Clinical holistic medicine: holistic sexology and treatment of vulvodynia through existential therapy and acceptance through touch.

Søren Ventegodt, Mohammed Morad, Eytan Hyam, Joav Merrick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Sexual problems are found in four major forms: lack of libido, lack of arousal and potency, pain and discomfort during intercourse, and lack of orgasm. It is possible to work with a holistic approach to sexology in the clinic in order to find and repair the negative beliefs, repressions of love, and lack of purpose of life, which are the core to problems like arousal, potency, and pain with repression of gender and sexuality. It is important not to focus only on the gender and genitals in understanding the patient"s sexual problems. It is of equal importance not to neglect the body, its parts, and the feelings and emotions connected to them. Shame, guilt, helplessness, fear, disgust, anger, hatred, and other strong feelings are almost always an important part of a sexual problem and these feelings are often "held" by the tissue of the pelvis and sexual organs. The patient with sexual problems can be helped both by healing existence in general and by discharging old painful emotions from the tissues. The later process of local healing is often facilitated by a simple technique: accepting contact via touch. This is a very simple technique, where the self-acceptance of the patient is to be promoted, for example, asking the female patient to put her hand on her stomach (uterus) or vulva, after which the holistic physician puts his hand supportively around hers. When done with care and after obtaining the necessary trust of the patient, this aspect of holding often releases the old negative emotions of shame bound to the touched areas. Afterwards, the emotional problems become a subject for conversational therapy and further holistic processing. Primary vulvodynia seems to be one of the diseases that can be cured after only a few successful sessions of working with acceptance through touch. The technique can be used as an isolated procedure or as a part of a pelvic examination. When touching the genitals with the intention of sexual healing, a written therapeutic contract with the patient is highly recommended and a strict ethical code is necessary to avoid malpractice. As about one woman in three suffers from sexual problems, many of which seemingly can be efficiently alleviated by the simple holistic techniques of "holding and processing", it is very important that the holistic physician is also trained to work in the sexual sphere in order to be able to support his patients fully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science


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