From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, Yin and Yang are the way of heaven and of earth. But the relationship between the two is complex, as it is believed that heaven and earth were separated in humans, making them suffer an eternal death. However, Yin and Yang essences merge once again through intercourse, reuniting heaven and earth, and thus defying death.
During intercourse, the feminine Yin sexual energy and the masculine Yang energy combine and nurture each other. Water cools the scorching fire and, in doing so, is warmed by its heat. As Yin and Yang are present in all of us, this is true regardless of our gender or orientation.
The Balance of Yin and Yang for Better Sex
Stronger sex is a balance between Yin, bodily substance and Yang, bodily function. The Yang squeezes the blood vessels, propelling the Yin blood through the arteries and to the genitals. The Yang Qi controls Yin blood in the vessels. The hot Yang excites our sexual passions, and the Yin blood fills the sex organs. When the vessels are blocked, as with plaque accumulation, sexual function declines. Alternatively, when Qi is insufficient to conduct strong reliable nerve signals, pleasure decreases and less blood is directed to the sexual organs.
The Role of Diet for Sexual Support: Focus on the Kidneys
Ancient Chinese physicians, such as the famous Sun Si-Miao, recommended using dietary therapy as the very first approach in internal medicine. Sex drive comes from the ministerial fire between our kidneys. A diet for sex cares for the kidneys, and also for the physical manifestation of essence, semen and menses. Such a diet luxuriates the vessels, allowing for the abundant free flow of Qi and blood throughout the body.
As an Acupuncturist, we can comfortably incorporate both modern research and Traditional Chinese Medicine theory in our dietary recommendations to patients. We know from both, for example, that rich, cloying, greasy foods block Qi by causing accumulation in the vessels.
Nourishing sexual health, on the other hand, is achieved by balancing the "five flavors". Unfortunately, our hectic modern lifestyles favor the sweet and salty flavors, neglecting other core flavors, especially the bitter flavor, represented in leaves such as spinach.
Leafy Greens for Better Sex
A diet rich with leafy greens support sexual health in countless ways. For example, science has demonstrated that they reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol can sabotage testosterone, which is vital to male and female sexual health.
Leafy greens also soften the delicate inner lining of blood vessels, allowing them to deliver adequate blood flow to genitals. Their abundant antioxidants strengthen nerve conduction, which means more pleasure in response to the touch of a partner. Lettuces are also abundant in potassium. In traditional times, humans used to take in about 10 times the amount of potassium as sodium in our diets. Now, with all the processed foods we eat, it is the opposite. We eat about 10 times as much sodium as potassium. This great imbalance wreaks havoc on the channels delivering Qi and blood to the sex organs.
In my book, Diet for Great Sex: Food for Male and Female Sexual Health, I discuss modern research, while honoring Traditional Chinese wisdom, to uncover "the Tao of eating for great sex". The art of sex, or merging of the Yin and Yang, is cultivated by thoughtfully caring for one’s body, allowing for the free flow of life’s vital substances, Qi, blood and Jing. Through this thoughtful self-care, we can strengthen our vital force, as we awaken from death, reuniting heaven and earth.
Interested in learning more? You can buy this book here.