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It's love day, and lets face it, when you love someone, you often want to touch them.
If you are single, perhaps you are touching yourself.
Although it is often deemed taboo to talk about sex, masturbation, or genital health, there are many reasons to explore our sexual selves.
Lovemaking is an important part of the human experience and as homosapiens, touch can be extremely healing.
Some of the benefits of sexual play include increased oxygen to the cells, lowered blood pressure and reduced stress.
But don't worry, if you're flying solo, benefits also abound.
Men showed increased immunity and greater prostate health, while women build resistance to yeast infections, have reduction of menstrual discomfort, and experience reduction of lower back pain.
In addition, masturbation has also been shown to aid in sleep, release endorphins, and strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which come in handy back in the bedroom.
Keeping the genitals in healthy shape is an important focus for both sexual pleasure and longevity. Erectile dysfunction is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of movement, and low quality eating.
Foods that can support men include alkaline whole foods, watermelon (juice the rind), garlic, coconut water, papaya (providing blood flow), and zinc-loaded foods. On the herb side, palmetto, ashwaganda, ginseng, and gingko, all give the system a boost.
For women, frigidity can occur from psychological blocks, dissatisfaction with intercourse, and lack of foreplay. Foods that enhance the female libido include: chives, figs, avocados, fish oil and B complex-packed foods. Herbal solutions include shitavari, wild yam, damiana, and maca root.
Make sure to do additional research on herbs you are not familiar with and consult a qualified health practitioner before beginning any herbal supplement.
To rev up the libido, invite in asparagus, chocolate, red wine (one glass or so), organic strawberries, organic cherries, and whipped cream. Scent up with jasmine, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, rose, and vanilla, or spice it up with saffron, cloves and nutmeg.
From lubrication, foreplay games, to sex toys, there are many "helpers" available to add to the rich experience of love making. But what about your health?
Chemicals found in conventional lube have been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity. Many sex toys use phthalates which make them soft and create hormone disruptions or even organ damage.
As always, there are healthier options, from stainless steel, glass, to toxic-free plastic toys, to lubes made out of aloe and coconut.
Healthy Sex Resources
Following are some websites that will provide additional information to have healthy and safe sex with yourself or with a partner.
Know your body, stay healthy, enjoy sex and happy love day.
More about Danny Arguetty, M.A.
Danny Arguetty, M.A., a Nutrition, Health and LIFE (Living in Free Expression) Counselor, has been involved in the health field for the last decade. He guides and works privately with clients utilizing customized programs based on bio-individual needs and diverse life situations.
He specializes in yoga privates, weight loss, digestive disorders, healthy aging, sugar/caffeine dependencies, persistent fatigue, chronic stress, relationship support, life coaching and practical healthy living strategies.
Arguetty is also a faculty member at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Adjunct Faculty at Williams College, and author of Nourishing the Teacher: inquiries, contemplations & insights on the path of yoga. He leads 200hr Yoga Teacher Trainings in Southern California and Advanced 500hr Trainings in Kerala, India.