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When I was 20, one of my best friends, Anne, had me over for lunch at her mom’s place.
Anne’s mother was from Scotland and was a practicing nurse in Ontario. During lunch, her mom looked at my bicycle leaning against the porch and mentioned to me that it was a very bad idea for men to ride a bicycle into their 30s. She said I was sitting on my prostate and would damage it. As a young and enthusiastic bicyclist, I scoffed at such absurdity!
I remained an avid cyclist all my life and don’t even own a car as I approach 70. However, by the time I was 60, I had severe prostate problems in the form of having to wake up 12 times in the night to pee. It’s a very annoying issue and when I went to a specialist, he asked me, “Do you ride a bicycle? If so, you need to quit.”
I was shocked.
My favourite hobby and only form of exercise out the window! I remembered scoffing at the nurse’s recommendation when I was 20. So I gave up bicycling for six months. I gained weight and felt less healthy, but my prostate improved. The old nurse was right after all, and I wished I had paid attention.
Since most men don’t like to discuss prostate issues, I am hoping that their women friends will pay attention and help to guide them in order to prevent suffering. The prostate gland becomes enlarged in 30 percent of men aged 30, 50 percent by age 50, and 70 percent by age 70. Many of us are going to have issues!
By avoiding the discussion, young men are missing the opportunity to do a few simple things to help delay problems for a decade or two and to treat the problem using benign cures. If they only talk to their doctor, only pharmaceutical and/or surgical solutions will be offered. This article discusses enlargement issues only. Prostate cancer is a much rarer issue not related to enlargement. Enlargement, known medically as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH can both be avoided and treated in simple ways.
Toward the end of my first six months without a bicycle, I was desperate to ride again, so I went to a store specializing in recumbent bicycles. I bought one that very day. It was not a full recumbent, but rather you sloped back only 30 degrees. You were still eye to eye with all car drivers, but you did not sit on your prostate gland. The flat seat presses instead on the tailbone and bicycling is totally benign on that kind of bike. Ever wonder why most recumbents are ridden by males over the age of 50? Now you know!
If you are male between 20 and 30 and riding a bicycle, it is wise to look at recumbent ones. They have certain advantages, notably wind resistance. They are unbelievably good in high winds. On rough roads, they are superb. So there is a way to avoid difficulties and still enjoy bicycling. Regular bicycling is deadly on the prostate because you are literally supporting your whole weight on the prostate gland between pedal strokes or when you relax.
I still suffered from slow urination issues after the age of 60, but I found solutions to minimize the bad effects using herbs and other lifestyle changes. The simplest of these is simply to avoid sitting constantly. If you sit too much, the circulation around the prostate gets cut off. This accelerates prostate enlargement, and it also weakens the immune system’s ability to prevent bladder and prostate infections. It may help to avoid prostate cancer.
There are herbs in the health food stores worth mentioning. Saw Palmetto is available even in most grocery stores in the vitamin section. It is a traditional treatment that was invented 10,000 years ago by native North Americans. Pygeum is a slightly more effective herb that comes from an African pear tree. Often Pygeum and Saw Palmetto are available as a blend. These herbs help to prevent ongoing enlargement of the gland. Very worthwhile using in the early stages of the problem.
There are Tantric yoga and Taoist solutions that really help. Prostate massage come from the Tantric Yoga and Taoist traditions and is not just about pleasure. In Canadian mainstream medicine, prostate massage was offered in doctor’s offices from about 1890 to 1962 to help solve enlargement or BPH issues. It can really turn around difficult urine blockage issues.
In 1962, in spite of men relying on massage for this issue for thousands of years, it was abandoned by mainstream medicine in Canada in favour of surgery. It is a long story which I will cover in the book I am writing, but if you suffer from extreme urinary blockage issues and if you have had a recent PSA test that shows you are not developing prostate cancer—it is a very safe and effective solution!
When I was 65, the herbal solutions were no longer working well enough. I discovered a Tantric Holistic Massage™ Practitioner and healer Maryse Coté in Victoria. She said that prostate massage can sometimes improve the urological symptoms. Her work was based on both Tantric and Taoist teachings. I was on the verge of seeking surgery and was going to cancel a holiday with my wife on Quadra Island because there was no hospital there, and I might need a catheter.
Maryse warned me that the massage might also involve pleasure, so when I weighed the two options, pleasure or surgery, the choice was easy. Even before I left her office, the urinary blockage problem was gone. We went on holiday on Quadra and had no problems at all. Prostate massage is a Western traditional medical practice which has proven to be very effective for prostate health. This routine medical practice was abandoned by Canadian socialized medicine in 1962. I interviewed a man for my book who remembers being refused treatment by prostate massage in 1962. He is still angry that he was offered surgery instead. He is in his early 90s now and learned to do self prostate massage to prevent suffering.
It is very important to have a PSA test from your doctor before considering the massage solution because it is dangerous for anyone who has signs of prostate cancer. So you need to work with your doctor. The PSA test is a simple blood test that takes only a few minutes.
One last thing I want to mention is the pharmaceuticals you can safely use if the herbal solutions become less effective. By age 68, I had avoided all pharmaceutical drugs, but the problem was clearly getting worse. Doctors will usually prescribe the most common treatment for this issue called FloMax. Flomax (tamsulosin) is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier to urinate. It works quickly to alleviate the blockage within four hours. However, it causes sexual functioning issues, such as the inability to orgasm and sometimes erectile dysfunction. In an emergency, it’s a great solution. But there are much better drugs.
For long-term maintenance, I have used all the common drugs that substitute for FloMax in the process of researching my book. I have talked to other men about the effects. There are two drugs I can recommend, which have no negative sexual effects and work beautifully to solve urinary problems. Both these drugs take two to three weeks to start working, so it is best to take FloMax at the same time and phase out FloMax over several weeks as you rely on the more benign pharmaceutical drugs below. Just talk to your doctor, and you can try several of these until you find the best solution.
According to Dr. Herbert Lepor, “Many consider alfuzosin 10 mg to be the superior alpha blocker currently available for treating BPH because it achieves clinically significant improvements in urinary tract problems and has no significant effects on dizziness, asthenia, and ejaculatory functions.” I have used it with great success.
I suffer from high blood pressure issues as well. This drug effectively treats both high blood pressure and prostate enlargement issues—and also does not compromise sexual functions. You have to experiment with the dosage from 2 milligrams to 10 milligrams, because it lowers blood pressure enough that it can cause dizziness. This is the drug I use and it has been very successful. Terazosin combined with a prostate massage every few months has ended my suffering. There are no sexual side effects at all.
There is a very important side effect of all prostate medications. These drugs produce an effect called the “floppy iris syndrome,” which necessitates a slight change in method for eye surgery. If you need cataract surgery, you have to tell the surgeon that you take prostate meds. You can lose your sight if the surgeon is not informed of your prostate drug. That’s a key side effect to be aware of to protect your own health.
Doctors usually do not recommend a more benign slow-acting drug as a long-term drug solution. These alternative pharmaceuticals have few or no sexual side effects.
It’s time for men to take control of their own health.
Author: Ian Faulkner
Image: Elephant Journal archives
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis