By: Sylvia Anderson
But, according to Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Alexandra Jamieson, this natural, common tool/technique has so many health benefits.
For instance, masturbation can provide a healthy dose of dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin, which are all helpful in easing stress and providing better sleep.
Self pleasure can be a kind of a meditation and bring you into a calm state of awareness. It can also can lead to less pain. Orgasm and sexual arousal increases blood flow to brain and reproductive organs. So, if you're experiencing headaches or painful menstrual cramps, masturbation can provide relief. Even daydreaming or reading "fantasy" type fiction can boost testosterone in women, which in turn boosts libido.
In men, it can help improve sperm quality. There is less DNA damage and motility damage in fresh sperm.
Masturbation is completely healthy in married or long-term couples. In fact, most people in happy, healthy relationships are still masturbating. More than half of men and a little under 50 percent of women self-report masturbating within their marriage.
According to Jamieson, this is a good thing; you just need to talk about it and share with your partner what's happening so there's no secrecy or shame. It's actually a great way for men to support female partners in feeling more confident in their own bodies.
In essence, it allows you to experience what your body is capable of.
Whether you're approaching menopause or are a young mom who is exhausted (yet wired) at the end of the day, 5-15 minutes can make a huge difference.
Masturbation can also be helpful if you're feeling disconnected, sexually; like if you've been single for a while or are going through a divorce. You may not know what feels good to YOU anymore. Masturbation can help you get that back; it can be a huge confidence builder.
Finally, says Jamieson, it's important to talk about masturbation with your kids and take the shame away from this very natural act. In boys, it's considered all part of "growing up." But in girls, it's oftentimes still looked upon as shameful. Research has shown that young women who masturbate are more likely to be in healthy physical relationships and know their own physical boundaries.
In the accompanying audio segment, Jamieson joins Naturally Savvy host Lisa Davis to share more about the stigma surrounding masturbation, the benefits, and how you can start to be more open about this completely natural act.