Disclaimer: This blog entry refers to psychogenic erectile dysfunction. This means that it’s in the patient’s head. The one on top of the shoulders. It does not refer to times when the dysfunction is due to poor blood circulation to the penis.
My colleague pointed out to me this article on nature.com from the International Journal of Impotence Research. (link)
The study by Englehardt, et al was entitled “Acupuncture in the treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction: first results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled study”. What does this mean? Like I said before, it refers to the treatment of erectile dysfunction due to psychological factors. Randomized placebo-controlled means that the scientists want to compare “real” and “fake” acupuncture for this purpose.
The study took 22 people and divided them into two groups. What I find interesting is that the study did not use fake acupuncture per se – fake needles or insertion into non acupuncture points – but they divided the groups in patients being treated for erectile dysfunction and patients being treated for HEADACHE.
So the placebo group was getting the real deal… just for something else.
The results show a huge difference between points for erectile dysfunction and points for headache. 68% of the ones who got the true treatment reported improvement compared to 9% in the other group.
The results of our pilot study indicate that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option in more than two-thirds of patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction.