Feeling distracted, irritable and drained?
Crashing into the same walls in relationships and sexual communication?
Locked in unsuccessful, obsessive cycles?
Embarrassed to talk with your doctor, or anyone about your concerns?
By continually ignoring our thought and emotional patterns, we limit our choices of how to deal with daily challenges. We feel stuck because we are repeatedly fueling our stress engine – and most symptoms of dis-ease and that which ails you are caused or compounded by the chain reaction of stress.
• Ignites inflammatory process leading to sexual apathy, depression & illness
• 1 in 5 people suffer from chronic anxiety disorders
• 100 million people worldwide suffer from recurrent stress and depression
• In the U.S. alone, we spend 86 billion $$ a year on drugs to ‘fix’ ourselves which markedly decrease sexual arousal & prohibit orgasm – an essential component for quality of life
Many doctors frequently deal with symptoms of stress; but rarely inquire about their patients’ sexual health. Moreover, most people will never ask their doctor about sex, or their sexuality. Despite a growing body of evidence about mind-body unity, many physicians continue to treat physical symptoms rather than whole individuals. According to a recent Association of Reproductive Health Professionals survey:
• Only 14% of men and women between 40 and 80 years old said their doctor had asked them about sexual difficulties
• 68% of patients fear that raising concerns about sexual problems would embarrass their physician
• 71% believe their concerns would be dismissed.
The blind leading the blind…Doctors not only don’t address sexual issues, they aren’t taught to. Even with all the advances in medical science, there is little energy spent teaching human sexuality to med students. More than half of US medical schools dedicate fewer than 10 hours on the subject. So, if you do go to your doctor with questions, you’re possibly getting advice from an untrained person with their own biases, probably as embarrassed and ill informed as you are.
Do our stress levels always boil down to sex? “No, that’s not the point,” continues Dr. Kipper. “But many of our health and relative body issues are connected to our sexuality. The mind and body work together to create and heal symptoms of stress. It’s that simple.”
If there is any power in this universe, it is in you.
If our thought and expression determine our health and well being, that means our mind is our most powerful resource. Stephanie Moses, author of the upcoming book Getting to Neutral concurs. "Many of us have this sort of ‘it’s all so mysterious’ attitude. If you have a headache, you take a pill. If your stomach hurts, you’ll take something for that. Now, I certainly will take something for a headache, and I’m not suggesting for one second that you endure pain. What I am suggesting is that you examine what this pain or anxiety is connected to, and therefore causing these - symptoms of emotion - or bio-emotional effects, then you can begin to release them."
Still on the fence? Tune in to Esther Sternberg, M.D., Director, Integrative Neural Immune Program, National Institute of Mental Health. “Beneath our skins is a constantly changing world where our body’s cells fashion and refashion our solid-seeming tissues. We can finally see how tightly the nervous and immune systems are linked - through many interwoven strands of nerve pathways and communicating molecules. And once we understand that, it is not so difficult to imagine that forces that might perturb one system would have powerful effects on the functioning of the other.”
Here’s another scientific fact: Feeling the emotion of love is healthy, says Stella Resnick, PhD, a psychologist and psychotherapist in Los Angeles who specializes in relationship and sexual enrichment. “While understanding and releasing pain is certainly crucial for lasting results in psychotherapy, it’s not enough. Getting good at struggling with problems just makes you more skillful at struggling with problems. To enjoy your life more, and especially to have more love, it’s better to become skillful at what inspires our enthusiasm and generates vitality and good feelings.”
Shake off apathy and get excited about feeling good. Approach your needs and issues with humility and compassion; truly care for yourself. Be grateful for the skin you’re in - your kingdom of heaven - actually say thank you to your body for taking care of, and putting up with, you (and your bullshit) all these years. Prioritize your well-being. Be proactive with your sexual and emotional health. Inquire within and take notes. Doctors are human and don’t have all the answers. They’re not God, not your father and aren’t mind readers.
Doctors do aim to be helpful, and often are. Yet dressing us in goofy paper, hiney-baring gowns and blue booties instills the business of sickness, when our natural state of being is that of beauty, health and vitality. Alas, our healthcare system itself is due for a shakedown, from the inside out. Dr. Donald Berwick shared some pivotal insights regarding how we should manage our health care. He recently spoke with Pauline W. Chen, M.D of The New York Times and said, “We don’t have a standard of services or processes that are comfortable for patients. We have built a technocratic castle, and when people come into it, they are intimidated.” In an essay titled "What 'Patient-Centered' Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist," Dr. Berwick, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts laid the system bare.
Dr. Berwick’s prescription? Be proactive! And include your sexual concerns and questions. He suggests that you -
• Speak up and be prepared. From research we know that patients who write down questions do better.
• Bring your digital recorder into the meeting so you can listen to the conversation several times after.
• Bring a companion along to be your sentinel, your advisor.
Use that paper gown for cleaning your windows (lint free) and clear your view for feeling good. Dare to evolve from frustration and suffering…forge new pathways of heightened awareness, increased pleasure and joy. Explore ways to improve your ability to communicate effectively, and to experience better health and sexual fulfillment. Oh, and slip on those blue booties, they make polishing your kitchen floor fun.