Coitus, making love, intercourse, getting it on, knocking boots, fornication, shagging…there are literally hundreds of ways to say sex. While the mere mention of that intimidating word can elicit a range of responses and emotions, sex in our culture is often looked upon as a taboo and forbidden subject that shouldn’t be discussed—despite being the cause of procreation and life on Earth, which is a beautiful thing.

In India, where the Kama Sutra originated, sex was open and free. This perspective is visible in ancient erotic sculptures, such as those in the temples of Khajuraho, and is referenced in ancient scriptures and texts. It was only after India was invaded by outsiders, such as the British and other Europeans, that sex became repressed. (While we’re on the subject…did you know that yoga can help make your sex life even better? Check out Sex, Sleep, and Snacks: How Yoga Improves Your Favorite Things).

As a person of eastern Indian origin, and as a physician, I want to celebrate sex, and approach it in a positive light. Hindus used sex as a tool to elevate the self to a higher cosmic consciousness, while merging physically and spiritually with another. There can be so much to be said about Tantric sex and how Shiva and his wife Shakti represent the linga and yoni, the male and female powers, and the role they play in Ayurveda, which is literally known in Sanskrit as “the science of life.” Sex can be healing and beneficial to one’s overall well-being. Let’s go over a few of the reasons sex is good for your health.

1. Sex can actually lower blood pressure and stress levels. This in turn is great for better heart health.  The release of several hormones during sex and orgasms, such as prolactin, endorphins, and oxytocin (the “love hormone”), allow for all this goodness.

2. Sex is wonderful as a form of exercise. The activity can burn up to 3-4 calories/minute, while simultaneously increasing flexibility and endurance, and supporting bone and muscle strength.

3. Studies have shown that sex is effective in reducing pain, especially migraines and headaches.

4. Having regular sex increases libido, meaning the more you do it, the more you want it. It is a healthy expression of a desire that is conducive to the progression and evolution of the mind-body-spirit connection.

5. Sex can improve immunity due to the release of immunoglobulins, which are antibodies that fight off infections and illnesses.

6. Sex can help with bladder strength and control in women, especially after bearing children, while in men, it is linked with reduced rates of prostate cancer due to ejaculation.

7. Sex is crucial for hormonal balance while promoting sound and restorative sleep.

8. A good side effect of sex is glowing skin. But it is important to know that all these listed benefits are a result of regular sex, at least 2-3 times per week, if not more.

9. Sex improves intimacy and strengthens the bond between two people. It allows for spiritual and emotional growth, while of course promoting physical well-being.

Having regular sex must work in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, which includes proper diet and nutrition, exercise, addressing medical conditions, and abstinence from smoking and excess alcohol use. It is all about synergy and balance. (Speaking of balance, have you seen Being an Athlete and a Mom: How to Do It All? Totally worth checking out…).

So, don’t be shy, go get your groove on and feel healthy, happy and awesome. Sex is a good thing.

Deepa B. Verma, MD, ABIHM, is double board certified in family medicine and integrative holistic medicine. Her practice, Syngeristiq Integrative Health, is located in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Verma believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel. 

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