Written in style by the TCM expert, Dr. Nat Kringoudis:
“Ever wondered if it’s actually possible to leave your libido behind? Like you’ve come back from two weeks in the Bahamas, but for some reason, it wasn’t packed back in your suitcase? And of course, who actually asks the question “where has my sex drive gone?”. Lucky I like to stay true to form and debunk the myths nobody really wants to talk about. Let’s talk about sex baby!
From a TCM viewpoint, the kidney energy plays a huge role in libido and the ‘urge.’ When the kidney function is lacking, most likely from a result of poor lifestyle choices, we can experience all kinds of whacky symptoms, especially in the sex drive department. Of course, from a physiological perspective, low hormones in general or hormone imbalance can rapidly lead to everything but climax. Hormones are the driving force and influence for all body functions, especially sexual function. And of course, nothing is a one-size fits all – taking out shares in your local oyster farm isn’t necessarily going to fire things up.
It’s important to note that one of the main reasons I see poor libido in the clinic is the pill. The pill for many women lessens their libido (ironic really!) as it disrupts normal hormone function. Because of the hormone suppression that stops ovulation, there is a direct influence on sex drive. This can continue for women for up to 4 years after ceasing its use.
Of course, men too lose their libido. The hormone crazy teen can be swiftly kicked into hibernation. Cue the over worked, under paid man. Stress is a big libido crusher – it turns off all the switches and may leave a man feeling rather deflated. What’s a man to do? Now rather than leave you down and flaccid, it’s important to implement strategies alongside our formulas to get you back on the wagon. Diet and lifestyle are imperative to making your life sweeter – here are my top tips! Maximising the building blocks to make hormones all relies on a strong, well-functioning digestive system as we’ve discussed in so many of my previous blogs. If the digestive system can happily absorb nutrients from your food and drink, it can go on to make gangbuster hormones!
Alcohol is another fire fizzer. Drinking more than 4 glasses per week can harm your libido (and hormones!!) as alcohol plays havoc with male hormones and alters the way testosterone is produced and released in the body. Alcoholic beverages contain oestrogen-like compounds which are literally like ‘fake’ hormones that will set our real ones way off kilter. It has a similar effect on women, zapping their hormones and affecting their ovulation and menstruation also due to these same oestrogen mimicking properties. So if the wrong signals are being fired hormonally, it is bad news for the sex drive.
Sleep deprivation will most undoubtedly lead to some loss of libido. Being in bed by 10 pm is essential for happy hormones. Sleep is the elixir of health – and your body’s way of rejuvenation. It’s a simple way of rallying your health back on track.
Having children can be challenging on the best of days – and so very often patients report a lower sex drive as the family grows, simply because there isn’t the same opportunity there once was pre-kids. I don’t really have a specific solution here. Locking the kids outside in winter probably isn’t the best plan of attack, but find what works for you in your household and go with it. There are ways around it, but you need to have it to want more of it – and the less you have, the less you want. Fire up the engines and keep them idling!
These may go without saying – but it’s always a good idea to state the obvious just in case!
~ Get off the couch and between the sheets! Be more intimate more often – make time, even if you don’t think you have it, seriously how long does it really have to take? Probably not that long…. And you know the age-old saying, the more you get the more you want!
~ Get the goods in – food is nutrients, it provides our body with energy. If your diet is poor, making changes will absolutely boost your energy and libido. Foods rich in zinc, green leafy veggies, oily fish and good proteins are what you want most of. Leave refined foods at the door.
~ Everyday exercise is equally important, so take a brisk walk in the morning to get the blood pumping.
~ If you’re taking medications, seek alternatives, even simply enquire – maybe there is an alternative that might be a great option and give you back your drive.
~ Take a holiday, a break, a weekend off work – get yourself some downtime – on the double! It’s amazing what some time off can do.
If it really isn’t working – pop into your nearest natural practitioner to see if they have the goods for you – acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine – they all do wonderful things for libido and fertility”.