Libido is the energy of the sex drive as a biological competent of the life instinct, which means it is inherent in everything we do and a driving force in our creative expression.
Sexuality is hardwired into our biology, and an innate part of being human. When we are out of balance in one or more areas of our life, nature can sometimes suppress that drive, perceiving we are under threat (often due to high levels of stress or imbalance in the body).
This is the body’s intelligence at work.
Fluctuations in libido are normal, and many factors play a role in what enhances or diminishes the desire for sexual and sensual experiences. In fact, the experience of libido or lack of it is a perfect example of where emotional, biochemical, and lifestyle choices converge to impact whether or not we feel like having sex. Our own emotional relationship with sex colors our experiences, our hormones and neurotransmitters govern our biological drive, and our life choices deeply feed into both the emotional and biochemical component.
Using some of the tools below may help bolster that essential part of you. Be gentle with yourself especially if you are going through life changes, including hormonal shifts from pregnancy or menopause. We are creatures of the tides and cycles run through our bodies, what is essential to us will always return when there is enough space.
1. Exercise may be the most obvious answer of all, and for good reason! Exercise is your libido’s best friend
I’m not saying over-exert yourself (that can actually be counterproductive, especially if your adrenals are fatigued), but getting a good 20 minutes of movement in each day does more than just bring oxygen and endorphins into your body. New research suggests that exercise also promotes production of endo-cannabinoids, our own naturally occurring chemical messengers of the endo-cannabinoid system which helps regulate homeostasis. Homeostasis is that sweet spot where our body is in balance and all systems are functioning optimally - including nervous system regulation. Homeostasis is the cornerstone of health, think of it as the soil in which all health grows. Circulation is another vital component of exercise, moving the cellular fluids, flushing the lymph, and nourishing the organs with fresh oxygen, all prime the body for optimal functioning.
2. Sleep: On the flip side of exercise you also have the vital resource of sleep!
Sleep provides the time for the body to restore itself, and as any new parent knows sleep is ESSENTIAL for having energy to do anything. There are two things to pay attention to when looking at how well you are sleeping: how long and how deep? For your body to get into that restorative cycle it needs to be deep sleep. In Chinese medicine (TCM) the yin plays an important role in sleep function, these are the nourishing fluids of the body including the blood, hormones, and interstitial fluids. As a mother of two young boys I know first hand how my quality of sleep effects everything I do. There are a few things I use to nourish my yin and deepen my sleep. In the mornings I make an adaptogenic tonic to help my body adapt to stress and every night I drink a high quality magnesium supplement and supplement with an organically grown broad spectrum CBD. I will often take a bath dense with Epsom salts or a strong brewed cup of nettle tea to help me unwind. You can find one of my favorite recipes to nourish the nervous system at the bottom of this article.
Image Nikki Haun / Courtesy of Sun Potion
3. Adrenal Support - The adrenals play a major role in the experience of libido
When the body is stressed it produces excess cortisol, which helped our ancestors with their fight and flight response when faced with a predator. These bouts of high cortisol were suppose to be short lived and balanced out by periods of deep down regulation. In today’s modern life, especially if you live in an urban area, we are bombarded by stressors. Cortisol is highly inflammatory, and inflammation is now understood to be one of the greatest contributors to chronic illness. Pregnenolone is one of the mother hormones in our body that converts into both sex and stress hormones. When our cortisol remains at a consistent high the Pregnenolone our body makes goes to producing cortisol instead of the sex hormones used to fuel our reproductive and sexual functions. So how can you support your adrenals if they are running on overdrive? Following the suggested advice for sleep and moderate exercise is key - and you must cut your stress, no supplement in the world will help if you are living in a high stress environment everyday. Supplementing with a few useful adaptogens can be helpful too, adaptogens are plants that help your body respond to external stressors. Some of my favorites are Ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Reishi, organically grown broad spectrum CBD, and Rhodiola. In addition to superfood adaptogens supplementing or eating superfoods high in B-Complex and vitamin C supports adrenals as well.
Image Nikki Haun / Courtesy of Sun Potion
4. Self Pleasuring - The more stimulation, circulation, and attention you bring to your pelvis the more connected you will feel to yourself sexually
We are creatures of habit especially when it comes to masturbating, so for many of my clients I suggest changing the way they approach self pleasuring. Don’t go for the orgasm - go for the arousal. See how turned on you can get yourself, and explore what it feels like both as pleasurable sensation, and notice the physical changes you can feel in your body as your arousal increases. Most people masturbate as quickly as possible; giving yourself the time and space to experience pleasure without the focus on orgasm can help you remember what a deeply healing and pleasurable thing it is to be connected to yourself, or another person in this way.
5. Elemental Medicine: When we feel disconnected from our sensuality, it is often because we are living in our head and not in our bodies
Our entire lives are lived and felt through our bodies, yet we are habitually in our heads about everything. Using the elements as a physical reminder of your essential nature is powerful. Spending some time naked under the sun and absorbing vitamin D, swimming in a natural body of water, getting your hands and feet in the dirt - and spending enough time there that you begin to hear your busy mind quiet.
Brining the elements in as a way to connect with your partner also is powerful, sitting around an outdoor fire together, climbing a tree, remembering the essence of your playful self will likely also feed the part of you that is curious, hungry for life, and full of desire.
Morning Adaptogen Brew
Add all ingredients together in blender
Sprinkle with Sun Potion Pine Pollen to top
Serve and enjoy!
Image courtesy of Sun Potion