Sexual Impotence – What to Do about it!

Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash

This page on sexual impotence and its treatment explains how and why impotence occurs and what YOU can do about it.

Please realise that Chinese medicine is a big subject!


Syndromes are patterns of imbalance


All those links to pages for you to read, coming so close to the start of this page, may be a bit daunting!

After all, you’re interested in regaining, or invigorating, your sexual energy and ability. Or erectile dysfunction is a problem.

The life energies you want treatment for are at the root of Chinese medicine and they take a bit of explaining.

Basic concepts

The words sexual impotence treatment apply more to men than to women. For men, the problem is often erectile dysfunction and there are various reasons for this.

That’s not to say that women don’t also want to feel sexually aroused and to enjoy sex, of course! However, in Chinese medicine the female sexual system is more complicated than the male!

He has only one thing to do. Males are programmed to want to donate their sperm as widely as possible.

She has usually a more rounded set of needs.

For satisfaction she must invest energy in choosing her partner, arranging circumstances and the time of month so that she enjoys the build-up and the sex more, then – assuming fertilisation – nourishing the foetus and growing it for 9 months.
Following that she has to give birth. Fortunately she seldom remembers this – so powerful is it in obliterating her real experience.


Photo by Luma Pimentel


Then she must feed and bring up her baby, for at least several years. It’s quite a commitment!

All this is often somewhere in her mind when seeking sex, though some women are keen to have sex, and forget the rest. But not all cultures are as ‘liberated’ as others, so if you don’t agree with this perhaps your circumstances are different.

Sexual energy, in both sexes, depends on:

  • Desire, which in Chinese medicine comes from Mingmen
  • Kidney Yang to provide the energy for Mingmen to function
  • Free movement of Qi
  • Adequate Blood
  • Being able to relax and enjoy it (Shen Mind)


The role of Exhaustion, Old Age and Infirmity in Sexual Impotence

Mingmen and Kidney Yang problems come mostly from exhaustion, old age or infirmity. As you age, you use up your Mingmen supplies.

The Chinese (both ancient and modern) have spent a huge amount of time, thought, experimentation and entrepreneurial energy in trying to find ways to slow this process!

But, when it’s gone, it’s gone. 

Young people have good supplies usually of Ming men and Kidney Yang. When they don’t, it is usually a genetic inheritance problem or caused by illness or exhaustion.

  • If due to illness or exhaustion, you need a period of convalescence. 
  • If due to a genetic inheritance problem, good treatment may be able to help: or not – it depends.


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Kidney Yang, can often be helped. But even then, if Mingmen is weak, not a lot can happen. So this page is more about how to help

  • weak Kidney Yang
  • Qi movement
  • Blood
  • Shen Mind

Question for Men

When you wake in the morning, do you get an erection?


Sexual impotence erection
Photo by Darius Bashar

If you do, then there is not much wrong with your Mingmen, Kidney Yang or supply of Blood.

When you get a good morning erection but it fails with your sexual partner, probably your problem is due to


If you do not get an erection in the morning or during the night, or can only get an erection on very good days, your Mingmen and Kidney Yang energy has been reduced by exhaustion, infirmity or age.

If you get an erection but it’s weak, it might be because of reduced Mingmen or Kidney Yang (this occurs in men who ejaculate too often), or it could be due to Blood stasis. or Blood deficiency:

Blood deficiency comes in various forms, such as:


Which treatments help Sexual Impotence?

Before we get on to treatment, there is often a great deal you should do to help yourself. This may solve the problem without needing sexual impotence treatment of any kind.

Mingmen deficient

Every man on Earth would like to have stronger Mingmen! The Chinese are not the only race to have been searching for the solution for millennia. There are many suggestions from different cultures all round the world.

Good nutrition is important, especially as you age. If you eat poor food your body will under-function or could even be poisoning yourself. Good food choices can make an enormous difference to health and sexual energy. How and when you eat are also very important.

There are herbs and acupuncture points that help your body work more efficiently. Whether they actually increase your Mingmen is more doubtful. But even making it work better is a boon.

YOU can do something about it though! See below.

Kidney Yang Deficient

Burning Firewood: symbol of yang needed when there is sexual impotence
Photo by Luke Porter on Unsplash


Your Kidneys derive their energy from your Mingmen. As the latter decreases, so does your Kidney energy.

Your Kidneys have two aspects to their energy, Yin and Yang. (You may like to read Balancing Yin and Yang to understand these ideas.) You want plenty of both. You see it in healthy young adults and pre-pubescent youths. As well as having enough of both, you want them to be in balance.

When Yang is deficient, you get tiredness and a tendency to depression, slowness and cold, none of which helps virility and leads to erectile dysfunction for men and low libido in both sexes.

Sexual impotence treatment for Kidney Yang can be via acupuncture and herbs. Some forms of massage along the channels of acupuncture can encourage it too.

You make Kidney Yang weaker by allowing yourself to suffer from coldTOO MUCH cold weakens Yang.

Some people can stimulate their yang energy by learning the benefits of cold showersA LITTLE cold strengthens yang.

Various activities dissipate your yang energy.

  • too little sleep
  • over-stimulation too often (such as from drugs or caffeine) and so on. Read more at Kidney Yang deficiency.


Movement of Qi and Sexual Impotence

If Qi can move and transform, you are healthy. When Qi is deficient you lack energy either to do things or to change your circumstances.

Qi deficiency causes many kinds of ill-health, including sexual impotence.

However, Qi deficiency is only one syndrome. When Qi stagnates it manifests as tension, a kind of warring with your self.


Qi Stagnation and Sexual Impotence

This inner war is a common cause of sexual impotence or lack of virility in both sexes.
It is more of a problem for men, who find they don’t get an erection (eg erectile dysfunction) – so it’s pretty obvious.
For women, Qi stagnation means they go off sex. Occasionally very vigorous foreplay (exercise moves qi) engenders desire and enjoyment again.
In fact, for both sexes, vigorous exercise beforehand may help to ease the stress of qi stagnation. But not if it exhausts you.

Qi stagnation occurs, 95% of the time, from inner emotional conflict.

  • arguments
  • fear
  • grief
  • worry
  • loss of confidence
  • (… just some examples …)


Qi stagnation disrupts the flow of energy along the channels, especially the Liver channel. This wraps round the genitals and when stagnating, prevents natural blood flow to the area.

It causes all sorts of other problems, tension and cramps, often in your abdomen. You become less relaxed, more ‘touchy’.

It makes you harder to live with, so your partner feels at a disadvantage, and more difficult to get in the right mood.

If Qi stagnation is the cause of your sexual impotence, there’s lots you can do about it.

For more on this read our page on it.

Here are a few of them:

  • talk about your problem
  • although a very little alcohol helps some, more does not
  • avoid greasy, oily, fried or spicy food (as well as any other foods that you know put you at a disadvantage)


Exercise can help sexual impotence
Exercise for Health
  • find a form of exercise that you enjoy, that gets you out of breath and after which you feel relaxed and comfortable.
  • Getting fitter will automatically improve sexual health.
  • Good exercise eases tensions. 
  • Read Qi Stagnation  Signs of Stress.

Sleep, Rest and Sexual Energy


Koala sleeping - sleep helps mend sexual impotence
“All Time Not Spent in Sleep is Wasted” Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Sleep is the best way to recover energy and repair Blood stores. Regular, deep sleep is one of the best things you can do for sexual impotence.

If regular, deep sleep is impossible, take naps – short periods of light sleep – through the day. But deep restful sleep at night is best.

If you find sleeping is a problem, check our page on Insomnia.

If your sleep is disturbed, what happens – in Chinese medicine – is that your Liver can’t ‘store your Blood’.

Guess what?! Your Liver checks its Blood supplies just as you’re getting ready for sex. 

Rest and sleep are when your Liver stores your Blood. So without enough rest or sleep, the cupboard will be bare.

That means no Blood to provide the swelling you’ll be needing.

That’s no use is it?

So make sure you get your sleep!

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The Role of Blood in Sexual Impotence

Without enough blood in the right place at the right time, nothing much happens, does it?! No tumescence, that means things don’t swell, so for men, erectile dysfunction and in due course, for women, very little pleasure.

For more on this, read the page on Blood. There is lots you can do to improve your Blood. Most advertised sexual elixirs work on this principal, so nothing new there.

But, many of them miss the point.

1. Remove stuff from your diet that damages you.

No, this doesn’t mean no fags and less alcohol, although it means that too. It means look at what you eat and make it more balanced. For example, it’s true that sugar does have health benefits, but only when you are ill and weakened. Not every day!

