I’m often asked if many men attend me for treatment, the assumption being that my patient base is primarily women. But, it’s not true. About 40% of my patients are male. But what is interesting is how they ended up coming to me in the first place and why they come to me.

The tide is finally turning and men are starting to sit up and take a lot more notice of their health. It’s one area that I think social media has actually helped with, in that men see other men exercising, talking about nutrition, speaking about health issues and, in general, looking after themselves better. But there is still a bit of reticence there when it comes to attending a practitioner like myself.

The three top reasons that men end up on my doorstep are usually the following: I was recommended by someone, usually another man or a fellow athlete; they’re at their wits end and medication or other therapies haven’t worked; or their mother/wife/girlfriend told them they had to come and made the appointment for them! Sound familiar?

I have often wondered about this as men have no problem seeing a physiotherapist or a chiropractor. I initially thought this was because these professions are somehow perceived as more macho or acceptable. But, in reality, I think it’s because they understand what these professions do and, like most people, they don’t have a clue what acupuncture can do or what it can fix.

The majority of men come to me for pain management. The pain may be the result of an injury or some other musculoskeletal problem, or it may be due to degeneration or arthritis. Not only can acupuncture remove the pain but with a proper plan you can often treat the root of the problem. I love when someone attends me with an acute injury as this is where acupuncture excels. Pain relief is almost instantaneous, healing time is shortened considerably and the area heals better overall. It’s a win, win, win! But it’s vastly underutilised as usually people don’t realise how powerful acupuncture is for acute conditions.

Other conditions that I treat a lot in men are migrainesheadachesfertility issuessinus problemsallergies and respiratory problems. As you can see the list is very big on physical ailments and not so big on psychological ailments, such as stressanxiety and depression. Don’t get me wrong, I do see men for these issues but I would love to see more.

Acupuncture is superb for treating mental-emotional imbalances but unfortunately this is still an area that men find difficult to voice. It’s ok to complain or talk about a physical condition but not so ok to admit you are struggling mentally or emotionally. I don’t see it like that, I see it as courageous. Oftentimes physical symptoms are rooted in mental or emotional distress. This can be a revelation to many patients but once this is acknowledged treatment can be life changing as you are now treating the root and not just the symptom. That is not something that any pain medication can do.

About 40% of my patients are male. But what is interesting is how they ended up coming to me in the first place and why they come to me.