Entries in SoulMindMatter (38)

Saturday
Jan122013

Lust and Bliss: therapy for couples or individuals

The Dolder Grand

Health Care &
Rejuvenation

 

PD Dr. Rainer Arendt
Internal Medicine & Cardiology FMH
Prevention & Regenerative Medicine 

Timeea-Laura Burci
Lifestyle Coach & Jin Shin Jyutsu

 

 

 

 

 

“Love is the essence of all living.”

 How to restore bliss in your life, gain better health, fitness, endurance, and have fulfilling sex.

 

   

Image via Silvia Fallauto Olmos

 

Sex therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction, such as

1.         Dating anxiety, lack of sexual confidence, love-shyness

2.         Trouble with intimacy, sexual inhibitions

3.         Communication problems

4.         Erectile dysfunction

5.         Premature ejaculation

6.         Non-fulfillment of erotic desire, non-consummation

7.         Low libido

8.         Problems caused by stress, tiredness, environmental or relationship factors.

 

Sex therapy assists you in overcoming these problems and regaining an active sex life.

Sexual dysfunction is common in men and increases with age.

Low libido is estimated to affect more than 15 percent of men. It increases with age and it frequently accompanies other sexual disorders.

Erectile dysfunction was reported by 52 percent of men above age 40.

Premature ejaculation affects more than 30 percent of all men.

 

Erectile dysfunction: risk factors and association with cardiovascular disease

A number of medications, most commonly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (anti-depressants), are associated with erectile dysfunction.

Other important risk factors for erectile dysfunction include obesity, smoking, inactivity, and mental distress.

Erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease share many risk factors and their pathophysiology is mediated through endothelial dysfunction. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors increase the risk for later erectile dysfunction; on the other hand, erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign of future heart attack or stroke.

Therefore, men with erectile dysfunction without an obvious cause (eg, pelvic trauma) should be screened for cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors prior to initiating therapy for their sexual dysfunction.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

We offer an in-depth checkup to assess your body’s function and structure. A personal and family history of symptoms and previous diseases, a thorough clinical examination, and a set of laboratory tests and additional examinations, all enable the assessment of your current state of health. Why is this important? A checkup provides (1) a baseline examination in healthy individuals, (2) insights into your risk of acquiring a variety of diseases in the future and (3) determines the nature and significance of symptoms for people with suspected health problems.

The Double Check Executive checkup includes:

• Personal pre-counseling and medical exam.

• Blood tests, vaccine history and profile completion (dietary habits, physical activity).

• Cognitive/mental check and assessment by desktop constellation.

• Performance analysis of the heart, and cardiopulmonary system.

• Appraisal of important findings by medical experts, with personal in-depth explanation of results.

For those who need more extensive evaluation: Based on your needs, previous history and symptoms, we may recommend an Executive plus checkup which takes just one day. Double Check Executive plus, is uniquely convenient:

• Same-day, one-stop service: Tests are made and results returned the same day.

• Checkups include Coronary Computer Tomography at the University Hospital Zurich

• Optimal discretion: Our premises are easily and discreetly accessible. Personal transport for tests at University Hospital Zurich will be arranged.

• In-depth personal analysis: Pre-counseling and explanation of results are taken very seriously. Our physician on site takes all the necessary time to advise you.

 

Via "Passion for you"

 

Sex therapy employs fast and effective pharmacological, biological (hormonal renewal) and psycho-somatic interventions such as EMDR, NLP, Auto-Hypnosis

Auto-hypnosis allows the client to gain from deep potential present in him, improving concentration, recall, enhancing problem solving capacities, and control of emotions. Effects of auto-hypnosis are well documented to alleviate pain, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, it also helps with body weight management, asthma, and many skin conditions.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been developed by Francine Shapiro to treat trauma and post-traumatic stress, it has been judged efficacious by numerous professional bodies. EMDR is an integrative therapy incorporating aspects of many major orientations: psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, experiential, hypnotic and systems theory.  The goal of EMDR therapy is to process distressing memories, and to reduce their lingering influence. 

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication and personal development created in the 1970s. The title asserts a connection between the neurological processes ("neuro"), language ("linguistic"), and behavioural patterns learned through experience ("programming") that can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.

 

 

Personal training

A personal trainer will work with you to increase your fitness level, perfect your exercise technique, overcome training plateaus, and motivate you to reach new goals through consistent, progressive and fun exercise. Our Personal Trainers go through an extensive training program and are continuously being educated. They specialize in everything from weight loss to functional movements for everyday life, sport and sex specific training. The Personal Training staff will challenge you to enhance your lifestyle and motivate you every step of the way.

 

Nutrition, Herbals and Pharmacological Therapy

We employ a mix of various medicines, herbal or synthetic, plus biologicals that increase sexual desire, raise testosterone levels, help maintain erection longer, increase sperm production, and improve male fertility.

In addition, we may employ the phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE-5 inhibitors) because of their efficacy, ease of use, and favorable side effect profile.

Sometimes third line therapies will be effective. We rarely recommend androgen replacement therapy since there are natural ways to raise the free testosterone circulating in blood.

 

 

Partner therapy

Partner therapists  who engage with a client and his/her partner in order to achieve a therapeutic goal may use a combination of techniques – talking, listening, demonstration, and practice – to help resolve a client's sexual problems, to explore and develop sexual potential. Since many sexual problems are psychological rather than physical, communication plays a key role in the therapeutic process. The therapist will encourage the client to concentrate on the sensual possibilities available in the feel of his own and his partner's skin, hair, mouth, body, etc.

  

"Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing." 

