tell you to carry on with them.
Also known as pelvic floor exercises (PFE), these flex the PC muscles, which are the ones which allow you stop peeing mid stream. These focused exercises may well benefit you. In one study of 55 men it was found that after 3 months’ practice over half of those had normal erectile functioning (Dorey et al 2005).
Practice typically consists of;
- Practicing tensing these muscles, and only these muscles, for 10-15 repetitions a day until this becomes relatively easy, then progressing to stage 2.
- Lengthen the time of squeeze from to 1 or 2 seconds.
- Add 5 repetitions each week.
After 12 or more weeks your erection can be maintained by tensing these muscles.
The above guidance is given for your understanding only. Learning male kegal exercise is best done under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
Natural ED treatment – Psychological
Because a lot of ED has a significant psychological component we take a look at the various options available. If you are unsure if the psychological approach is for you consider if you get erections at any time, such as in the morning or for masturbation, if the answer is yes then read on.
Systematic desensitisation (SD).
SD is where you are exposure to anxiety producing stimuli whilst in a state of relaxation. The anxiety stimuli is mild at first, for example the thought of flirting with a girl, and once the relaxation has made it so this situation no longer gives you anxiety, you move on to another, slightly less mild situation. Eventually you work up to full sex, but only once all the build up has been gone through and you are totally relaxed. The relaxation state then replaces the old anxiety response. It is frequently used by hypnotherapists who use the hypnosis to produce the relaxation. Its best results are for ED which has a large emotional or anxiety component (Kockott et al’s 1975, Auerbach & Kilmann,1977).
It’s hard to tell you exactly what a hypnotherapist will do. Many hypnotherapists use a variety of approaches, including SD, CBT, sensate focus exercises which are all covered here. Some will look to use age regression to the start of the problem, others will look to use suggestions or imagery to directly create hardness.
A number of case studies support the idea that hypnosis can be effective with ED (Diment 1984, Goguen 1985), with small scale studies confirming that it has a statistically significant effect over placebo and is superior to testosterone and acupuncture (Aydin et al 1996, Aydin et al 1997). The most substantial claim of success come from Crasilneck (1982) who achieved an 87% success rate at one year follow up with 100 men. In another report he found an 80% success rate at end of treatment in a group of 400 (Crasilneck and Hall 1985).
Sensate focus exercises.
Senate focus exercises are a set of tasks for you and your partner to go through which focus on touch, not sex. They are graded, so initial exercises have no sexual element and as the process goes on they gradually become more sexual. To give you an example, a program might start out with simple touching of the back, face, legs and arms but nothing more. Later exercises may involve, playing with your erectile response to see what kind of touch produces a reaction, but not looking for orgasm. Penetration only occurs after several exercises have been completed and even then orgasm may be avoided for some time . Overall a programme may have as many as nine different steps to work through. Usually this is done as part of couple’s therapy, but it can also be done by any willing couple.
There is a lack of evidence for their effectiveness (Linschoten, Weiner& Aver-clark 2016) which just means no one has studied it.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
In CBT the therapist helps you identify and change thoughts and beliefs which are unhelpful to you. A typical example may be a distracted mind whilst having sex or predicting a disastrous outcome should you not achieve full erection. New beliefs are actively adopted which you then put to test in reality. The CBT for ED is a combined couples and individual’s therapy which;
- Encourages cooperative exercises.
- Mutually agreed upon strategies.
- Uses sexual intimacy and erection exercises.
(List complied from McCarthy 1986 & 1992).
Small scale studies suggest success; One study of 21 couples achieved a 61% success rate (Xueqian & Heqin’s 1990). In addiction,
- CBT is most effective on the performance anxiety elements of ED (Mehrabi et al 2006).
- Studies using CBT as an adjunct to Sildenafil (Viagra) have shown significantly enhanced results (Banner & Anderson 2007).
- Web-based CBT programmes have been studied with modest but positive results (Andersson et al 2011, Price (2007).
Over all it can be said that CBT is a good option.
In couples therapy you and your partner are brought together in a to openly discuss problems. Therapists argue that open discussions will cut down on underlying tensions. There is some evidence to suggest that couple’s therapy may be a useful part of therapy but only if your partner is;
- Willing to fully participate.
- Displays interest in improved sexual relations.
- Is generally well adjusted sexually.
(list compiled from Catalan & Fagg 1992, Wylie 1997).
Evidence exists that couple’s therapy has additive benefits to medical approaches (Aubin, et al 2009). Couples therapy can of course be problematic if you,
- Have no long-term partner.
- Are in an ongoing affair.
Natural ED treatment – Lifestyle changes
Exercise – Exercise is good for you in just about everyway and the evidence suggests that it is a good natural ED treatment (Derby et al 2000, Esposito Et al 2004, Esposito Et al 2009). If you are not currently doing significant exercise, then it’s an easy place to start. Interestingly losing weight does not appear to have anything like the same benefit (Derby et al 2000).
Diet – If you are over 40 there is a good chance you’ve had a cholesterol test. Evidence exists that adopting a cholesterol healthy diet can improve erectile functioning (Aldemir 2011). This means you should decrease solid fats and creams and swap in oils nuts and seed (NHLB 2014 & NHS 2014b).
Smoking – Oddly enough in addition to letting you live longer there is evidence that giving up may help with ED (Derby et al 2000, Gual et).
Alcohol consumption – You might have tried a bit of ‘Dutch courage’ to help get things going. The evidence suggests that a bit of alcohol may help you (Bacon et al 2006), but be warned too much ad it can go downhill fast (Miller & Gold 1988). Best to keep it to no more than 3 units of alcohol (a generous glass of wine, pint of cider or pint and a half of beer or larger).
I wish you all the best of luck in finding your natural ED treatment – read more about ED