SEX!—A Chiropractic Perspective
by Dr. Nicolas Campos
|What year is it again? Oh yeah. Isn’t it surprising that in 2008 sex still seems to be a topic of discomfort for some people? Even as some of our most celebrated vixens popularize pantyless posing, and a big-name governor has been busted buying sex for beaucoup bucks, you would think the subject is no longer that big of a deal—yet it is. Chalk it up to our Puritanical roots, but in the U.S. sex is still taboo. But let’s get with it, moralists—sex is a part of life, a crucial part if I may add.
Biologically speaking, sexual reproduction is the only way to continue life—for now anyway. Our single-celled ancestors had the ability to reproduce asexually—that is, through binary fission or budding. An organism that reproduces in this manner simply creates a genetically identical copy of itself, which breaks or buds off the original. But for us more complex organisms, sex is it. So what’s the big deal?
I guess since some people actually get enjoyment from sex—and for some this can lead to trouble—many religious teachings have put moral restrictions on sexuality. Oh well. Let me just say that as a chiropractic health practitioner, I not only recognize the absolute necessity of being able to function sexually, but I also know that our sexual enjoyment is directly related to how our body feels and functions. Send me to hell right now, but I would like to discuss the skinny on your sexual health as it relates to your physical body.
The Pelvic Region and Sacrum
When discussing sexual function I think it’s appropriate to start with the pelvic region, since this is where our sexual organs lie. And if you know anything about the chakra system, then you’ll recognize that the second chakra—or reproductive chakra—lies in the sacral region.
The pelvis as a bony structure is made up of three bones, the ilium, ischium and pubis. The pelvis attaches to the sacrum through the sacroiliac joints (SI joints). The SI joints allow the forward and backward rotation that occurs as you lift your legs to walk, bend forward, swim, dance, or yes…have sex. Joints can get stuck—we called it a subluxation—causing lack of movement, inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain.
Sacroiliac subluxation is one of the most common causes of low back pain; and if you’ve been under my care, then you are probably very familiar with an SI joint adjustment—ah, what a relief it is. Obviously, a subluxated SI joint will have some consequence on your ability to perform sexually. If it’s real bad—you know, chronic—then, you probably aren’t doing too much forward and backward rotation in bed or anywhere else for that matter.
The sacrum is another structure in the pelvic region that can affect you physically, functionally, and sexually. The sacrum sits at the base of the spine and is wedged between the pelvic bones. It has an intricate network of nerves that come off spinal cord and pass through the sacral openings. The sacral plexus, as it is called, innervates (controls) many muscles of the buttocks and legs, as well as the bladder and sexual organs. Sexual stimulation—the sensations of sex—are processed by the nerves of the sacral plexus.
Problems of the sacrum, then, can cause all kinds of maladies from sciatica to incontinence to sexual dysfunction. In chiropractic we know that a sacral subluxation is painful. When acute it can make any movement of the lower body excruciating—sitting, standing, walking, everything. I know firsthand how painful these subluxations can be since it’s one of my major dysfunctions. I sometimes nearly crawl out of my skin when my sacrum is locked up—it’s that painful.
Low Back Pain and the Lumbar Spine
We all know that when our partner says he or she has a headache it’s another way of saying, “Not tonight.” But when it’s back pain they claim, they are probably not faking it. Low back pain can cause even the most passionate Casanovas to take a rain check. When the checks keep pouring in, though, night after night, week after week, then you know it’s got to be serious. Whether from a herniated disk or chronically subluxated lumbar joints, people with severely acute or agonizingly chronic low back pain aren’t thinking about sex. If you’ve never had low back pain before consider yourself lucky. If you have, then you know—it ain’t happening tonight, dear.
The lumbar spine is the gateway to the lower torso. It supplies nerve roots to the legs through the sciatic nerve, and is responsible for the sensory component of our hips and thighs. The lumbar plexus also provides innervation to our sexual organs, so problems in the lumbar spine can have consequences with our ability to feelsexual stimulation. Worse yet, it can lead to dyspareunia (pronounced dis-p-uh–roo-nee-uh), or painful intercourse.