Rainer Maria Rilke - Letters To A Young Poet 1903-1908

Friday
Dec142012

An Epidemic of Female Sexual Unhappiness

Aesthetic + Health Link
Medical Wellness Practice

The Dolder Grand

 

PD Dr. Rainer Arendt
Internal Medicine & Cardiology FMH
Prevention & Regenerative Medicine

Timeea-Laura Burci
Lifestyle Coach & Jin Shin Jyutsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from an astonishing new work that radically changes how we think about and understand the vagina - and consequently, how we understand women and sexuality - from Naomi Wolf (London 2012)

 

"... even though we talk about sex all the time, the information we have about female sexuality is generally out of date. If women had (…) easier excess to and could draw on the new scientific discoveries about female sexuality (...) they would have a much deeper understanding of their own sexual and emotional responses - and could feel far more sexually alive and connected. (…)

The latest science confirms that the (…) ‘little’ gestures and flourishes, which are so often relegated to the category of ‘things that people do in courtship and stop doing in a long-term relationship’ - those sexual or romantic ‘extras’ that are sort of nice to dole out to women but are not deemed essential - are in fact physically and emotionally fundamental to women's vibrancy. These practices radically boost a woman's orgasmic potential. But at least as importantly, they help support her relationships, and are even essential to her mental health and peace of mind.

Photographer unknown, via Facebook Klaus Rosenkranz

 

 

As mentioned earlier, Masters and Johnson concluded that women and men were essentially similar in their sexual responses. They also concluded that there was no physiological difference between a ‘vaginal orgasm’ and a ‘clitoral orgasm’.

Masters and Johnson also annoyed feminists by maintaining that penile thrusting alone should give women enough stimulation to have orgasms. Shere Hite contested this conclusion in her own survey. She found that about 66 per cent of women could have orgasms without difficulty when masturbating, but that only about 33 per cent had orgasms through intercourse alone. Masters and Johnson’s conclusions that the sexes’ responses are essentially the same, along with Hite’s interest in highlighting the importance of the clitoris and diminishing the importance of the vagina - joined as she was by a wave of feminist commentary also supporting the importance of the clitoris and downgrading the vagina, in such essays as Anne Koedt's ‘The myth of the vaginal orgasm’ (1970) - all served to leave us where we are today: with a general impression that female sexuality is a lot like male sexuality, except that some women can have multiple orgasms; the general belief that the vagina is not as important as the clitoris (women's advice columns still, wrongly, echoing Anne Koedt's vastly influential essay, misinform women that the vagina ‘has very few nerve endings’) and a consensus that it is good etiquette for men to give women, chivalrously, a bit of advance help in the stimulation department (these gestures, cast as gildings on the lily of intercourse, are still infuriatingly called ‘foreplay’) but that the pacing of ‘sex’ is essentially that of the male sex response cycle.

By PATRICE DELMOTTE, Early Morning

These assumptions are not accurate. It turns out that male sexuality and female sexuality are very different. It turns out that, for women, the clitoris is sexually important, the vagina is sexually important, the G-spot is sexually important, the mouth of the cervix is sexually important, the perineum is sexually important, and the anus is sexually important. Recent research has found that was Masters and Johnson argued - that all female orgasm ‘goes through’ the clitoris - is incorrect. According to the newest data, the G-spot and the clitoris are both aspects of a single neural structure; and women have, as we saw and Dr. Komisaruk’s MRI findings confirm, at least three sexual centres: clitoris, vagina, and the third at the mouth of the cervix.

When I first learned that new science had confirmed the sexual responsiveness of the cervix, I was shocked that I had heard nothing about it from science reporting (though I had from literature: ‘At the back of the womb there lay flesh that demanded to be penetrated. It curved inwards, opening to suck. The flesh walls moved like sea anemones, seeking by suction to draw his sex in … She opened her mouth as if to reveal the openess of the womb, its hunger, and only than did he plunge to the very bottom and felt her contractions …’ writes Anais Nin, who was not waiting for scientific confirmation, in Delta of Venus). That elision of information was one of many weird omissions I would find on this journey as I stumbled upon hugely important scientific discovery after hugely important scientific discovery, that had received virtually zero mainstream ink. (…)

Another recent study has found that the whole ‘clitoris versus vagina’ - Masters and Johnson versus Shere Hite - debate is itself wrongly framed: the G-spot, in the anterior wall of the vagina, is now being understood by many researches to be part of the anterior root of the clitoris. The female sexual organ, which includes all these areas, is being proved by new science to be far more complex and far more magical than the utilitarian thrusting totted up by Masters and Johnson can account for, or the goal-oriented, male-identified model of female sexuality mistakenly popularized to this very day in sex advice columns in women's magazines.

 

 

It turns out that women are designed to have many different kinds of orgasms; that women have the potential to have orgasms without any and except physical exhaustion; that if you understand female sexuality, you pace all the action around her; that while this is a high bar to set, you still wont to set it, because properly treated, some women can ejaculate, and all women in orgasm can go into a unique trance state; that women's orgasms last longer than men's; that memory plays a role in female arousal in a way that is not the case with male arousal; and that women's response to arousal and orgasm is by chemically very different from men's. We are like guys sexually in superficial ways, but in many ways we are, sexually, profoundly not like guys.

By Metin Demiralay, via Facebook Coco

Maybe one reason this new information has been underreported has to do with anxieties about the male ego, even if the censorship involved is unconscious. Why wouldn't every newspaper be reporting new data that suggest that women are potentially sexually insatiable? Or that many of them are unhappy with the current sexual status quo? Or that certain kinds of seductive behaviour and attention from their partners doubles or even quadruples the ‘microvolts’ in the climaxing cervix and vagina? What's not to like about this information? Perhaps the lack of attention to this new information is the fear of implying a new ‘task’ - that of sexual muse and sexual artist - to be put upon male shoulders, even as most men are already overtired and overworked.

