‘Our industry talks constantly about holistic wellbeing but how often do we even consider sexual wellbeing in the equation?’ asks SPA+CLINIC publisher Kirien Withers in our current issue. ‘Bizarre really!
‘The holistic aesthetic and wellness care of the individual is not possible without including their sexual physical and psychological wellbeing.
‘Not only are we all created via the sexual act but we are quick to serve our clients in their wellbeing after the act, helping them deal with the result and beyond – we just don’t mention the energy that creates life in the first place.
‘We check the dermis, the blood, the iris, the liver, balance the chakras … the list goes on … but do we ever ask `how is your libido, do you have a healthy sexual life, how are your ‘bits’ functioning?’ We don’t.’
Well, sex finally went mainstream, as it were, as a major health and wellbeing issue at the inaugural A5M Symposium: A Holistic Approach To Sexual Health, held recently in Sydney.
This two-day symposium was presented by three internationally-renowned sexual health practitioners and educators from Australia and the US.
It offered participants a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to sexual health medicine, raising the standard of sexual health communication among Australian doctors, psychologists, allied health practitioners and sexologists.
‘An holistic approach to sexual health is the key for increasing the quality of life of patients [yet] health practitioners and patients alike can find it incredibly difficult to broach these topics,’ says Dr Nathan Francis, general integrative medicine practitioner and president of the Australasian Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine (A5M).
‘There is a real need for understanding the barriers both practitioners and patients face when discussing these issues
‘With the speakers who presented at this symposium and the breadth of topics they covered, attendees left armed with the tools and information to help improve the state of sexual health communication in Australia.’
This highly interactive workshop was led by:
- Dr Jen Landa (US), an obstetrician/ gynaecologist and sexual health expert, who specialises in female sexual health and hormone issues.
- Dr Michael Krychman, doctor of sexual health and world expert from the US, whose extensive experience in sexual counselling took participants through topics such as solutions to communication problems, gay male and lesbian sexuality, issues around gender identity and effects of compulsive sexual behaviour.
- Dr Margaret Redelman, who recently received an OAM in the Australian Day Honours List, is one of 130 sexologists working in Australia, specialising in sexuality and sexual function. She presented on sexuality in the ageing Australian population.
Dr Landa shared her expertise and knowledge with Australian healthcare professionals in helping women and men restore their energy, replenish their sex lives and improve health and lifestyle issues related to weight management, nutrition and exercise.
‘As a former gynaecologist I dedicate my practice to help patients achieve wellness through customised nutrition, fitness and lifestyle programs and bio-identical hormone therapy,’ Dr Landa says. ‘I aim to help women and men resolve menopausal and andropausal symptoms, including weight gain, sexual dysfunction, declining energy levels and stress.’
With her belief that maintaining one’s health is hard work, she encourages her patients to make lifestyle changes that will result in increased health.
Dr Landa shared her strategies to teach patients how to reach their personal best in optimal health and beauty using the most natural and advanced therapies available.
Dr Krychman discussed how patients can overcome sexual health challenges and experience a higher quality of physical intimacy. He discussed how to improve sexual health through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
His holistic, individualised approach to sexual medicine is comprehensive and multi-disciplinary, and sometimes the solution is as simple as using a lubricant or changing medicatio – or nutrition. Some conditions may require medical or surgical treatment, counselling sessions, or a combination of therapeutic solutions.
‘My primary goal is to help my patients experience enhanced health and wellbeing,’ he says. ‘I strive to create a comfortable environment where they can share their concerns.
‘Many of my patients are so relieved to know that their problems are common and often easily solved. It’s very rewarding to help people regain wellness and enjoyment of lifes’s many pleasures.’
Dr Redelman provided the audience with insight into sexuality in the ageing Australian population, and the challenges that this brings.
‘We are living longer and in better health and have higher expectations of maintaining and enjoying all our faculties,’ he says. ‘ If sex has been enjoyable then there is sadness and anger at its loss.
‘We are lucky in that much can be done to help people enjoy their sexuality throughout the life span’