Are you a man struggling with erectile problems?
You are not alone. According to the NHS, erectile dysfunction (ED) affects half of all men aged between 40 and 70. But one quarter of men seeking help with impotence are under the age of 40, according to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
What is psychological ED? Whilst erectile dysfunction can be caused by medical reasons, if you are able to get an erection in the morning, whilst sleeping or when masturbating, but have difficulty obtaining or sustaining an erection during sex, then the chances are there is a psychological cause. With over a decade of experience treating sexual dysfunction, I've found that hypnosis can offer effective relief from psychological ED in a number of ways:
1. Stop smoking
Good blood flow is key to erections, and therefore smoking can have an impact. In a 2006 Australian study, researchers found that the likelihood of erectile dysfunction increased by 27% with smokers. Giving up smoking, therefore, is vital for anyone suffering with psychological ED. The New Scientist reported that hypnosis is the most effective way of stopping smoking, and provided you wish to become a non-smoker, hypnotherapy can help you let go of your addiction by correcting your subconscious associations with cigarettes.
2. Let go of anxiety and stress
The brain plays a significant role in triggering the physiological reactions that create an erection, starting with sexual excitement. This excitement, however, can be affected by depression, anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, it then becomes a vicious cycle whereby the ED causes more anxiety and stress, which in turn exacerbates the ED. Of course, everyone experiences stress, but for those who don't manage it so well, hypnosis can teach relaxation techniques to help you focus and problem-solve without panic.
3. Restore your inner confidence
Low confidence and self-esteem will likely lay at the root of most psychological ED. Feeling self conscious or inadequate in the bedroom may stem from issues of jealousy, a bad relationship or an early embarrassing sexual encounter. Hypnotherapy can help retrace the root cause behind your insecurities so that you can rebuild your sexual confidence.
4. Health and fitness
As a hypnotherapist, some common issues I treat are over-eating, lack of exercise and heavy drinking. One of the great side effects of tackling these lifestyle choices is increased libido and stronger, longer-lasting erections.
5. Live in the moment
Rather than approaching sex as a pleasurable, intimate, mutually enjoyable act, some men focus on their need to excel in pleasing their partner. They become so preoccupied with how they may be judged on their performance that the instinctive, sharing nature of sex becomes clouded by anxiety. Self hypnosis is a wonderful technique that can stop you over-analysing sex and focus your mind on enjoying the experience.
There are many misconceptions about hypnosis (no, we hypnotherapists can't make you do or say anything you don't want to!) and how it can help with male erections, but with more people opting for a less medical/drug-based solution to our problems, there is far less stigma than there used to be.
When choosing a hypnotherapist for your psychological erectile dysfunction, I would recommend visiting the General Hypnotherapy Register for a list of qualified and insured practitioners near you, all of whom will offer a relaxed, professional and discreet service. Alternatively, contact me for friendly, confidential advice on how hypnotherapy can help you.
This article first appeared at Hypnotherapy London.
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