I believe, though, that this hesitancy underestimates most heterosexual men's interest in making the women in their lives truly happy - not to mention these men's own vested interest in having sexually vibrant and joyful lovers, which in turn can help make heterosexual men themselves happy.

I now have reached the point in my journey at which I had begun to believe that our misunderstanding of what women really need sexually - as well as how sex affects them - has led to a great deal of sexual suffering among women today. The numbers show that we have an epidemic in the West of women – ‘free’, presumably sexually literate women - who are suffering from a terrible and preventable sexual malaise. One American woman in three reports that she is suffering from too-low levels of sexual desire, and for one woman in ten the absence of desire is so severe it is clinically diagnosable. Indeed, low sexual desire level - medically defined as ‘hypoactive sexual desire disorder’ - is the most common form of ‘female sexual dysfunction’ reported in the United States. J. A. Simon’s 2010 article in Postgraduate Medicine, ‘Low sexual desire - is it all in her head? Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder’ points out that: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) defines female hypo [low] sexual desire syndrome as ‘persistent or recurrent deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and thoughts, and/or desire for, or receptivity to, sexual activity, which causes personal distress or interpersonal difficulties and is not caused by a medical condition or drug’. (…) Sexual function requires the complex interaction of multiple neurotransmitters and hormones, both centrally and peripherally, and sexual desire is considered the result of a complex balance between inhibitory and excitatory pathways in the brain. For example, dopamine, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone play an excitatory role, whereas serotonin and prolactine are inhibitory. Thus, decreased sexual desire could be due to a reduced level of excitatory activity, an increased level of inhibitory activity, or both.

These few sentences are a model of scientific understatement, in the sense that the neutral language of science - which is basically saying that a woman's low sexual desire is a result of neurotransmitter and hormonal disconnects or imbalances - is not addressing, or is disregarding, the fact that while menopause, medication, and other immovable factors that the authors name can play a role in low sexual desire, a thousand other psychosexual, interpersonal, and even mood-lighting influences that can easily be changed and made better can also play a major role in lowering many women's level of sexual desire.

I learned on my journey that women's sexual desire can often fairly easily be turned way back up - but they can't do this easily by themselves, or alone with their doctors. Their lovers and husbands have to pay attention to what will, in Tantric terms, ‘stoke the fire’.

 

The data on low female libido present an even more striking set of facts than they seem to at first glance. A substantial number of women report sexual dissatisfaction even as ‘sex’ is everywhere and sexual ‘information’ has never been easier to access.

According to an American Psychiatric Association symposium, ‘Sex, Sexuality and Serotonin’, 27 per cent to 34 per cent of women - more than double the 13 to 17 per cent of men – reported experiencing low sexual desire. An extraordinary 15 to 28 per cent of women - from one woman in six to one woman in three - reports that she suffers from ‘orgasmic disorders’. This percentage has risen in the four decades since the height of the sexual revolution – 1976 - when about 25 per cent of women complained of problems with desire.

A 2009-study, the National Health and Social Life Survey, (…) reported that 43 per cent of women - as opposed to 31 per cent of men - suffered from what was identified as a ‘sexual dysfunction’. (...)

An even newer report, released by Indiana University in 2010, reveals that only 64 per cent of women participants reported reaching orgasm the last time they had sex (which means that 36 per cent, almost four in ten, didn't), but that 85 per cent of the male participants in the same study told researchers that their most recent female sex partner has reached orgasm: (…) the gap between the number of women whom the men thought were climaxing during sex with them - and the much smaller number of women who were actually doing so.

Wether so many women having such disappointing sexual experiences is leading to many couples having very little sexual intimacy, or wether so little sexual intimacy leads to so many women reporting their low libido, sexual sadness, and frustration, the data show that one heterosexual couple in five is scarcely making love at all.

© Mario Sorrenti via Coco, Facebook

 

We have to conclude from this and other studies with similar numbers that the Western sexual revolution sucks. It has not worked well enough for women.

In this liberated, post-sexual revolution, postfeminist era, when women can do ‘whatever’ they wish sexually and be ‘bad girls’ with little stigma (...) an astonishingly high percentage of ordinary women, from one in five to one in three, still report feeling little desire, or have trouble regularly reaching orgasm, or report being angry about something involving sexual intimacy. Now that I know more completely how connected the vagina is to female mood and consciousness, I will coin a phrase and say that between one woman in five and one woman in three seems to be suffering from something very like sexual, or even like vaginal, depression.

Oddly enough, our ostensibly pro-sex-culture seems very comfortable with this incredibly high rate of female sexual unhappiness. There are no campaigns calling urgent attention to this epidemic of female sexual absence and sorrow. Australian sex therapist Bettina Arndt’s book The Sex Diaries (2009) sold widely because it addresses directly many women's startlingly low levels of desire. Arndt reported that it is quite common in her clinical experience for women to want sex less often than their husbands do, and that this is the unacknowledged secret behind many divorces and even behind many male infidelities.

We will see that new studies show that when circumstances are supportive, virtually every woman can reach orgasm. What if so many women are suffering from low levels of desire, frustration, and sexual withdrawal because - there is no way to say this but honestly - many men are taught about women in such a way that they don't really now what they are doing? These numbers must mean, too, that even in this post-sexual revolution era, many women don't know how to identify and then ask for what they need and want.

If a man follows this culture’s sexual ‘script’ about what the vagina is, what female sexuality is, and how in general to relate to a woman - he is very likely, against all of his dearest wishes and best intentions, to miss, over time, knowing what is necessary to keep her aroused. The most destructive thing that men are being taught about women is that the vagina is just a sexual organ and that sex for women is a sexual act in the same way it is for men. But neither gender is being taught about the delicate mind-heart-body connection that, it turns out, is female sexual response.