The Sexual Organs
The sexual organs include all the anatomical parts necessary for reproduction, including the ovaries and uterus in women, and the testes in men. Genitalia, on the other hand, refer to the externally visible sex organs. The genitals are highly sensitive structures that receive sensory input from the lumbar and sacral plexuses. Any sort of compromise to the sensitive nerve supply to these organs can affect sexual function and pleasure.
The health of the sexual organs like all other organs, muscles and tissues of the body depend on proper nutrition, regular physical fitness, a properly functioning musculoskeletal system, adequate rest, balanced mental and emotional wellbeing, and the avoidance of many known toxins (cigarette smoke, excessive drugs and alcohol, and many prescription medications). When sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction (ED) occur, the causes could be many. By practicing healthy habits (pick up a copy of my new book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health ) your sexual organs should be fully functioning and pleasure producing throughout your lifetime.
The Sex Chakra
Chakras are the body’s energy centers where energy flows in and out, not so much in a physical way, but instead as streams of consciousness. The chakras open and close as a response to what we think, how we feel, and how we perceive the world around us. We have seven chakras, each with its own distinct aspects. The one I’m interested in here is the second chakra, or sex chakra, located in the sacral region.
The sex chakra is also known as the sensation center—no surprise considering the vast array of nerves controlling the sexual regions discussed above. Its color is orange (see thisdescriptive web page on the subject). The body parts associated with this chakra are the sexual organs, the genitals, and the lumbar plexus. Interestingly, the energetic senses of this chakra are the appetite and the sense of taste—probably why sex and food go so well together. The consciousness association of this chakra is with what the body wants and needs, and what it finds pleasurable. Reproduction and the ability to have children are associated with this chakra. Any difficulty in conceiving may be a result of a blockage in this chakra—something to consider if all other medical reasons have been measured and cleared. The emotional association with this chakra is one’s willingness to feel one’s emotions. Opening this chakra can be achieved by various methods, including meditation, energy work, and Kundalini yoga.
How Chiropractic Can Help
As you can see, many different physical—and energetic—components of the body affect your sex life. Chronic subluxations, tight low back muscles, herniated disks, and even closed sex chakras can hamper your ability to perform and enjoy sex. When it comes to musculoskeletal rebalancing and neurological maintenance, nothing beats chiropractic as a natural and effective way to synchronize your body, and ultimately, your sex life.
By removing subluxations, chiropractic helps restore proper joint motion, especially at the SI joints, so vital for smooth pelvic movements. Chiropractic is also unbeatable at treating the acute and debilitating low back pain of herniated disks. Lumbar spine mobility is key to enjoying an active sex life, and chiropractic can do wonders to get yours back.
Through regular chiropractic adjustments, your nervous system is freed from any and all interference, allowing it to function optimally. Optimal neurological functioning is essential in determining your ability to experience sensual pleasure (through sensory receptors on you genitalia), your ability to feel arousal (through your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems—really, read my book!), and your ability to execute (heart function, lung function, and muscle function—all important in sexual performance).
And finally, we chiropractors know that we don’t just adjust your physical systems—there’s an energetic component to all healing. The chakra system is one of the channels chiropractic can help open. By removing nerve interference caused by subluxations, their concomitant inflammatory responses and muscle spasms, the neurological channels—and thus the chakras—are opened as well. At least with regard to the sex chakra, the benefits of chiropractic can prime it for other, more involved, opening techniques as we have discussed above.
So if you’ve been having trouble getting up for sex, either due to pain, weakness, the inability to move, or a lack of energy or desire, then try chiropractic care. It’s safe; it’s effective; and it’s natural; and it addresses more physical aspects of sexuality than any other method available. If yours is a physical or energetic issue, chiropractic should help you return to a normal sex life. Give it a try—you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. There. Now I’m off to hell.
– May 20, 2008