Simple Strategies for Improving Sexual Health

Earlier this week I sponsored and participated in a conference for women.  It’s an event we have held in our little Colorado town for several years as a free service to the women in our community.  This year the focus was on sex.  As you can imagine, it was very well-attended, and it was a lot of fun!  Dr. Gloria Oberbeck, a physician whose office is just a block from mine, gave the keynote address.  She spoke to the crowd of women (the vast majority of whom were over 45) about sex.  Namely, why a healthy sex life is important in overall health, how to improve sex drive (libido), and how to improve the quality of the sex you’re having.

Dr. Gloria did an awesome job in her hour-long talk.  And I thought my readers might enjoy reading some of the highlights.

  • Get enough sleep. Dr. Gloria cited lack of sleep as one of the major culprits in a low libido.  She suggested taking a good look at the amount and quality of your sleep when evaluating your sexual health.
  • Manage your stress. Worries about work, family, and household duties can be a real mood killer.  Dr. Gloria explained that women’s sexual arousal can’t be optimized if we are worried and stressed.  Try some new stress management techniques and get the anxiety under control.  The cool thing is that sex can also be a good stress reliever, so once you start doing it regularly, you may notice your stress level decrease even further.
  • Connect with your partner. Whether it’s carving out time to have regular date nights, looking into each other’s eyes for 5 minutes/day (something she swears works miracles in relationships), or communicating your sexual pleasures – a solid connection with your mate does nothing but help your sex life.  And by the way, couples that have more sex report higher levels of satisfaction in their relationships all the way around.
  • Breathe. Dr. Gloria taught us a breathing technique in which we were to 1) take slow, deep breaths and visualize an image that helped us put aside the worries of the day (she suggested a flower). 2) Imagine a ball of energy just below the belly button that slowly moves to the pelvis. 3) Take this ball of energy and imagine it turning into flames. 4) Use deep breaths to breathe the flames up your spinal cord and out of your nose/mouth. 5) Breathe the flames in again and back down your spine to the energy center in the pelvis.  She suggested practicing this technique daily – it can even be used before and during sexual activity as a way to enhance the experience.
  • Give yourself a break. One of my favorite things that Dr. Gloria spoke about was giving ourselves a break.  She noted that women are often so critical of themselves (I’m so fat/skinny/saggy/wrinkled”) that they can’t let go and enjoy their sexual side of themselves.  She encouraged all women to cut themselves some slack, realize that sexuality is an important part of overall health, and get themselves into the bedroom and enjoy.  It was quite an event!

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