Getting an erection to work properly is so incredibly complicated physiologically that if men ever actually had to understand it, none of us would be here.
Roberty Sapolsky, Author & Biologist
Stress and erectile dysfunction
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a large study which took place between 1995 and 2000 that revealed that approximately 40% of males suffer from erectile dysfunction or impotence, at least occasionally.
Erectile dysfunction is often symptomatic of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, neurological imbalance, or is a side effect of medications or drug abuse. There can also be psychological roots to the problem, usually bound up in relationship issues, performance anxiety and low self-confidence. The nourishing effects of meditation can significantly offset these issues.
If the impotency is a consequence of certain surgical procedures, then even meditation may not be able to bring back full function, although it will make the experience of erectile dysfunction much easier to bear.
Smoking is also a major causal factor through its inevitable effects on arterial narrowing. But again Beeja meditation proves an effective treatment for impotence. Here meditation helps by stimulating peripheral vaso-dilatation – the dilation of the arteries.
The other culprit is stress, which is so often interwoven with many of the above, but in and of itself is a major causal factor. Over 50% of cases are reported to be psychogenic in nature, i.e. the individual in question is simply too stressed. We know the cause isn’t physical because as soon as they go to sleep and enter the REM phase, they get an erection.
Stress works on two levels. Firstly, it inhibits our desire and causes our interest in sexual behaviour to diminish. Secondly, it affects our ability to perform; whenever there is an onset of any stress, the hormonal response blocks the release of a neurotransmitter (LHRH) which is key to a healthy and balanced level of testosterone, one of the keys to our virility.
The other key is parasympathetic tone. To feel arousal, we need a certain level of parasympathetic tone in the nervous system to help stimulate blood flow, and this usually arises when we’re feeling relaxed. If we’re not relaxed, it will be much harder for the cascade of physiological processes which mediate the erectile response to get going.