From what I was learning about an optimal state of female sexual and emotional health, which leads women to be passionate and orgasmic to a high degree, this terribly low level of female sexual happiness and desire is a clear marker that something has gone wildly amiss. The low levels of female libido that all the recent studies report should be read as signs of a raging disease: signs of something being very wrong for millions of women in terms of what is happening to them sexually.

The next part of this book shows how this disconnect took place over the course of a couple of millennia - and what to do about it now."

Photo by WebMD

 

From “How to Handle Bad Sex”, by Stephanie Watson, WebMD Feature, reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

‘The lights are low. A fire smolders in the fireplace. Two wineglasses sit, half empty, on the nightstand. Your clothes lie in a heap on the floor. You reach for each other. The two of you tumble to the bed, and then...

Blah.

No explosions of passion. No breathy proclamations of desire. No tumultuous climax. To put it bluntly, the sex just isn't that good.

And then you wonder: How can everyone in movies and romance novels be having fiery, combustible sex, when you and your partner can barely create a spark?

"TV shows and movies give us this very skewed representation of what sex is supposed to be like," says Logan Levkoff, PhD, a sexologist, relationship expert, and author of the ebook How To Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You. "Everyone seems to be climaxing and having orgasms all the time from whatever they're doing, and I think when you grow up on a diet of that, when your real life doesn't match, you think, 'There's something wrong with me,' or, 'There's something wrong with my partner.'"

Real-life sex can almost never measure up to the passion portrayed on the screen, says Isadora Alman, MFT, a California-based sex therapist. "People don't talk about the fact that it's likely that in an odd position you'll pass gas, or the love of your life will take you in his arms and have bad breath."

Sex in the real world isn't perfect, and it doesn't always end with an earth-shattering climax -- but it doesn't have to, Levkoff says. "Good sex doesn't necessarily have to be about an orgasm. It can just be an emotionally fulfilling experience between partners."

No matter how blah your sex life may be, it can get better. The key, say our experts, is to know exactly what you want -- and then ask for it.

 

Getting What You Want in Bed

You like long foreplay sessions. Your partner is ready to go in an instant. You long for wet, sensual kisses. He prefers dry, chaste pecks. Your partner needs sex twice a day. You can't handle it more than three times a week.

Even when everything else in the relationship is working, sexual styles aren't always compatible. That's especially true for new couples.

"Sex is not just naturally perfect," Alman says. "There is the energy of a new relationship that is positive -- the excitement and the eagerness and the passion. And the negative is that you bump noses or knees because you just haven't learned how to dance together yet."

Even long-term couples can struggle in the bedroom. Though we can easily tell our partner what shirt we'd like them to wear, or what we'd like them to cook for dinner, on the topic of sex we tend to get tongue-tied.

"People tend to be very sensitive when it comes to talking about sex. They're afraid of hurting their partner's feelings, so they don't tell them what they like or don't like," says Rachel Sussman, LCSW, a relationship and family therapist in New York, and author of The Breakup Bible. "You're not going to get it unless you ask for it."

So how do you tell your partner what you want without bruising his or her ego? "I think it's really in how you bring up the statement," Levkoff says. "'I would love it if we' ... or, 'Could we try this?' ... You don't want to make them feel badly about what they've done or haven't done." You can have that conversation in bed, or at dinner over a glass of wine -- wherever is most comfortable for you.

Before you talk, you need to know exactly what about your sex life bothers you. Is it a question of technique? Personal hygiene? Timing? "Once you know what isn't working for you, there are ways you can suggest that can mitigate those circumstances," Alman says.

For example, if something about your partner's smell is turning you off, suggest taking a bath together before making love. If you crave more foreplay, ask for slower segues into sex.

Before you can tell your partner what you want him/her to do in bed, you need to know what you like. "I think especially for women, they've got to explore their own bodies. You have to masturbate. Get a vibrator. Get some books. Teach yourself how to orgasm," Sussman says.

Once you've figured out what you want and shared it with your partner, what if your sex life continues to be dull or unfulfilling? What if it's so bad that it's threatening your relationship?

 

When It's Just Not Working

After you've tried talking and the sex still isn't working, what then?

"Experiment together," Sussman says. "Learn to get to know each other's bodies." Try some sex aids. Read books with pictures (such as The Joy of Sex), or watch an educational video together, Alman recommends. Not porn, but explicit videos in which a voice-over explains what's happening in the scenes.

Sometimes the problem is a physical one, such as premature ejaculation. Or it may be that the stress from your job is bleeding over into the bedroom and disrupting your sex life.

In those cases it can help to see a sex therapist. "We unravel why you two are not getting along," Alman says. "And then we try to remedy that."

If you're still unsatisfied, is it ever OK to fake it in bed? Our experts say no.

"If you're faking it, you're doing yourself a disservice because you're not learning what really turns you on," Sussman says. "I think eventually, it takes a toll. Your partner's going to realize that you're disconnected."

 

Can sex ever be bad enough to consider ending a relationship over?

Possibly.

"You might really love somebody and the sex is never going to be better than OK. You have to decide whether that's livable with," Alman says. "The fact is, in many cases you have to either accept that the sex is never going to be mind-blowing ... or you have to leave."

Whenever you're considering a breakup or divorce, you need to weigh every element of the relationship, and not just the sex. "You can't have everything in life," Sussman says. "If you have a wonderful relationship and you love each other and you have kids but the sex isn't great ... maybe you can live with that."

In most cases, though, you shouldn't have to break up or settle for mediocre sex, as long as you're willing to put a little effort into it. Sussman says every couple has the potential to have good sex.

