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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]

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

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 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 Carolina J.

I had tried Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy before (with another PT) and I had a really bad (painful) experience. A friend of mine and fellow patient, told me about Heather, Laureen and Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) and I decided to try again. I am so happy I did! Femina PT have, literally, changed my life. I was able to do again things I couldn't do for over 10 years!! Their bedside manners are impeccable, their knowledge and understanding make me feel comfortable to recommend this place to anyone in pain. Specially if you have Endometriosis. 100% recommended!!

-- Carolina J., 12/28/16 via Yelp!

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