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Monday, April 24, 2006

Sex & the Heart Blog

I was flattered when asked to speak to an esteemed group of doctors from around the country on sexual dysfunction. It’s always an interesting encounter (and challenge) when I deal with Western Civilization’s finest medicine men. And, since I was always very good at playing doctor (wink, wink), I welcomed the invite as an opportunity to educate and be educated.

The Sex & Heart Symposium was held at the Galveston Convention Center in Texas and I would be the last speaker of the day. I had listened to lectures on Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes, Heart Failure, Hypertension, Smoking, and Testosterone Therapy for Menopausal Women for a greater part of the day. (My assistant, Hilary, was overwhelmed with all the scientific and medical jargon. It was very clinical in content. She asked if she would ever make use of this information as a future Sex Therapist. I explained she probably wouldn’t have to use it, but knowing it was still valuable.)

Dr. Ernst Schwarz, famed Cardiologist and organizer of the event, played my media reel for everyone and offered me an impressive introduction. It was my turn and showtime! As I took to the podium, I must admit it was quite intimidating following the scientific approach by the previous speakers, all of who were medical doctors. After all, with all those statistics, what could I possibly offer on the body’s most durable and fascinating muscle – the human heart? How could I possibly compete with their medical interpretation and professional opinion on the muscle synonymous and symbolic of LOVE itself? Common sense and a 5000 year old philosophy of Tantra, that’s how. I knew my lecture was certain to be very different. After all, I had just listened to every lecture offered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and knew mine (Practical and Tantric Solutions to Sexual Dysfunctions for Couples) would be controversial and non-conventional.

I began by making a sweeping statement: “Tantra can heal patients suffering or recovering from any number of diseases including heart disease, cancer, hysterectomy, prostate surgery or sexual dysfunction.” Ever heard a pin drop? Silence. I almost wondered if the microphone had faltered. J The audience looked at me in bewilderment, and I continued undaunted. “When a patient suffers or recovers from any of the aforementioned ailments, they often feel incomplete, disfigured, broken and, most certainly, un-sexy. However, when a loving partner offers and performs Tantric elements such as breath, breathing their life force energy with Tantric caresses on to damaged nerve areas or scar tissue, a healing connection is formed. The patient feels an enormous validation, love and desire.” How can the human touch be measured in science, in statistics? How do you think “miracles” are performed? Do you believe in miracles?

I do. I shared with the audience a case history of a patient of mine. The patient had visited conventional doctors but found no cure for her sexual dysfunction. As a last resort, she came to see me. I insisted she bring her husband to the counseling sessions and soon discovered that her physical pain was caused by her emotional anger and resentment towards her husband. I believe we have two hearts - one emotional and one physical - that work in synergy to keep us healthy of mind, body and soul. The cardiologists in the audience found this statement quite amusing. After all, it’s pretty well documented we only have one heart. However, my statement of two hearts is intended to represent the symbolic and healing power of human beings themselves (most of which are not medical doctors); and the importance of the interaction and relationship with those they love through their highest and most precious gift of the human capacity – the human touch. Is it not conceivable that this interaction, this touch relieve hypertension, stress, depression and fatigue all of which have been shown to be a part of heart disease? By the end of my presentation, the audience was willing to open their minds to a powerful alternative - the 5000 year old philosophy of Tantra. Tantra is a valuable addition to our health practices, and a practice in which patients can benefit from combining medical science and spirituality. If it’s not a coincidence the universal symbol of LOVE is the heart, why would it be far-fetched to assume a possible cure for the heart is LOVE? Perhaps ‘cause it’s too simple or, better yet, too hard for some people.

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