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How Acupuncture Can Boost Your Sex Life

You'll never be so excited for a little prick.

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illustration of heart symbol with  acupunture needles
Catherine Kim
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In your 20s, all you needed to get in the mood was the right look from your partner.

Nowadays, prepping for sex may require hours of planning and alarm setting, a mental pep talk reminiscent of that viral video of the curly haired 4-year-old looking at herself in the mirror and yelling, “I like my hair! I like my room! I like my stuff! I like my whole house! I can do anything good,” and perhaps an energy bar.

Stella, it’s time to get your groove back.

Chat with your health care provider to see what might be at play — it could be a result of any number of medical problems (thyroid disorder, heart disease, etc.) or life situations (stress, poor body image, the sheer exhaustion of trying to juggle it all). Whether he or she recommends hormonal testing, stress-relieving activities, medication or more, you can also try acupuncture — as an adjunct or, in some circumstances, in lieu of.

Liz Carlson, a, licensed acupuncturist and cofounder of Common Point, a modern acupuncture clinic in Tribeca, N.Y., suggests meeting with a licensed acupuncturist, who will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine your specific issues and create a plan for bringing your sexy back. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach,” Carlson notes, but in general, acupuncture can help ramp up your libido in four main ways — “by balancing unbalanced hormones, improving blood and oxygen flow to the reproductive system, enhancing poor digestion and lowering excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

Ready to get busy? Here are four ways acupuncture might help put more yin in your yang.

If your hormones need help…
Estrogen, testosterone and progesterone all start to shift as perimenopause nears; acu can bring the band back together.

Your practitioner might use these points: Spleen 6 and Kidney 7 (both are located about four fingers up from your inner ankle.)

If your blood and oxygen flow need a boost…
Vaginal dryness can make sex seem about as fun as doing dishes. Acupuncture may improve blood and oxygen flow, including to and from the reproductive system, stimulating your natural lubricating ability; it can also enhance vaginal sensation.

Your practitioner might use these points: Ren 4 (halfway between your navel and the pubic bone) and Zigongxue (atop the ovaries).

If your digestion is dawdling…
No one wants to get busy when she’s bloated, gassy or constipated. Acupuncture may help move things along. It also may improve nutrient absorption, “and you need nutrients to create the right cocktail of sex hormones,” Carlson says.

Your practitioner might use these points: Large intestine 4 (the meaty spot between the thumb and forefinger; you’ve likely used this for headaches, but it also improves blood flow to the intestines) and Stomach 25 (on either side of the navel).

If you’ve got too much cortisol…
You want to move your harried body out of fight-or-flight mode and into its preferred rest- and-digest state. “This for the ladies who feel too tired, too stressed, or can’t reach orgasm because their brain is somewhere else during sex,” Carlson says.

Your practitioner might use these points: Liver 3 (between the big and second toes) and Shenmen (in the ear).

Expect to see results in about four to six weeks of weekly acupuncture. Go to to find a nearby acupuncturist.