Let’s talk about sex. Despite it being a tabooed subject, many people enjoy talking about sex. Since becoming a doctor, I’m not really shocked by anything. I’ve had to discuss the birds and the bees with patients, examine private parts and I have even delivered babies. Sex is natural, and an important part of life because it is healthy and healing.
I’m inspired to talk about how healing sex can be. I’m not advocating that you go out and seek one-night stands for validation, because that would be the exact opposite of healing. I’m proposing that you explore sex within a healthy relationship or partnership with someone you trust and feel strongly connected to. The connection can be sexual, however, your experience will truly be healing if there is a heart and a mind connection as well.
Sex is natural medicine. Because sex decreases stress on a physiologic level, it can prevent disease (when practiced safely, otherwise you may get some diseases). During and after sex, the body’s natural feel good hormones and chemicals circulate within the brain and blood stream, mimicking the effects caused by some prescription and illicit drugs. Just as exercise is known to decrease depression, sex does so as well by increasing the brain’s serotonin levels, which is exactly what Prozac does. Oxytocin, known as the love and trust hormone, is released during an orgasm (and cuddling too) and also results in decreased anxiety. The body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, are also released, so when you hear, “I have a headache,” the cure may actually be sex.
We subconsciously hold emotions and stress in our body and the act of sex can allow you to release some of these blockages. In eastern practices, it is these blockages that are believed to cause disease. Just as with yoga, connecting your breath with movement allows for the circulation of pleasurable, healing energy throughout your body. I think media and the pornography industry have skewed the vision of what sex is “supposed to” look like. The shallow, repetitive, mindless panting may come naturally for some people, however, I can guarantee an entirely different experience if you take the time to focus on your breath during sex and enjoy the process. When you breathe, breathe deeply into your abdomen and down into your genital area. Bring your awareness into your sex organ and feel how great it feels and then think about spreading that sensation all over your body. While you’re doing all of this, look deeply into your partner’s eyes and really connect. Yes, this may cause sensory overload.
Sex is not all about the orgasm. I understand it can be tempting to speed up and climax, yet if you’re looking for a healing experience take your time. Stereotypically, some men may be quick to get to the finish line, while some women may be unable to orgasm during sex. The sexes should try switching roles. Faking it, ladies, is not in your best interest because the orgasm is very healing given the release of the feel good substances discussed above. That’s why sex with a partner you really feel comfortable with will allow you to explore ways in which you can. Also, for women it can actually increase your energy levels. On the other hand, given low energy levels post ejaculation, men should think about preserving some of their Chi, aka life force. It is believed that preserving your Chi promotes creativity, strength, stamina, and productivity, that’s why ancient techniques exist that allow for orgasm without ejaculation. My friends who are professional athletes have told me that they avoid ejaculating the night before, and the morning of big games. You can still play and enjoy sex or pleasuring yourself, just circulate the energy, don’t release it so often.
As long as it is practiced safely, sex is an important part of maintaining your health, youth, and happiness. The benefits are mental, physical, and spiritual. Because it is an energy exchange I can’t emphasize enough to choose a safe environment with someone you trust and connect. Go into the experience with a healing intention and try some of the techniques I mentioned. See what happens and just have fun!