"If you're two emotionally and physically healthy people, you should be able to work with what you've got. Not everybody needs to be hanging off the chandelier," Sussman says. "You can get better. But you have to practice, and you have to be open to discussing it and getting help when you need it."’

By Man Ray, Negative Kiss 1935

 

We have devised a special program for singles or couples to create more love and intimacy, we are dedicated to teaching you the very necessary skills of intimacy that you need to create deep, long-lasting relationships. 

 

Saturday
Sep152012

Sexual and emotional wellbeing in women

Aesthetic + Health Link
Medical Wellness Practice

The Dolder Grand

 

PD Dr. Rainer Arendt
Internal Medicine & Cardiology FMH
Prevention & Regenerative Medicine 

Timeea-Laura Burci
Lifestyle Coach & Jin Shin Jyutsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the uptodate reference service www.uptodate.com/patients and an article in Women's Health, September 2011, Vol. 7, No. 5, Pages 571-583

 

Source unknown

 

Sexual dysfunction is a term used to describe difficulties in libido (sex drive), arousal, orgasm, or pain with sex that is bothersome to an individual. Sexual dysfunction may be a lifelong problem or acquired later in life after a period of having no difficulties with sex.

Women are most likely to be satisfied with their sex lives if they are physically and psychologically healthy and have a good relationship with their partner. Although a host of changes in hormones, blood vessels, the brain, and vaginal area can affect a woman's sexuality, relationship difficulties and poor physical or psychological well-being are the most common causes of sexual problems.

 

What are some types of sex problems that women might have?

  • Having pain during sex
  • Not becoming aroused or “excited” during sex
  • Not having an orgasm during sex
  • Not wanting to have sex

 

SEXUAL PROBLEMS TERMINOLOGY — It is important to know the definitions of several terms used to describe the sexual response to understand related sexual problems.

Desire (libido) — Libido, or sex drive, is the desire to have sexual activity, and often involves sexual thoughts, images, and wishes. Desire may occur spontaneously or in response to a partner, thoughts, or images. Spontaneous desire is more common in new relationships while response to a partner's desire is more typical of long-term relationships.

Low sexual desire is common amongst women of all ages. When associated with distress, it is termed hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Unfortunately, women are often reluctant to seek help for low sexual desire, despite the fact that it is a prevalent and distressing condition for many women, associated with a range of negative effects on women’s health. However, sexual desire may not be essential to have a satisfactory sex life. In other words, a woman who does not think about or initiate sex may not necessarily have a problem.

Arousal (excitement) — Arousal is a sense of sexual pleasure, often accompanied by an increase in blood flow to the genitals and an increased heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing.

Orgasm — Orgasm is defined as a peaking of sexual pleasure and release of sexual tension, usually with contractions of the muscles in the genital area and reproductive organs. A woman who never or rarely experiences an orgasm may still experience pleasure with sex and does not have a sexual problem unless this is bothersome to her.

Although desire, arousal, and orgasm describe the typical sexual response, the goal of sexual activity is satisfaction, which may or may not involve all aspects of the sexual response cycle (desire, arousal, orgasm).

Via Facebook "Me and I"

 

RISK FACTORS FOR SEXUAL PROBLEMS — There are a number of risk factors that may contribute to sexual problems in women. A risk factor is not necessarily the cause of a problem, but rather something that makes the problem more likely.

Personal well-being — A woman's sense of personal well being is important to sexual interest and activity. A woman who does not feel her best physically or emotionally may experience a decrease in sexual interest or response.

Relationship issues — An emotionally healthy relationship with current and past sexual partners is the most important factor in sexual satisfaction. Stress or conflict between a woman and her partner, and current or past emotional, physical, or sexual abuse often influence a women's sexual satisfaction. In addition, even good relationships can become less exciting sexually over time.

Male sexual problems — For women with a male sexual partner, midlife changes in the partner can affect her sexual response. Male sexual problems, (erectile dysfunction, diminished libido, or abnormal ejaculation), can occur at any time, but become more common with advancing age. In addition, women tend to live longer than men, resulting in a shortage of healthy, sexually functional partners for older women.

Gynecologic issues

Childbirth — After childbirth, physical recovery and breastfeeding, as well as fatigue and the demands of parenting, often decrease sexual desire. Low estrogen levels after delivery and local injury to the genital area at delivery may result in pain during intercourse. In most cases, these issues improve with time.

Menopause — Estrogen is a female hormone produced by the ovaries. During the several years before menopause, estrogen levels begin to fluctuate. After menopause, estrogen levels decline dramatically. This may lead to changes in a woman's libido and ability to become aroused. Hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disruption, and fatigue also may contribute to sexual problems.

In addition, some women experience vaginal narrowing, dryness, and a decrease in elasticity of the vaginal wall after menopause, especially if intercourse is infrequent, which can lead to discomfort or pain during sex.

Hysterectomy — In general, hysterectomy does not cause sexual dysfunction. Most studies actually show an improvement in sexual function after hysterectomy, likely due to an improvement in symptoms that interfere with sex, such as heavy bleeding. Removal of the cervix at the time of hysterectomy also has no negative effect on sexuality. Removal of the ovaries at the time of hysterectomy, typically done to decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, reduces estrogen and androgen levels, which may impact sexual function for some women.

Vaginal or pelvic pain — Women who have vaginal or pelvic pain often have difficulty with sexual activity. Pain may lead to fear of further pain during sex and can diminish lubrication and cause involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles, causing further pain.

Pain may be caused by endometriosis, prior surgeries, infection, or scar tissue. In postmenopausal women, a lack of estrogen often causes discomfort with intercourse.

Bladder and pelvic support issues — Changes in the bladder or loss of pelvic support (pelvic organ prolapse) can lead to loss of urine (incontinence) or sensations of vaginal pressure. These symptoms may interfere with sexual desire or activity in some women.

Medical issues — Almost any serious or chronic medical problem can impact a woman's sexual desire and responsiveness. Problems such as coronary artery disease and arthritis can affect a woman's physical ability to have sex. Indeed, arthritis has been identified in some studies as a common cause of sexual inactivity in the United States.

Women with cancer can experience discomfort and fatigue, due to both the disease and its treatments, which impacts sexual function. Changes in body image, especially after surgery on the breasts or other intimate areas, can contribute to sexual problems in women with cancer.

Other conditions such as Parkinson disease, complications of diabetes, or alcohol and drug abuse can impair arousal and ability to experience orgasm.

Psychiatric or emotional problems may also impact sexual function, either due to the disease itself or its treatment (see below). Depression is one of the most common causes of decreased libido and other sexual disorders in women.

Medications — Both prescription and nonprescription medications can alter sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm. This may include:

  • Beta blockers (used to treat high blood pressure)
  • Many antidepressants (especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • Some antipsychotic medications (used for psychiatric problems as well as sleep disorders and other conditions)

It is not clear if hormonal medications, such as birth control pills and menopausal hormone therapy, affect sexuality. Studies have shown mixed results, with some studies showing that hormonal medications have no effect while others showing worsening or improvement of sexual problems in women who take hormonal medications.

Surgery — Certain surgeries can affect a woman's sexual response. In particular, surgeries of the breast or the reproductive organs can change how a woman feels about her body, particularly if there is an underlying diagnosis such as cancer that led to the surgery.

 

 

TREATMENT OF SEXUAL PROBLEMS — A number of treatments are available for women with sexual problems. In many cases, a combination of treatments is most effective.

Manage stress and relationship issues — Stress, fatigue, lack of privacy, personal values, and religious beliefs can all impact sexuality. Conflict in a relationship and difficulties with communication also are a significant cause of decreased sexual desire and response for women. Working with a professional counselor or sex therapist can help individuals and couples reduce stress and strengthen their relationships.

Most couples have better sex while on vacation, demonstrating the importance of reducing stress and fatigue to improve sexual satisfaction. Couples who have more fun together outside of the bedroom typically have more fun in the bedroom, so establishing a regular "date night" and increasing the frequency of special outings and vacations is an effective treatment for many sexual problems.

Counseling, books, and web sites help couples communicate better about their sexual needs and differences, understand the causes of their difficulties, and provide treatment suggestions. If there are underlying physical problems (eg, pelvic pain), getting these problems under control also may help to improve sexual difficulties.

Treat vaginal dryness — Women with vaginal dryness or discomfort may benefit from using a long-acting non-hormonal vaginal moisturizer several times weekly. Lubricant use with intercourse also increases comfort and pleasure. Postmenopausal women generally will benefit for use of low dose vaginal estrogen therapy.

Treat painful sex — Many women who have pain with sex have tight and tender muscles and connective tissue in the pelvis, lower belly, thighs, groin, and buttocks.

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) can help to decrease tightness in these muscles. This type of PT is quite different from physical therapy intended to treat a knee injury or back pain, which usually works to increase muscle strength.

With pelvic floor PT, the physical therapist works on your body to manually "release" the tightness and tender points of the connective tissues and muscles. This includes the muscles and tissues of the vagina or rectum, abdomen, hips, thighs, and lower back. Physical therapists who perform this type of PT must be specially trained in pelvic soft tissue manipulation and rehabilitation.

Often painful sex is due to involuntary tightening of the muscles of the vaginal wall, called “vaginismus.” This is best treated by purchasing a set of vaginal dilators and gently stretching the vagina over several months. A well-lubricated dilator of the appropriate size should be placed in the vagina several times for 5 to 10 minutes nightly. The size of the dilator is gradually increased until intercourse is once again comfortable. These exercises are best guided by a gynecologist or pelvic floor physical therapist.

Deal with sexual side effects of medications — If you have sexual side effects from a medicine, speak with your healthcare provider about options for reducing or eliminating this problem.

Options for women who have side effects from an antidepressant medication include trying a reduced dose or change in type of antidepressant medication. Bupropion (Wellbutrin®), Nefazodone (Serzone®), mirtazapine (Remeron®), or duloxetine (Cymbalta®) are antidepressant medications that have few or no sexual side effects, and can sometimes be used in addition to or in place of your current medication. Talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes in your medications.

Carefully consider androgens — Androgens, such as testosterone, are sex hormones that are produced in the testes and adrenal glands in men and the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. In men, androgens are responsible for producing typical male characteristics, such as facial hair, as well as feelings of desire and arousal.

However, the role of androgens in female sexuality is not clear. Androgen levels decline with aging, so all postmenopausal women have low blood levels of androgens. Studies of postmenopausal women with low sexual desire associated with distress and no other identifiable cause have shown that testosterone treatment may result in small but significant improvements in sexual desire and response. Although studies of a testosterone patch showed benefit, studies of a testosterone gel showed no benefit compared with a placebo gel. No androgen products are approved for the treatment of women with sexual dysfunction in the United States due to the lack of data regarding long term safety.

Testosterone — Testosterone products are sometimes used "off-label" to treat sexual problems in women. These products include testosterone skin patches, gels, creams or ointments, pills, implants, and injections. Testosterone doses provided by these formulations are often too high for women, increasing the likelihood of side effects. Testosterone is not recommended for premenopausal women.

Testosterone skin patches designed for women are available in Europe for postmenopausal women with decreased sexual desire. Studies of the testosterone patch have been completed in the United States, although further study of long-term safety will be required before these products are approved.

Women who are considering use of testosterone should discuss the possible side effects of this treatment with their healthcare provider.

