Introduction to 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality
By Brian and Anna Maria Clement
Healthy Sex Is Potent Medicine
Sexual energy is a universal fuel of life. It nourishes the human mind, body, and spirit. Besides diet and exercise, nothing will naturally enhance your health throughout your life more than remaining sexually active. Healthy sex is one of nature’s most potent medicines.
This book takes a fresh scientific look at the physiological and psychological benefits of sexual intimacy, especially when it occurs in relationship with a committed partner. The information in this book will show you how to transform the sexual act from a mindless pleasure into a mindful health principle.
During our more than three decades directing the Hippocrates Health Institute, it has become increasingly clear to us that people who no longer have sexual intimacy in their lives tend to develop a range of health disorders, both physical and mental, more readily than those who remain sexually active. By contrast, our guests who have completed the Hippocrates program and continue its dietary regimen at home overwhelmingly report to us that their sex lives have improved beyond all measure.
We have also seen firsthand at Hippocrates that people in committed relationships who maintain sexual intimacy have three times the chance of achieving their health recovery goals than do people who are alone and not sexually active, or who are trapped in relationships without sexual intimacy. Our observations in this regard are supported by numerous medical studies — all detailed in this book — showing that individuals in long-term sexually intimate relationships live longer than most other people.
Sexual Dissatisfaction Is Global
When the Rolling Stones sing, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” does the lyric hit home with you?
* If you’re a married man, one out of three of you feels sexually frustrated.
* If you’re a married woman, one out of every four of you fails to experience the level of sexual satisfaction that you desire.
* That’s according to the Global Better Sex Survey, conducted among 12,563 people in 27 countries, including the United States. The results were presented to the European Association of Urology and published in the June 2007 issue of Urology Times.1 Half of those surveyed were forty years of age or younger. The most surprising finding of all was that one out of every two men confessed that they were unable to naturally maintain an erection long enough to satisfy their partner during intercourse.
Thoughts Have Biological Consequences
Sex is a natural experience that is essential to health. Your body has the biological urge for sexual release with or without your consent. If you don’t give consent and cooperate, if you persistently repress your sexuality, or if you try to channel this sexual energy in a manner that isn’t in alignment with your morals or your heart, the resulting conflict and friction between your mind and body will create health problems for you.
But if your mind affirms and supports your body’s need for sexual expression, you will intensify your enjoyment of sex while multiplying its benefits to your health.
Books such as those by cell biologist Bruce Lipton (The Biology of Belief) and Georgetown University Medical Center professor Candace Pert (Molecules of Emotion) have persuasively made the case that our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions directly influence the biochemical and cellular levels of our brains and the rest of our bodies.2 It’s a tightly woven feedback loop. The brain — and through it, our positive and negative thoughts and subconscious conditioning — controls the functioning of our cells, especially immune cells, which determine our state of health. This same process applies to our sexual health.
Men’s and women’s hormone secretions are one of the ways we communicate with each other at the level of the subconscious mind. The attempt to suppress this normal biological activity can create fear and abnormalities. Instead of being a delightful and normal experience, the sexual act is turned by repression into a kind of abomination that is whispered about or that becomes a source of embarrassment and scatological humor.
Prejudices about sex have created much of the social disharmony we see around us. A lot of the anger and violence exhibited in the world today can be traced to repressed or warped sexuality.
Sex Enhances Your Health
Sexual activity reduces depression and anger, anxiety and stress. It releases chemicals into the body that reinforce your immune system. It even improves your memory by producing chemicals that help to create new dendrites, which facilitate neuron communication in the brain.
Sexual intimacy is the key to attaining health and happiness. Ovarian cancer is related to infrequency of sexual release. So is prostate cancer. There is also a connection between sexual loneliness and a higher risk of early mortality. In this book, we also emphasize that sexuality must be handled with the greater good of humankind in mind. To carelessly impregnate a woman, for example, turns the sexual act into a cause for grief instead of celebration.
Once sex is demystified, once its extraordinary health benefits are known, it’s our hope that people will become more inclined to drop their judgments about it. That is one of our key motivations for writing this book.
Diet Affects Your Sex Life
Sex is the most interesting of all subjects for human beings. We know of no topic that is more enchanting. Yet how open are we to discussing it honestly among friends and relatives, much less with strangers in public? Probably the second most popular subject to think or talk about is food. And in this book, you will learn how good food produces good sex.
There has always been a close relationship between food and sex. If healthy food is medicine — and it most certainly is — then healthy sex is potent medicine, too. Sex is as important a fuel to the human spirit and soul as good food is to the human body.
As nutritionists, we can tell you exactly which minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids the body requires to develop cells and structure. Many of these are sexual nourishment nutrients, too. They are essential to the production of the type of hormones and blood cells that allow us to have sexual intimacy. Without good blood flow to the genital areas, or adequate production of sex hormones, sexual vitality is beyond the reach of most people, especially our oldest citizens. We will explore the foods and herbs that naturally increase libido and enhance sexual performance, without the side effects associated with prescription drugs such as Viagra.
An inadequate diet combined with exposure to toxins can sabotage the greatest blessing of all bestowed by sexuality: the ability to conceive a child and bring new life into the world. Fertility difficulties are a huge and growing problem for couples. Anywhere from 12 percent to 33 percent of them, depending on which expert’s estimate you accept, cannot conceive. Toxins play a role in thwarting fertility, just as a nutrient-rich diet can help to regenerate it. We have had hundreds of cases of people who came to Hippocrates with fertility problems and subsequently overcame that challenge by using the healthy lifestyle that we teach.
During our decades of work with thousands of people facing health challenges, we have seen people who developed cancer primarily as a result of sexual frustration. As noted earlier, science is showing us that the risk of prostate cancer and ovarian cancer can be reduced if you have regular sex. But it goes beyond that. The psychology of sexual frustration and repression influences the physical biology of all illness and disease. We will show you how our immune systems suffer when our sex hormones aren’t regularly stimulated.
For healthy sexual function, we must also have a physique that functions properly and at its optimal level. Our weight should be in a generally healthy but wide range: somewhere between obesity and emaciation. Bodily self-loathing of any sort tends to sabotage sexual desire and expression, and it undermines the very nutritional needs that keep our bodies from deteriorating.
Sex Can Lengthen Your Life Span
Intimacy gives people not only sexual virility but mental virility as well. The physical benefits of sex include higher levels of hormonal activity — allowing the body to grow healthier and stronger.
The hormonal symphony that arises from the sexual act, particularly in a committed relationship, instills an unsurpassed vitality. You’ll never be closer to another human being, other than the time spent in your mother’s womb, than when you are making love with that cherished partner. As you and an intimate partner age together, the continued biochemical exchange of sexual union will fortify your health and extend your lives. The medical evidence presented in these pages overwhelmingly supports the life-extension powers of sexual vitality.
The Hippocrates Program Structure: Your 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality
At the Hippocrates Health Institute, our goal for more than a half century has been to educate our guests about how they can best empower themselves for their own self-healing. Our program is a holistic approach to health that combines these and other elements: detoxifying the body; providing the body with pure whole-food nutrients; offering massage, meditation, and exercise to further boost immune system activity; and, finally, using psychotherapy to remove mental roadblocks to wellness. This entire prescription — which in this book we identify as the “7 Keys” — works effectively whether your goal is to heal yourself from an illness or disease or to regenerate your sexual vitality for greater pleasure and a longer life. In this book, we have devoted one chapter to each of the keys, as follows:
Key One. Understand Your Sexuality: What you may not have realized
Key Two. Imagine Your Sexuality: What you may not have visualized
Key Three. Express Your Sexuality: What you may not have acted upon
Key Four. Protect Your Sexuality: What you need to guard against
Key Five. Nourish Your Sexuality: Which nutrients you need to absorb
Key Six. Enhance Your Sexuality: Which exercises you need to practice
Key Seven. Prolong Your Sexuality: Which lifelong health benefits you will gain
This book builds upon the Hippocrates Health Institute’s program, showing you how mindful sexual activity can influence your overall health, your quality of life, and the length of your life. So that you can get the most benefit out of the medical science, nutritional data, and other advice in these pages, we ask only that you try to keep an open mind. Experiment and find what works best for you.
We’re personally committed to the message in this book. While we’re physician nutritionists and health educators rather than sexologists, our deep and longstanding insight into the dysfunction that people suffer in the realm of sexuality is what motivated us to write this book. Thousands of firsthand examples have shown us that when sexual health fails to flourish in a relationship or in a person’s life, this failure becomes a significant contributor to premature aging and disease.
It’s often said that happiness is a journey, not simply a destination. Being able to experience lifelong sexual vitality not only will enhance your prospects for happiness but will give your life’s journey a renewed purpose and meaning.
Dr. Brian R. Clement and Dr. Anna Maria Clement are certified nutritionists, medical doctors, and health counselors who lecture on health, healing, and longevity before thousands each year. They live in West Palm Beach, FL. More information at www.hippocratesinst.org.
From on the book 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality. Copyright © 2012 by Brian Clement, PhD, NMD, LN, and Anna Maria Clement, PhD, MND, LN. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA.