By S. Hunter Thompson, D.O.M. L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), ADS, Adjunct Faculty and Lead Teaching Clinic Supervisor at MUIH
June is Men’s Health Month. In 1994, the US Senate approved the week of June 12-19 as National Men’s Health Week. Men tend to live an average of four years less than women. While this gap is closing, it is still notable.
As an acupuncturist for over 20 years, I have become aware that many more women than men take advantage of the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine. Acupuncture is now well-known for being beneficial to women’s health, especially reproductive health. However, it is equally beneficial for men and not only from a reproductive standpoint.
Acupuncture treats the whole person, not only a specific symptom. Since the body is completely interconnected, symptoms that may seem unrelated often have a common core. Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Asian bodywork and movement exercises such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi, is a holistic form of healthcare. This form of treatment integrates all aspects of a person’s being – the body, the mind and the emotions or spirit. In this way, acupuncture can support a person with general well-being as well as through major health crises.
There are many dimensions to men’s health. Acupuncture has been shown to be very effective for such situations as chronic prostatitis as well as support during Western medical treatment for prostate cancer. One of the main concerns that occurs for men is stress level. This may contribute to the higher incidence of heart disease in men. Acupuncture was demonstrated to assist with lowering blood pressure when used in conjunction with blood pressure medication. In addition, and significantly, acupuncture treatment provides relaxation and support for both physical and emotional aspects of life and work stress, thereby reducing the effects of this stress. The Veteran’s Administration has supported the treatment of various health concerns such as mood disorders and depression as well as insomnia and chronic pain with acupuncture. This speaks to the efficacy of these treatments beyond the purely physical components of life.
Opportunities to focus on health abound in any month. This is a great time for men to look at their health more closely and take effective action to make improvements.
Maryland University of Integrative Heath offers Academic Programs in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine including masters and doctoral options. These programs blend ancient healing traditions with contemporary science as the basis for treating the whole person and prepare students to become licensed practitioners. Register for one of our informational webinars or an on-campus Integrative Health Graduate Fair to learn more.
Çevik, Cemal, and Sevgin Özlem Işeri. “The Effect of Acupuncture on High Blood Pressure of Patients Using Antihypertensive Drugs.” Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research, vol. 38, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1–15., doi:10.3727/036012913×13831831849448.
Chen, Richard, and J.Curtis Nickel. “Acupuncture Ameliorates Symptoms in Men with Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.” Urology, vol. 61, no. 6, 2003, pp. 1156–1159., doi:10.1016/s0090-4295(03)00141-9.
Niemtzow, Richard C. “Medical Acupuncture: The Department of Veterans Affairs.” Medical Acupuncture, vol. 30, no. 5, 1 Oct. 2018, pp. 223–224., doi:10.1089/acu.2018.29095.rcn.