DHEA — Studies on the use of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), available as a nutritional supplement in the United States, have shown that DHEA can improve sexual interest and satisfaction in some women whose adrenal glands no longer function (adrenal insufficiency).

However, DHEA is not proven to be safe or effective for other women, and it is not generally recommended. In addition, DHEA is produced as a nutritional supplement, and the amount of hormone may vary from one pill or bottle to another.

Androgen side effects — Side effects of testosterone treatment are a concern; androgens can increase hair growth on the body and face and cause scalp hair loss, oily skin, acne, irreversible deepening of the voice, liver problems, and high cholesterol levels. In addition, because testosterone is converted to estrogen in a woman's body, there may be an increased risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, leg and lung clots, and stroke. Women who take androgens should be monitored closely for side effects. They also must be aware that long-term safety is unknown.

Erectile dysfunction medications — Medications commonly used for men with erectile problems, including sildenafil (Viagra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), or vardenafil (Levitra®), have not been shown to improve sexual function in women and are not usually recommended. The only exception to this is in women who take certain antidepressant medications who have difficulty achieving orgasm and who cannot switch to another antidepressant medication; an erectile dysfunction medication may be helpful in this situation.

Treatments that are unproven

Herbal therapies — Many women are interested in trying  herbal supplements, which are advertised to increase sexual desire and pleasure. More studies are needed to assess whether herbal therapies are safe and effective. Some herbal supplements may improve sexual function, but the production of herbs is not regulated by the government, and it is not always possible to know that an herbal product contains the type and quantity of ingredient that the label indicates, or that it is free of potentially dangerous additives.

Surgical treatments — Surgery is very rarely necessary to make the vagina "better" for sex. Women with abnormalities of the vagina, who have had female circumcision (also known as female genital mutilation), and those with traumatic injuries from childbirth are a few groups that may benefit from careful surgical treatment.

All women should be wary of advertisements for "vaginal rejuvenation surgery"; these procedures can be costly and painful, may result in painful intercourse, and are permanent, and are unlikely to improve a woman's or her partner's sexual enjoyment.

 

 

Large gaps remain in our understanding of female sexual function and treatment options remain limited. Hopefully, continued research will lead to improved understanding of the neurobiological pathways involved in sexual desire and help identify potential therapeutic targets.

It is important to understand that sexual wellbeing doesn't refer to a sexual stimulated state. Sexual wellbeing simply means having more vitality, a healthy metabolism which naturally helps in maintaining optimum weight, stronger muscles, improved fitness and stamina for leading the dynamic life.

We have devised a holistic fitness and emotional well-being program to increase your energy levels, and to re-establish a natural hormonal balance that is crucial to feminine wellbeing. This program helps you assess and improve your health, increase your alertness, learning ability and memory, regain your emotive expression and warmth as cornerstones of women's psychology. Additionally, with improved mental and emotional wellbeing, you will find that your mental and emotional threshold for stress is going up, your mental and emotional reserve is better. You can manage and navigate your path in a smoother and better manner even in stressful situations. On top, we will take care of your youthful feminine looks both from inside and outside.

Thursday
Sep062012

The Fat Trap

The Dolder Grand

Health Care &
Rejuvenation

 

PD Dr. Rainer Arendt
Internal Medicine & Cardiology FMH
Prevention & Regenerative Medicine 

Timeea-Laura Burci
Lifestyle Coach & Jin Shin Jyutsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on a piece by TARA PARKER-POPE, nytimes December 28, 2011

 

Nobody wants to be fat. In most modern cultures, even if you are healthy, to be fat is to be perceived as weak-willed and lazy. It’s also just embarrassing. If anything, the emerging science of weight loss teaches us that perhaps we should rethink our biases about people who are overweight. It is true that people who are overweight get that way because they eat too many calories relative to what their bodies need. But a number of biological and genetic factors can play a role in determining exactly how much food is too much for any given individual.

Photo by Karen Kasmauski

While the public discussion about weight loss tends to come down to which diet works best (actually the one with the best evidence is Mediterranean, and it is not even a diet, it is an eating style), those who have tried and failed at diets know there is no simple answer. Fat to a lesser degrees, but sugar and carbohydrates in processed foods are certainly culprits in the obesity problem. But there is tremendous variation in an individual’s response.

The view of obesity as primarily a biological, rather than psychological, disease could also lead to changes in the way we approach its treatment. Scientists at Columbia have conducted several small studies looking at whether injecting people with leptin, the hormone made by body fat, can override the body’s resistance to weight loss and help maintain a lower weight. In a few small studies, leptin injections appear to trick the body into thinking it’s still fat. After leptin replacement, study subjects burned more calories during activity. And in brain-scan studies, leptin injections appeared to change how the brain responded to food, making it seem less enticing.

Given how hard it is to lose weight, it’s clear, from a public-health standpoint, that resources would best be focused on preventing weight gain. The research underscores the urgency of national efforts to get children to exercise and eat healthful foods.

But with a third of the U.S. adult population classified as obese, nobody is saying people who already are very overweight should give up on weight loss. Instead, the solution may be to preach a more realistic goal. Studies suggest that even a 5 percent weight loss can lower a person’s risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems associated with obesity. There is also speculation that the body is more willing to accept small amounts of weight loss.

But an obese person who loses just 5 percent of her body weight will still very likely be obese. For a 113 kg (250 pound) woman, a 5 percent weight loss of about 5 kg (12 pounds) probably won’t even change her clothing size. Losing a few pounds may be good for the body, but it does very little for the spirit and is unlikely to change how fat people feel about themselves or how others perceive them.

So where does that leave a person who wants to lose a sizable amount of weight?



