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Mindfulness, Acupuncture & Yoga for Sexual Difficulties

19 Apr

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada reviewed the literature to investigate whether Eastern techniques, such as mindfulness, acupuncture or yoga might be used to improve unsatisfying sexual experiences in women (problems with desire, arousal or orgasm).

The search revealed only two empirical studies of mindfulness, two of acupuncture, and one of yoga in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.  These limited results revealed that mindfulness significantly improved several aspects of sexual response and reduced sexual distress in women with sexual desire and arousal disorders. 

For women with provoked vestibulodynia (pain from light touch, intercourse, use of tampons, etc), acupuncture was found to significantly reduce pain and improve quality of life. There is also a case series on acupuncture significantly improving desire among women with low sexual desire.

Although yoga has only been empirically examined and found effective for treating sexual dysfunction in men (for premature ejaculation), numerous historical books cite benefits of yoga for women's sexuality.

This review concludes that the empirical literature supporting Eastern techniques, such as mindfulness, acupuncture, and yoga, for women's sexual complaints and loss of satisfaction is sparse but promising.  Future research should aim to further investigate the efficacy of Eastern techniques in assisting with women's sexual dysfunction.

Citation:  Brotto LA, Krychman M, Jacobson P. Eastern approaches for enhancing women's sexuality: Mindfulness, acupuncture and yoga (CME). Journal of Sexuality & Medicine. 2008 Dec; 5 (12): pages 2741-8; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award