Sacred Sexuality & Chinese Medicine


Sexual energy is one of our greatest untapped resources. You know the energy you feel coursing through your body when you make eyes with that person you’re hungry for, maybe it’s your partner of 30 years, a second date, or a stranger on the street you’ll never see again. We’ve all felt it, chemistry, arousal, desire, passion, etc.; label it what resonates - it is fuel if we are conscious with it. This is the energy of fertility or creativity and it can be cultivated, harnessed and healing. When we embrace and listen to our desires and feelings they guide us back to our needs. I like the truthbomb by Danielle Laporte, “Your desires are a vortex of truth.” What do you crave more of?  When do you feel most aroused, safe and willing to surrender to pleasure with yourself, or in union? Do you feel invigorated or depleted by the kind of intimacy you seek? Listen to your inner knowing.

Sex, as any therapeutic modality, can be used as a tool for connection, healing and growth. My fertility practice has taught me this is many ways. When we empower women to own their sexuality and honor their needs, desires and boundaries, we raise the energetic permission level to express their wild and free feminine energy known as the Goddess. When this feels impossible we dive deep into what hormonal and spiritual imbalances exist and we start there.

When we teach men how to drop into their hearts, hold a safe and protected space, and move from feeling and connection rather than intellect, goals, outcomes and performance, we raise their permission level to express their sacred masculine and to feel into their depth, darkness, desire and pleasure. This is sacred sexuality.

In Chinese medicine Yin refers to the body’s substance or fluid; it is cooling, nourishing and softening. Its function includes how receptive we are. Yin is feminine. Yang is our body’s energy or movement, it is the way we initiate. Yang is masculine. Sexual intimacy requires initiation which is yang, and receptivity which is yin. This is about energy not body parts. All people harness yin and yang, we’re talking about what energy is predominant for each partner during intimacy. That said, erections are considered yang, and a woman’s ability to receive is yin. We need the interplay of both to create healthy sex. Of course many sexual dysfunctions come from the lack of this interplay.

Sexuality is a marker for health. All the micro details we so love to discuss in Chinese medicine, they matter, your physical, emotional and energetic symptoms, issues or imbalances -  they are whispering to us a much larger picture about your overall health. Cool, right?

Before I dive into the nerdery of Chinese medicine and sex, here are two things that often render a wide eyed “ah ha” response from my fertility patients:

  • Women - having a hard time getting aroused, or reaching orgasm?

    • First, let’s check out those hormones and discern your Chinese medicine diagnosis and discuss why this might be occurring!

    • Second, for many of us it requires deep work to release the shame, stories, trauma, judgement and insecurities that often keep us disconnected from our Goddess. If you’re ready to embody this juicy, creative, fertile energy, areas of interest may be Tantra, Kundalini, Divine Feminine circles, sex coaches and counselors and empowered woman practitioners like myself. Linked below.

  • Men - having a hard time getting or staying erect? (no pun intended)

    • If you wake hard and have no issues with self pleasure, you likely have a healthy blood flow and no physical health concerns causing this issue, rather it is likely rooted in an emotional, energetic or spiritual imbalance. It is INCREDIBLY common for men to deal with this! It requires the willingness to open up and dissect. A fertility acupuncturist, sex counselor or my favorite sexuality podcast linked below may be super helpful here.

    • If you do not wake hard and cannot get or stay erect, or are dealing with premature ejaculation, or inability to ejaculate, we have a health concern to discuss! Good news, it’s totally treatable assuming you want to show up to make the necessary changes. First step is likely getting that prostate checked out and or coming to see an acupuncturist to discuss the whole body health picture.


“If we want to conserve or restore lost principal energy, sexual energy provides the means to create that extra power if we conserve, recycle, and transform it back into principal energy. We then will have more energy available to transform into Chi, which in turn becomes transformed into another type of energy called ‘Shen.’ The word ‘Shen’ means spiritual energy.”

– Mantak Chia, Taoist Secrets of Love.

In Chinese medicine libido and vitality are one. Yin holds us, it softens us, relaxes us. Yang is doing, going, expressing, rising. Stagnation stifles our energy. Movement creates free flow which feels blissful.

The Three Treasures are the fundamental energies required to maintain all life. They are Jing (essence), Qi (energy) and Shen (spirit), and are strengthening and regulating. Jing, meaning essence, is our given or inherent qi, it is the nutritive essence and is carried in blood and sperm. Jing is stored in the kidneys and can be strengthened by the energy of medicinal foods. Alternatively, jing serves as a backup if you do not have enough day to day qi (energy) and are overworking, pushing through and “burning the candle at both ends” so to speak. In functional medicine this is similar to adrenal fatigue. The rate of depletion of Jing is relative to how we care for ourselves throughout this life. Jing is lost through ejaculate in men, and during childbirth and menstrual bleed for women.

Qi is vitality, it is our daily life force energy, breath, and movement. Qi is cultivated from the foods we eat, air we breathe, energy we connect to and invite in with qi gong, kundalini yoga, acupuncture, etc. Qi is restored with rest. When you receive acupuncture you immediately boost and balance your qi, which supports the overall decline of jing. Strong qi means healthy

energy levels, strong immune system, healthy sexual energy and balanced digestion. We want qi to be abundant and free flowing and in my fertility practice this is why I recommend daily or weekly activities that stimulate, arouse and ignite, thereby creating movement of qi into the sexual organs. The importance of exercise cannot be overstated here! It is the easiest way to create a smooth flow of qi.

Shen is spirit. This is non-dogmatic. Simply our spirit. The Shen is housed by the body and encompasses our intellect, personality, thought process, emotions, and spirituality. When the Shen is strong and rooted, we are settled, calm and peaceful. When the Shen is out of balance we are anxious, have monkey mind, possible insomnia or depression. Our Shen is responsible for LOVE, forgiveness, self growth and so on. When the Shen is disturbed by trauma, stress, fear, loss, physical disease preventing the anchoring of Shen, and other emotional and spiritual triggers we must reconnect the body and the spirit. Healthy relationships and connections are created with an intact, strong and balanced Shen for both parties.

For more information or to dive into healing and awakening your sacred sexuality from the lense of Chinese medicine and functional medicine, schedule an initial visit with Kat. (schedule button linked?!)

Recommended Resources:

Favorite Sex Podcast-

Relationship and sex wizard and a few incredible, must read books-

Learn how to stop emasculating your man and cultivate the relationship you desire.

Ignite the wild woman in you -

Sex toys, classes, workshops, etc.

couples chart reading-

By Kat Starbird; acupuncturist, herbalist, women’s health expect.