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Studies have shown that mindfulness can improve your sex life by increasing arousal, reducing sexual pain, lowering judgement, improving relationship satisfaction, and improving self esteem. Those of you who have had sessions with me in the clinic have most definitely practiced some forms of mindfulneses meditation with me, as it helps one increase connection between the brain and body, reduce anxiety, and downregulate the nervous system.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness can be defined as an open or a receptive attention to and awareness of what is taking place, both internally and externally, in the present moment (Barnes et al., 2007).

Sex and Mindfulness: More Similar Than You Think

Sex and mindfulness meditation are both practices in which you are encouraged to break away from daily activities, connect with the body, and with the present moment. Clearing the mind of anxieties, worries, and to-do lists is also recommended for both these activities.

How Mindfulness Improves Your Sex Life

Improved Sexual Satisfaction

A 2019 study by Leavitt et al., found that cultivating a mindfulness during sex and sexual situations has a positive effect on sexual wellbeing, satisfaction within the relationship, and improved self-esteem.

Improved Arousal Levels, Less Pain with Sex and Better Sexual Function

In 2012 Brotto et al. found that women who participated mindfulness classes and who started a meditation practice at home reported greater sexual desire, arousal, and lubrication, easier orgasms, and greater sexual satisfaction. The participants went to three 90 minute classes within a span of six months that discussed the causes of low libido and offered instruction in mindfulness meditation. Between classes the women practiced mindfulness meditation daily.

A study by Rosenbaum et al. (2013) also showed that mindfulness meditation helped women recover from sexual pain (vaginismus and dyspareunia) and pelvic floor dysfunction when mindfulness was incorporated into their pelvic floor therapy sessions and when mindfulness strategies were used when using their dilators at home.

Bossio et al. (2018) found that men with erection difficulties reported significant improvement in sexual function after attending a four week intervention program that included education about erectile dysfunction (ED), psychological counseling, and instruction in mindfulness meditation. The men also practiced mindfulness meditation daily on their own.

Mindfulness Meditation For Beginners

Use Deep Breathing to Gain Body Awareness

This 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation is led by Tara Brach, a renowned meditation teacher and psychologist who is based out of Washington, DC.

Download a Meditation App

Insight Timer
Insight timer is a free app/website with an archive of guided meditations, longer talks teachings, sound healings, and other offerings.

Headspace
Headspace is a paid subscription app/service which provides guided meditation instruction. There is currently some free offerings on their website to deal with stress and overwhelm connected to COVID-19.

Get Connected with a Local Meditation Group

Insight LA
Insight LA is a meditation center based in Los Angeles, which is now offering classes and group guided meditations online via teleconference platforms.

 

Resources

Leavitt, C. E., Lefkowitz, E. S., & Waterman, E. A. (2019). The Role of Sexual Mindfulness in Sexual Wellbeing, Relational Wellbeing, and Self-Esteem. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 1–12. doi:10.1080/0092623x.2019.1572680

Bossio, J.A. et al. “Mindfulness-Based Group Therapy for Men with Situational Erectile Dysfunction: A Mixed-Methods Feasibility Analysis and Pilot Study,” Journal of Sexual Medicine (2018) 15:1478.

Brotto, L.A. et al. “Pilot Study of a Brief Cognitive Behavioral Versus Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Women with Sexual Distress and a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (2012) 38:1.

Brotto, L.A. et al. “Pilot Study of a Brief Cognitive Behavioral Versus Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Women with Sexual Distress and a History of Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (2012) 38:1.

Atkinson BJ (2013). Mindfulness training and the cultivation of secure, satisfying couple relationships. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 2(2), 73–94. doi:10.1037/cfp0000002 [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Rosenbaum TY (2013). An integrated mindfulness-based approach to the treatment of women with sexual pain and anxiety: Promoting autonomy and mind/body connection. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 28(1–2), 20–28. doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.764981 [CrossRef] [Google Scholar] [Ref list]

Barnes S, Brown KW, Krusemark E, Campbell WK, & Rogge RD (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 482–500. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2007.00033.x [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by M.N., age 28

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

I was diagnosed with vaginismus 4 years ago. I never heard of such medical condition until after I got married. At first my husband and I didn't know what to do, we didn't know what the issues were or how to overcome it. Being born and raised in Armenia and being Christian I wasn't that open about talking to sex with others and so it wasn't easy to seek help. But eventually I went to an Ob-Gyn and luckily she knew about the medical condition (not many doctors know). She referred me to a physical therapist and I couldn't believe it and thought it's something I can handle myself. I ordered a kit from vaginismus.com and started practicing with dilators. There was some small progress but wasn't much helpful.

Read more: Testimonial by M.N., age 28

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

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