Male health problems can be treated, and sometimes prevented, with acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The five most common health problems for men include heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
A practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine balances the yin and yang energies that make up each patient's constitution. Men embody yang energy, and women embody yin energy. Yang energy is expressed in the qualities of movement, heat, dryness, giving and masculinity. It is also associated with natural phenomena such as the sun, daytime, summer and high noon. In contrast, yin manifests the qualities of rest, cold, wetness, receptivity and femininity. The moon, nighttime, winter and darkness are expressions of yin.
Treating heart disease with acupuncture and Oriental Medicine improves blood circulation and energy flow in the chest. Heart disease affects the structure and function of the heart and its blood vessels. Heart attacks occur when oxygen is blocked from entering the heart, which is often the result of a blood flow restriction. The average age for a first heart attack is 65 for men, and 72 for women.
Acupuncture needles used on the upper chest can encourage a robust blood flow to oxygenate the heart. Additionally, treatment can be sought for smoking cessation, which is an important step to heart health. Men are more likely than women to smoke. Acupuncture treatment can strengthen the willpower to quit and provide physical relief as the body experiences nicotine withdrawal.
Acupuncture is a safe and viable treatment to regulate high blood pressure, which can help prevent a stroke. Strokes share similar risk factors with heart disease, such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and high blood pressure.
A study entitled "The Effect of Acupuncture on Patients Using Antihypertensive Drugs," published in 2013, revealed a significant reduction in the blood pressure of its study participants. The patients (10 female and 24 male) all received acupuncture treatments every other day for one month.
Depression and Suicide
Suicide rates are higher for men in many countries around the globe, but acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can help treat emotional and mental conflicts caused by an imbalance of yang energy. The natural inclination of yang is to give, move and animate. Depression, anger or suicidal thoughts may take hold when this yang energy is imbalanced.
To help address emotional and mental conflicts which may lead a man to attempt suicide, a practitioner of acupuncture may choose to use points found on the ears. Several auricular points have particularly strong abilities to address psycho-emotional issues. The heart ear point can help decrease anxiety and allows patients to deal with their fears.
Prostate Cancer and Lung Cancer
Acupuncture was shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer according to an encouraging 2011 study called "Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells." An acupuncture point in the lower leg called ST36 proved particularly useful by increasing the production of white blood cells. This action compelled the researchers to dub ST36 as the “immuno-enhancing acupoint.”
The study showed acupuncture can also mitigate side effects such as fatigue, pain and severe dry mouth which often accompany standard therapies. Making use of ear points to soothe fear can also be beneficial for men that have symptoms of cancer.
Early detection is a key component to fighting off disease, but men can be more likely than women to avoid medical help and put off regular check-ups. This means less time is available for preventative medicine and therapies. With the appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes, heart disease, strokes, suicide and even cancer may be avoided or mitigated.
If you want to get a head start on addressing any health issues which may present a problem in the future, or already have a diagnosis of a serious illness, make an appointment with a practitioner near you!
Johnston MF, Ortiz Sánchez E, Vujanovic NL, Li W. Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011:481625. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep236. Epub 2011 Mar 10.
Cevik C, Işeri SO. The effect of acupuncture on high blood pressure of patients using antihypertensive drugs. Acupunct Electrother Res. 2013;38(1-2):1-15. PubMed PMID: 23724695.
About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.