Let’s take some time to talk about the health of men and those who identify as male. One of the old adages in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is “Women are ruled by Blood, and men are ruled by Qi.”
Qi is a word used to describe the energy of body function, which you can also think of as an umbrella term for the processes in our body which generate energy. Blood is the material counterpart to Qi. It has a bit of a larger definition in TCM, but for today we can just say that it brings nourishment to our organs. What this all means is that, when we think about male-specific issues in Chinese medicine, we look to Qi first because men’s health in TCM is “ruled” by that energy or function.
Men are Ruled by Qi
When treating male-specific issues such as urinary function, sexual function, or male infertility, we often focus on supporting Qi primarily. However, we also still maintain a small amount of Blood and material support for balance. This can be done in a variety of ways, with acupuncture being the most common intervention.
We think of acupuncture as helping your body achieve homeostasis. It increases circulation while harmonizing the nervous system and regulating the immune system at the same time. In the context of Qi, this translates to tonifying Qi and removing obstructions so that Qi can properly circulate.
Herbs and Acupuncture Treat a Wide Variety of Men’s Health Issues
In addition to acupuncture for men’s health, we can prescribe Chinese herbs that specifically tonify or regulate Qi. Groin pain and hernias, in particular, are issues of Qi regulation, so we’ll often give herbs that have muscle relaxing, pain relieving, or circulation increasing functions. For men’s health and sexual function, urinary function, or male infertility, we often give herbs that tonify Qi, which are energy boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, or spermatogenic, depending on the specific issue.
Men’s Health and Nutrition
Outside of treatments, we also give nutritional recommendations. For those trying to conceive, foods like eggs, seeds, nuts, oysters, and oats are good sources of nutrients to support male fertility. To support Qi in general, eat a moderate amount of warm spices like ginger, shallots, or cinnamon and go for dishes that have been slow-cooked or simmered for long periods of time.
For men without male-specific issues or who want treatment for another condition—there are tons of issues acupuncture and TCM can treat. Some of those most commonly seen are stress, anxiety, back pain, neck pain, digestive issues, insomnia, allergies, and more. If you have a condition we didn’t mention, feel free to give us a call or send us an email and ask if acupuncture can help!
If you or your partner are trying to conceive or undergoing treatments for fertility, then we strongly recommend that you both come in for treatment. Whether the infertility is explained or unexplained, it’s still very important to support both the Yin and Yang aspects, because both need to be strong and healthy for conception to happen.
Men Deserve to Feel Better Too
As you can see, there are many tools we can use to help men feel better too! Your acupuncturist will use your tongue, pulse, medical history, and current symptoms to create a customized plan for you because you deserve to feel better. To get started, head to our booking page and schedule your first appointment. If you’d like us to check your insurance benefits, we’d be happy to take care of that for you. We are in-network with CareFirst/BlueCross, Aetna, and the VA Community Choice Network.