Treatment alternatives

Ubud is the centre of alternative remedies in Bali. Here are just a few that could possibly hasten erectile dysfunction recovery:

  • Massage: You can just about get any sort of massage you want in Bali.  The problem is that few masseuses really understand human physiology or anatomy.  Most massages follow a set pattern. To find someone who understands and can focus on the nerves that need stimulating is not easy.  Esalen massage is one style I think might help. I’m lucky I do have a great masseuse but I am looking for others.
  • Pilates: I have a great pilates teacher right next door. Pilates routines combined with the pelvic floor exercises I now do are sure to help.
  • Traditional healers: there’s a few of them – which ones are the best and can they really assist is open to question.  Doesn’t mean I won’t try one when the time is right.
  • Reiki: I have read in magazines that Reiki can help with recovery of erectile functions after prostate surgery.  There are a few well regarded Reiki therapists in Ubud.  I will try one.  She also offered to train me in a one-day workshop so I can administer myself and to others. The cost is only $165 and I get a certificate! Why not give it a go?!
  • Sound healing: so much of this in Ubud and very little evidence to prove any curative impacts.  Though listening to beautiful gonging in wonderful surroundings is certainly relaxing.  Then again, I have my own gong.  Maybe I should gong myself.
  • Hypnosis: I have a friend who thinks this will help – I will give it a try.
  • Ayurveda techniques: I know nothing about it but there are people here who say it will help.
  • Tantra: certainly an alternative to intercourse sex.  Worth looking into when we are ready.
  • 1-gong1
    Couldn’t resist a bit of personal sound healing

    Kinesiology: I have been contacted by a neuro-kinesiologist (what the heck is this, anyway) who want to charge me 195 euro a session (more than one session required!) to help me. That’s more that my surgeon charged and it ain’t going to happen.

  • Supplements: no shortage of these: natural and produced by the big vitamin companies – all with limited evidence of efficacy.

I’m not planning to rush into any of these (and there are probably more). It’s early days.  But over the next months I’ll try a few, not in any robust research manner, and I’ll blog what hopefully works for me.

Erectile dysfunction – every man’s nightmare

They say only 30-50% of men fully recover their erectile function and it could take 2 years.  I have one friend who is back to normal after one year.  Another who isn’t after more than 2 years. How long will it take and how do you speed it up?

It’s all a bit of guess work from what I can gather.  The research is certainly not conclusive. The specialists give you no certain approach.

I’m on drugs (Cialis every second day) and Viagra once a week.  Why? These drugs work within the tissues of the penis helping the sexual chemical response and thus erection. None yet for me – not that I am expecting any yet – it’s early days.

Vacuum pump: This keeps blood in the right tissues of the penis, though doesn’t create an erection.  But I need to keep these tissues functioning – so they tell me.  It’s “use it or lose it.” I use it most days. (No photos of this!)

Penile injections – well – not yet.

My men’s health doctor (politely referred to as the “Dick Doctor”) tells me that there are 3 sets of nerves that create the sexual experience. They are all part of the cavernosal nerve system which comes from the lower spine (see diagram courtesy of Amicus Visual Solutions). They are the:

  • Somatic nerve: which as far as I can gather controls sensory feelin11170_03A-425x450gs, such as touch – though I’m a bit unclear about it.
  • Parasympathetic nerve: this is the one that was wrapped around the prostate and has been damaged or traumatized.  It’s the one that creates the erection. My surgeon tells me that there was little damage to it but it will still take time to recover.  How much? Time will tell.
  • Sympathetic nerve: this one creates the orgasm. So orgasm without erection is possible. I’ve experienced this in the past, but not sure how to make it happen now.

There is really little literature or advice on how to get these nerves functioning.  You’d think you would be encouraged to work on the 2 that haven’t been damaged, but how.

Then there are all the alternative approaches available here in Bali.  More on them later.


The locals are feeling the cold today – it’s 22 degrees Celsius! Beautiful Ubud.

Wearing man-pads is no fun – though the women don’t give us much sympathy. I’m expecting the incontinence to be over by 2 months – is that reasonable? I know some people take much longer. I have good and bad days.  Some days I don’t need a pad til 5pm; others I leak all day. Nights can also be good or bad, though I try to go pad free at night. I’m doing my pelvic floor exercises 3-5 times per day: rapid fire, tight and hold. About to start adding the plank, curl-ups and squats. Also started yoga again yesterday – needed the pad. What else can one do to speed up the recovery process?

First Blog – My post-prostate surgery recovery begins

I live in Bali – in Ubud – its beautiful and interesting. That didn’t stop me getting prostate cancer. A small but aggressive (Gleason 9) cancer that had to be removed and was removed exactly one month ago in Perth. Now I’m back in Ubud and suffering the 2 main side-effects – incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Ubud is the home of all sorts of alternative (some wacko) treatments.  I’m skeptical about most of them.  But as well as the better known treatments (drugs, pumps, needles) I’m pretty much prepared to try anything – I’m certainly in the right place for it.  This blog is to let you know what works for me (and what doesn’t work); and to get feedback and ideas from other people on the prostate recovery journey.