If you take lots of sugar every day you weaken yourself.

(How? you ask? Sugar weakens your Spleen. That includes your gastro-intestinal tract and most of your immune system. Your Spleen is first in line when it comes to making Blood. So sugar weakens your digestion which leads to deficient Blood.)

2. Learn to eat a more regulated diet.

More ‘regulated’ means doing what your grandmother would have said. (Incidentally, this helps your Spleen.)

That means 

  • eating at regular times
  • eating slowly
  • chewing well
  • eating in relaxed surroundings
  • eating when calm, not angry
  • not eating a large meal before bedtime
  • eating early rather than later in the evening
  • eating enough, not too much nor too little. This is more important than you may think. Over-eating weakens your Spleen but it does other things too. If you stuff your abdomen with food, your lungs can’t expand which means you can’t breathe oxygen as you should. That little extra oxygen from full, proper, breathing, could make all the difference you need. (Of course, good exercise helps everything work better.)



Glass of water. A simple way for men with sexual impotence.
Photo by Clint McKoy on Unsplash


3. Liquids.

Blood is a liquid, I hope you’ll agree. A high proportion of it is water.

Do you drink enough water? OR do you eat enough fruit and vegetables to provide the moisture your body needs? 

Beware too much fruit because it may contain too much sugar which is harmful to your Spleen, as mentioned. And too much sugar could give you diabetes, which rottens your circulation. (Yes, I’ve had patients who became diabetic from eating nothing but very sweet fruit for months!)  Men, you need good circulation for healthy erections!

But you don’t need to drink so much that your urine is colourless and you are forever needing to pee. If your urine is already colourless most of the time, you are probably drinking enough. Doesn’t matter if it’s a bit darker when waking after a good night’s sleep.

Also, Blood is not made of alcohol. In fact, alcohol poisons Blood AND alcohol is a diuretic, making you pee out fluids you need for good Blood.

And don’t forget, the inside of your body is mostly liquid and, to work, relies on having enough liquid. Both a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm depend absolutely on adequate fluid supplies!

You get that fluid by absorbing it gradually from what you eat, not from gulping litres of fluid which you’ll pee out soon after. In food, the liquid is soaked up along with the nutrients, over time. Soups and stews make good food, say the Chinese, being both warm and nutritious. Take Clogstoun Congee regularly!

4. Reduce diuretics,

Diuretics make you pee out the fluids you need during sex. Diuretics include alcohol, coffee and tea; and many medications. Peeing clears your system of fluid. Some of this fluid, men and women, you need for swelling your sexual apparatus and for enjoyment!

5. Food.

(At last, you say!) But if you are otherwise healthy, and doing as mentioned above, you’re already half-way there. So yes, food is important, obviously. Look at our page on Blood Building foods. Then read our page on Nutrition. Then read our page on Supplements. There’s quite a bit of reading there.

6.Allow Time for Self-Help to work

Do the above for a reasonable period of time (several months). You should start feeling much better in yourself; more confident; more sexual and sexually confident.

7.Only then… !

Only if you’re sure you’ve done all the above and you still have sexual impotence should you seek other methods, including expensive sexual elixirs, on which the people marketing them will persuade you to spend a notable proportion of your wealth.

8.Better than Elixirs …

Instead of elixirs, consider treatment for impotence, as below.

9. Treatment for Sexual Impotence

So you’ve read all the above and done all as suggested, and still nothing?

OK, treatment will help. For example:

A possible point used for Heart Qi stagnation
Acupuncture at the top of the back, useful sometimes for Heart Qi stagnation.

If you’re doing as suggested above, there are many acupuncture ways to balance your system and make it more efficient. The aim being to decrease sexual impotence and improve virility.


Back Massage, how Bowen works
Image by Mariolh from Pixabay


  • Herbs. As with acupuncture, there are herbal ways to improve the way your body works and Chinese herbalists (like acupuncturists) have been in high demand for this for centuries.


Chinese herbs making a prescription
Chinese herbs


How to Waste Money and Time (your Money and your practitioner’s Time)

Please, don’t waste money and time on treatment for sexual impotence unless you have done something about the important matters mentioned above.
You can even antidote a good treatment by taking drugs, or from too much alcohol or from not sorting out emotional conflicts!

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