Thursday, 16 July 2015

It’s not hard but it’s hard to talk about!

So, erectile dysfunction. Of course you don’t suffer from it, but maybe you have a ‘friend’ who does?  It’s very common but rarely discussed openly. Losing an erection or failing to get an erection is a very common problem which affects most men at some point in their lives. Sex is an important part of life and this problem can often cause you to lose confidence, your relationships might suffer and it can make you feel anxious or down. Although it’s a very common problem, the good news is that there is a lot that can be done to help the situation.

Common causes of erectile dysfunction include stress, tiredness, worry, as well as physical problems such as impaired blood flow down there.

Let’s talk a little biology now.
Our autonomic nervous system is the part of our body which looks after things like our breathing, digestion, immune system, reproductive systems etc. Basically all the systems in your body which work without you being consciously aware, are controlled by your autonomic nervous system.
This system can be in one of two states:
A Fight or Flight State
A Rest and Reproduction State

When we are anxious or stressed our Fight or Flight Response is stimulated. This causes blood flow to be diverted to our arms and legs. It causes our heart rate and breathing to quicken and adrenaline to be released. All these reactions get us ready to run or fight. When the Fight or Flight response kicks in, sex and erections are suppressed. After all, if you had to run from danger the last thing you would want would be an erection!

This system worked brilliantly when we evolved and were subjected to short term stress, such as running from a predator. Unfortunately, in modern life, we can be stressed about work, difficult relationships or social pressures. This means we are often stressed chronically.

When this happens, the Rest and Reproduction System is suppressed over a long period of time, often leading to erectile dysfunction. Of course, once erectile dysfunction becomes an issue you get anxious about it happening and this exacerbates the issue.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by physical or psychological factors.

The most common physical cause of erectile dysfunction is restricted blood flow to the penis, causing by narrowing of the blood vessels. If you are suffering then do go and see your GP. If you are suffering with erectile dysfunction you should speak to your GP first to identify any underlying physical issues.

As a hypnotherapist I help men to overcome erectile dysfunction which has been caused by psychological factors. The key is to remove any anxiety related to sex. This turns off the Fight or Flight Response and turns on the Rest and Reproduction Response.

There is a great technique you can use to do this.

1) Get yourself into a lovely relaxed state, either by focussing on your breathing or imagining various parts of your body relaxing in turn.
2) When you feel very relaxed, double that level of relaxation, perhaps by imagining going down levels or walking down a flight of stairs, relaxing more with each step.
3) When you are really relaxed imagine yourself in bed with your partner. Really imagine it as vividly as possible, as if you're actually there. Notice what you see, hear and feel.
4) All the time concentrate on relaxation and hold on to that level of relaxation.
5) Imagine the whole scenario all the way through to the end and see yourself successfully getting and maintaining an erection and having good sex.
6) Repeat as often as possible.
Hypnotherapy is very effective for helping to overcome erectile dysfunction. If you would like a hypnosis MP3 to help you with this problem you can download one from: