Acupuncture for Men's Health

Men may experience a number of changes throughout their lives.  Some of these changes may be in the realm of sexual health (such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and prostatitis) but many men also experience other health challenges, such as low back pain, depression, and insomnia.  Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for all of these conditions.  Through the use of fine needles at specific points along areas of the body, acupuncture works to stimulate the body’s own healing responses by addressing the root causes of disease, as does naturopathic medicine.  This makes these two health systems a wonderful fit.


As a naturopathic doctor certified in acupuncture the unique opportunity I have when using acupuncture is that I can utilize many other treatments at the same time.  Low back pain, depression, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction are all well treated with a combination of therapies…acupuncture plus nutrition, herbal medicine, supplementation, spinal adjustments, and/or pharmaceutical prescriptions.  Being certified in prescriptive authority, I have access to all of these treatments to best help my patients improve their health.  Naturopathic doctors can also order lab tests, perform physical exams, and customize treatment options to round out the best program for you.


Many men experience low back pain and know how impactful pain can be on their life and work.  Finding effective treatments is important.  Both traditional acupuncture and ear acupuncture can help improve low back pain and decrease the sensation of pain. This can lead to improved function and get you moving well again. Acupuncture used alongside other therapies such as spinal alignment and soft tissue massage may further increase the chance of success.


Depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia are experienced by many people and still, it is difficult for many men to talk about it and seek help.  Acupuncture has been shown to reduce symptoms in some experiencing depression.  Ear acupuncture can be effective at reducing anxiety.  Stress is closely tied to mental health and has impacts on both sleep quality and mental wellbeing.  Both traditional and ear acupuncture work to reduce stress by improving parasympathetic tone (our “rest and digest” state), which may address the root cause for some with insomnia.  In conjunction with other strategies to promote mental wellbeing, like diet, exercise, herbal medicine, and supplementation, a combined protocol takes into account the unique situation affecting you.


Male sexual health concerns can also be addressed using acupuncture.  Studies have shown positive results in reducing urination difficulties in those with prostatitis (inflamed prostate).  It can also be effective at improving premature ejaculation and some types of erectile dysfunction.


The number of health concerns that acupuncture can be utilized for, either alone or in conjunction with other therapies, along with being safe and with few side effects, makes it an excellent treatment choice for many men’s health concerns.  To find out if acupuncture and naturopathic medicine is right for you, contact Dr. Peters for a free “meet and greet”.


Dr. Shawn Peters, ND is a naturopathic doctor practicing in downtown Courtenay.

Dr. Shawn Peters, ND is a naturopathic physician who works at the Macdonald Centre for Natural Medicine.

As always, this is purely general health-related information and is not meant to substitute for a visit with a regulated healthcare practitioner.  Always consult your licensed naturopathic doctor or medical doctor should you have any questions or concerns

Boosting Testosterone Naturally by Dr. Shawn Peters, ND

Testosterone is a sex hormone, often thought of as the “male” hormone (though males simply have more of it, as females have more estrogen).  Testosterone often provides the spark that can be fundamental to the experience of many men, like robust energy, libido, and strength.  Decreased levels of testosterone can result in low energy, reduced libido, a loss of muscle mass and increase in abdominal fat, as well as changes in mood and cognition.

Naturopathic doctors, through lab testing, physical exam, and thorough history taking, can work to diagnose the cause of decreased testosterone levels, so the correct treatment can be given.  A common cause is called Andropause, a term that refers to the changes in hormone levels with age (akin to changes during menopause in women).  Declining testosterone levels as we age are at least partly responsible for the changes many men experience in their 30’s, 40’s, and beyond.  Not only do levels of testosterone decrease as we age, but the amount of estrogen in relation to testosterone may increase.

A thorough investigation is important to determine the root cause.  In an initial appointment I determine which of the main factors may be playing a role for you…diet and exercise patterns, stress and sleep factors, as well as any underlying health conditions.  Decreased testosterone levels may be associated with certain conditions, like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Removing any obstacles to you feeling great helps provide a solid foundation for your body to optimally regulate testosterone levels.

There are many tools to help men who are experiencing changes during this time.  Working to optimize diet & nutrients, exercise, and weight management (especially abdominal weight) are all key aspects of a successful plan.

At the same time, many herbal medicines are excellent at improving energy levels and sexual function while reducing irritability and mental fatigue associated with changes in testosterone.  Herbs used successfully may include Eleuthro, Rhodiola, Pine pollen, and many more.  Hops, while being a useful herbal medicine in certain situations, are abundant in beer and too much may worsen the situation.  Herbal licorice root too should be avoided in andropause.

Acupuncture is also shown to be beneficial for male sexual health and hormone balancing, as well as boosting energy.
As a licensed naturopathic doctor, I use any and all of these tools to help every person as an individual look and feel their best.  I strive to listen and educate, assessing your needs and goals so we can work together to keep you vital and healthy in the future.  We may not be able to stop testosterone levels from declining with age, but you and I can work together so you can feel strong and vital with good energy and libido, no matter your age.

As always, this is purely general health-related information and is not meant to substitute for a visit with a regulated healthcare practitioner.  Always consult your licensed naturopathic doctor or medical doctor should you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Shawn Peters is a naturopathic physician.  He works at the MCNM in downtown Courtenay.