For us, understanding the science of weight loss and learning that there are factors other than character at work when it comes to gaining and losing weight, has had a liberating effect. We have completely changed our clinic’s program of making you drop excess pounds in a short time. Instead, we have built our novel weight loss program on biological therapies and neuroscience-based coaching to reverse the neurochemistry of the fat trap.


Our MEDICAL WELLNESS "weight balance and rejuvenation" program
at THE DOLDER GRAND, Zurich may be booked for a long weekend or one to three weeks with regular shorter boosters over the next two years.


Important elements of our programs are:

an individual check-up examination at the Double Check facilities

personal physical training 1:1 with spa coaches and physiotherapists

personal nutritional training with our chefs 

life coaching incl. Gestalt desktop constellation for personal stocktaking and life course adjustment

transient pharmacological therapy for suppressing appetite

hormonal or herbal treatments for rejuvenation

outdoor sports and excursions to the Alps ("magical Switzerland tours") with increasing fitness levels

rejuvenation therapy (detoxification and chelation treatment)

aesthetic surgery consultations

aesthetic dermatology consultations

bariatric surgery consultations at the University Hospital Zurich if requested

“deep trance" rejuvenation and body repair with two therapists (male and female), experience how the mind and special neuro-imagination techniques shape the body, increase metabolism and suppress appetite 

Saturday
Apr212012

We are what we do - Exercise changes the DNA

The Dolder Grand

Health Care &
Rejuvenation

 

PD Dr. Rainer Arendt
Internal Medicine & Cardiology FMH
Prevention & Regenerative Medicine 

Timeea-Laura Burci
Lifestyle Coach & Jin Shin Jyutsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

http://www.youngadventuress.com/2010/10/snowy-peaks-swiss-alps.html 

 

We often say 'You are what you eat.' Well, your genetic code also adapts to what you do.

The genetic heredity a person is born with isn't that impossible to change as one might think. In a new study in Cell Metabolism, researchers of Karolinska Institutet show that when healthy but inactive men and women are made to exercise it actually alters their DNA - in a matter of minutes.

The underlying genetic code stays the same. However, the DNA molecules within the muscle cells gets chemically and structurally altered in very particular ways, by gaining or losing marks of methyl groups on certain familiar DNA sequences. Those so called epigenetic modifications to the DNA, at precise locations, appear to be an important part of the physiological benefits of exercise.

"Our muscles are really plastic," says Juleen Zierath, Professor of Clinical Integrative Physiology at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery of Karolionska. "Well, muscle adapts to what you do. If you don't use it, you lose it and this is one of the mechanisms that allow that to happen."

The current study in Cell Metabolism shows that the DNA within skeletal muscle taken from people after a burst of exercise bears fewer methyl groups than it did before exercise. Those changes occur in stretches of DNA that serve as landing sites for different kinds of enzymes, called transcription factors, which in turn are involved in turning 'on' genes already known to be important in muscles' adaptation to exercise.

Juleen Zierath likens transcription factors to keys that unlock our genes. With those methyl groups firmly in place, transcription factor 'keys' are prevented from entering those DNA 'locks'. But when the methyl groups are removed, it allows the keys to turn the locks and boosts the capacity of muscle for work.

"Exercise is already known to induce changes in muscle, including increased metabolism of sugar and fat", Zierath says, "Our discovery is that the methylation change comes first."

When the researchers made muscles contract in lab dishes, they saw a similar loss of methyl groups. Exposure of those muscles to caffeine had the same effect as well, as caffeine induces a release of calcium in a way that mimics the muscle contraction that comes with exercise. However, the researchers don't recommend anyone to drink a cup of coffee in place of exercise, as it isn't clear that caffeine has all the other beneficial effects of exercise.

"Exercise is medicine, and it seems the means to alter our epigenomes for better health may be only a jog away", says Juleen Zierath.

 

Even modest to moderate exercise is associated with several beneficial health outcomes, including a decreased risk of obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and all-cause mortality. Exercise may also increase the likelihood of stopping tobacco use; reduce disability for activities of daily living in older persons; delay cognitive decline in older adults; and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

A screening medical evaluation for coronary heart disease prior to starting exercise is recommended for symptomatic or moderate-to-high risk individuals.

 

 

We suggest that all healthy adults incorporate moderate to vigorous exercise into their lifestyle, e.g., cardio-respiratory endurance training (walking, running, swimming, or bicycling) as an interval training three to four times per week, for 45-60 min, well in the aerobic range (to be determined individually by ergospirometry = exercise ECG testing with ventilatory gas analysis), e.g., slow-fast-slow-fast (walk-run-walk-run) alternating for 2 min each, with 2-3 sprints of 50 to 100 m at maximum speed interspersed, in addition, for 20 min. daily muscle strengthening exercises, Pilates, or weight lifting in the gym, ideally with a personal instructor, or whole body vibration training (Physionic training by Swiss Physio www.swissphysio.com).

 

 

But just telling people what to do doesn't always work. So we have developed a NeuroLeadership-based coaching method that makes it easier for people to change behaviour, setting goals that can be reached by small, simple steps, creating internal awards for positive behaviours which incidentally help them to do more.

 

References:

Romain Barrès, Jie Yan, Brendan Egan, Jonas Thue Treebak, Morten Rasmussen, Tomas Fritz, Kenneth Caidahl, Anna Krook, Donal J. O'Gorman & Juleen R Zierath: Acute Exercise Remodels Promoter Methylation in Human Skeletal Muscle. Cell Metabolism, online ahead of print 7 March 2012

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-the-benefits-and-risks-of-exercise?source=search_result&search=exercise+health+benefits&selectedTitle=1%7E150#H38

http://www.thedoldergrand.com/fileadmin/user_upload/thedoldergrand.com/factsheets/Spa/SpaMenu_e.pdf