Partner yoga may help couples who are struggling with sexual dysfunction, according to sexual wellness experts at Loyola University Health System (LUHS).
This form of yoga uses massage, breathing exercises and mutually beneficial postures couples can do together to build trust, relax and have fun.
"Distance and resentment can develop in marriages over time," said Susan Walsh, PsyD, psychologist and certified yoga instructor for Loyola's Sexual Wellness Clinic. "Partner yoga can clear this negative energy and help a couple reconnect and become comfortable with touch and intimacy."
Loyola will offer a 90-minute partner yoga session as part of its new Sexual Wellness Clinic. The clinic combines the expertise of various specialists and takes a holistic approach to address common emotional and physical challenges that couples face in their sexual relationships.
The most common problems that affect sexual health include decreased libido, painful intercourse, inability to have an orgasm, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Loyola's program will address these issues in six weekly visits led by a team of obstetricians and gynecologists, urologists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, dietitians and yoga instructors.
A group educational session will take place each week along with private counseling. A private physical examination also will be offered with an obstetrician/gynecologist and a urologist. The partner yoga class will be part of the group educational sessions, which will address envisioning greater intimacy, becoming open and vulnerable, finding life and relationship balance, exploring healthier possibilities, connecting mind and body, and gaining and keeping momentum. These group sessions are informational only. Participants will not be asked to talk about their sexual relationship in a group setting.
"Our sexual wellness specialists recognize that there are many factors that affect intimacy," said Dr. Walsh, who also is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "Partner yoga will be one way that we help couples strengthen their relationship emotionally, physically and spiritually to ultimately build a deeper connection and improve sexual health."
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