Jill Blakeway, a licensed acupuncturist who practices in New York City, started out doing acupuncture to help women get pregnant. But then a few years later she started noticing something interesting.
“After having a couple of kids, patients were coming back to me and saying, ‘I just never feel like it anymore,'” Blakeway says.
She then developed a specialty in acupuncture to help people lift their flagging libidos. She says acupuncture, like Viagra, increases blood flow to the genitals, but unlike Viagra, it usually takes four to six weeks to see results.
“If your sexuality has been lying dormant for a while, then it’s going to take a while to wake it up,” Blakeway says. “And when it does wake up, I tell people not to see this as goal-oriented orgasmic sex, but rather as a way of connecting to their partner.”
One of Blakeway’s patients wrote an article for the magazine, Cookie, about her experience with acupuncture for her flagging sex life.
To find an acupuncturist near you, go to the website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and check off “Chinese Herbology Certification.”
2. Chinese medicine
Blakeway says she often has success combining acupuncture with Chinese medicine. To find a practitioner familiar with Chinese medicine, go to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Blakeway says between acupuncture and Chinese medicine, she’s able to help about 65 percent of the women who come to her with sexual problems.
A root vegetable grown in high elevations in the mountains of Peru, animal studies have shown that maca increases sex drive. It’s widely marketed in Peru as an aphrodisiac, where it’s sold in several forms, including capsules and powdered form.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are studying maca in people with sexual dysfunction.
Here’s more information on the sexual effects of maca from New York University Langone Medical Center.
4. Ginkgo biloba
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that the herb ginkgo biloba was useful in helping people who had sexual dysfunction brought on by antidepressants.
Here’s more information on ginkgo, including its sexual effects, from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.
5. Herbal combinations
Dr. Craig Koniver, a Charleston, South Carolina, family physician who specializes in alternative medicine, says he has success treating people with sexual dysfunction with herbal combinations. Several companies, including one owned by Koniver, make herbal combinations.
You can also visit a practitioner familiar with herbs to make a combination for you. You can find a practitioner through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, or if you prefer a medical doctor, visit the website of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, where you can put in your ZIP code and find a doctor who specializes in integrative medicine.
Whatever you try to get your libido back, remember that your first attempt might not work.