One of the many advantages to being a mature doctor is the vast experience one acquires along the way. In my Evanston medical office, I have repeatedly seen a link between lowered sexual function or drive, and impaired autonomic nervous system function.
Often this is the case of a woman going through menopause. The chief complaint might be weight gain, hot flashes, wrinkling skin or insomnia but low libido or sexual response often accompanies these symptoms.
I also see men who complain of poor sexual function or lowered libido and discover they actually have some other complaints concurrently that seem to be associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction or ANSD.
Once the ANSD is addressed and treated, the sexual function improves enormously and the patient feels relieved to have a part of their self back that had seemed lost.
ANSD can be acquired from longterm stress, acute stress or trauma, physically or psychologically. Typically an increase in sympathetic (the fight and flight arm of the system) tone is noted, especially in men. In women, often the fight and flight or sympathetic arm is shut down and the patient feels depressed and fatigued.
In either case, the employment of a reflex biofeedback device such as SCENAR to assess and treat the sympathetic tone can be an essential ingredient in returning balance, calmness and libido.
In my work in post quake Haiti, I treated dozens if not hundreds of patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder including many of the responders. I discovered improved mood and emotional function once the autonomic nervous system was balanced.
Both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic systems are needed for sexual arousal and orgasm and they must work together. If one is stuck in an on or off mode, the response is limited or non-existant.
in addition to a tempered response, the adrenals are often affected which can then lead to weight gain, anxiety and fatigue.
Scenar, acupuncture, and meditation are all fabulous adjuncts to nutritional therapies and exercise that can improve the relationship between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems.
The use of great diagnostic tools and treatment plans make for a speedy recovery and the return of a healthy sexual response.