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Can Hypnosis Cure Erectile Dysfunction

June 4, 2021

Medically reviewed by

David Culpepper, MD

While there are plenty of highly effective ED treatments available affordably, these primarily deal with the symptoms and not the root cause of ED.

Meanwhile, with over 30 million men in the United States estimated to routinely experience erectile dysfunction, lots of guys are interested in cures. 

One of the more abstract solutions to ED comes in the form of hypnosis. While it may sound a little bizarre, hypnosis is commonly used to treat a variety of mental and physical issues––including sexual.

It stands to reason that hypnosis might be a solution to erectile dysfunction as well. 

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability or difficulty to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex. While it may happen occasionally for many men, when it becomes a frequent issue, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

There is no singular cause of erectile dysfunction, but there are lots of well-understood contributing factors.

Anything that's bad for the circulatory and cardiovascular systems will increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes are all known to increase the risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction. In addition, smokers and heavy drinkers have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction. Smoking is known to constrict arteries, reducing the overall amount of blood flow to the penis, while alcohol can reduce blood volume, blood pressure, and cause nerve damage. Both cause long-term damage to these important systems.

Another risk factor is being overweight, as this can lead to a multitude of blood circulation issues as well as decreased testosterone production and generalized inflammation.

Treating these underlying conditions can often improve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. If not, prescription ED medications are affordable and effective for most men.

While erectile dysfunction is often the result of a physical condition, psychological issues also play a significant role. Some of the most commonly associated emotional and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear of sexual dysfunction occurring
  • Guilt
  • Lack of intimacy with the partner
  • Low self esteem
  • Past negative sexual experience
  • Performance anxiety
  • Problems with the relationship
  • Shame
  • Situational circumstances of an encounter
  • Stress 

How Can You Tell If It’s a Physical or Psychological Issue?

Mechanistically, erectile dysfunction is often related to blood flow. But how do you know whether it's that, or all in your head?

One way you can tell if your ED is a result of physical or psychological issues is to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Are you able to achieve a firm erection while masturbating?
  • Are you experiencing an unusually high amount of stress or anxiety lately?
  • Are you sexually attracted to your partner and want to engage in sex with them?
  • Do you ever feel nervous about adequately pleasing your partner?
  • When you wake up in the morning, do you experience erections (morning wood)?

If the answer to any of these questions are yes, then your ED could be psychologically induced.

An erection requires mental stimulation in order to put the physical systems in motion to achieve an erection. If erections and ejaculation are possible, but only in specific situations like during masturbation or when you're alone, your ED could be rooted in something other than physical mechanisms.

What Is Hypnosis?

When it comes to treating psychological issues, the best options are generally pharmacological interventions or therapy to address the root causes of an issue.

One of the more abstract forms of psychotherapy is hypnosis.

People often misunderstand what hypnosis means thanks to absurd portrayals in movies and cartoons. In reality, hypnosis is a mental state similar to a trance, but during which a person experiences focused attention, increased concentration, heightened suggestibility, and vivid fantasies. While it may appear that people in a hypnotic state are sleepy or zoned out, they're actually in a hyperactive state of situational awareness. 

There are three methods through which to experience hypnosis:

  • Guided hypnosis: In order to induce a hypnotic state, this method uses tools like recorded instructions or music. Often, these recordings will be used while going to sleep at night, but can be used at all times of the day. There are various reputable websites and mobile apps that offer this type of hypnosis. 
  • Hypnotherapy: Licensed physicians and psychologists use this method during psychotherapy sessions. It's most commonly used to treat medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and various eating disorders.
  • Self hypnosis: Like the name implies, this hypnotic state is achieved through self-induction. This self-help tool is most commonly used to control pain and manage stress. 

How Can Hypnosis Be Used To Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Depending on the cause, hypnosis can be an effective treatment for a variety of sexual issues, including erectile dysfunction. 

In addition to erectile dysfunction, some of the most common issues that hypnosis is used to treat include:

  • A reduced libidio or sex drive
  • Anorgasmia, when someone has a difficult reaching orgasm during sex
  • Dyspareunia, an overwhelming amount of pain experienced during sex
  • Premature ejaculation

There are a few ways that hypnosis can help, and while definitive research is still lacking, anecdotal evidence suggests it may be worthwhile for the right candidates.

In the case of guided hypnosis or hypnotherapy, the focus will be less on the erection process and more on the potential psychological issues preventing it. Stress, anxiety, and depression are all commonly associated with erectile dysfunction. Being able to reduce the severity of these feelings can help to improve erectile function. 

Under hypnosis, the brain has difficulty telling the difference between reality and imagination, making it possible to break through these emotional barriers. By operating on a subconscious level, hypnosis can encourage positive changes through the power of suggestion. Entering this suggestive state makes it easier to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while improving feelings of confidence and self-esteem. It’s also possible for hypnosis to help treat physical causes of erectile dysfunction. 

For example, hypnosis is one of the more popular methods associated with quitting smoking, which is a major risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Another popular use for hypnosis is to help train someone to eat a healthier diet or eat less to lose weight, which can reduce the risk and severity of erectile dysfunction. Self hypnosis can even be used during the erection process to produce improved results. It typically begins with a relaxation and breathing technique intended to quell and calm stress and anxiety. While focusing on each deep breath and relaxing your mind, you can turn your attention to sexual stimulation. By imagining your partner in detail and visualizing the sexual encounter, you may be able to kick off the erection process. Turning your attention to the blood flow, you will then focus your mind on creating a strong and firm erection. 

The most popular technique is by imagining a dial. For premature ejaculation this dial typically represents penis sensitivity so turning it down decreases the overall sensation felt in the penis. For erectile dysfunction, the opposite is required. Turning the dial up is intended to increase blood flow to the penis and create a stronger erection. 

In addition to hypnosis, sex therapy is often recommended as well, especially for people who think their sexual issues may be impacting their relationship. 

While self hypnosis is possible, hypnosis is probably best attempted with the help of a trained professional who has experience with treating sexual dysfunctions.

The Takeaway

Hypnosis can be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction depending on its cause. While hypnosis is best attempted with the help of a trained professional, you may be able to improve confidence and reduce stress or anxiety in your life, both contributing factors for numerous sexual dysfunctions.

Therapy or hypnosis are two ways to treat ED in order to restore erectile function, but they're not for everyone.

Prescription ED medications can help with erections, and they may even help men improve their confidence around sex and wellness. Rex MD helps guys get prescription ED meds from home and with the help of a licensed clinician, if approved, all done online.

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