June 19, 2008
Haka Stance May Help Stiffen Male Resolve
By ELEVEN, Beck
The proud squat signalling the onslaught of the haka could be just as effective as Viagra in curing male impotence.
In a report sure to bring smiles to the faces of Kiwi sportsmen, British doctors have found that done properly, the haka-like stance can stretch the male pelvic floor muscles, improving erectile function and lessening male incontinence.
The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, said 40 per cent of the men who strengthened their pelvic floor muscles for at least three months regained full sexual function, while a further 30% had improved function.
Impotence can be caused by emotional conditions such as stress or anxiety, or physical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Prostate or bladder surgery can also affect pelvic floor muscles.
British doctors treating incontinence said patients reported the added bonus of improved sexual function.
New Plymouth physiotherapy incontinence adviser Jane Bond said the haka stance was probably too advanced for beginners and urged caution for the pelvic floor novice.
"Stand undressed in front of a mirror to make it easier to identify the muscles," she said.
"Tighten the same muscles you would if you were trying to stop yourself passing wind or stop doing a wee."
If performing these exercises correctly, males should see the testicles lift and the base of the penis move towards the abdomen.
If this initial process proves difficult, men should seek expert advice.
"It's a sensitive issue for men but this is something that's easily achievable."
Once these muscles have been identified and the man can comfortably tighten them for 10 seconds over three repetitions, then it could be time for the haka stance squeeze.
MenzMedical Christchurch director Dr Rob Williams said though he had not read the British study, any exercise would benefit men's genito-urinary health. "These types of physical exercise give men something to focus on - a feeling as though they were doing something about the problem and this in turn would diminish anxiety."
Researchers found that contracting these internal muscles, which boost blood supply to the area, had no side effects and could be just as effective as Viagra.
The pelvic floor in both sexes stretches from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front and plays an important role in controlling bladder and bowel function.
These same muscles also create an erection.
(c) 2008 Press, The; Christchurch, New Zealand. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.