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4 February 2007
Researchers Probe Jelqing Mechanism
by George Atkinson

The focus on mechanical extenders in recent times has meant that natural enlargement - sometimes referred to as jelqing - has taken the backseat as the method of choice for many men seeking a bigger penis. Large numbers of men have, however, achieved substantial size gains using the jelq technique and now researchers are finally looking into this supposedly ancient massage method in an effort to uncover the exact mechanisms that are at work.

In the past, jelqing was viewed with skepticism by the medical community who maintained that the only way to increase penile size was through surgery. Now, however, several studies have been published that describe what actually happens to vascular tissue and smooth muscle (components of the penis) when they are placed under stress, as happens during a jelqing routine.

In the main, what the researchers found is that it's simply a matter of the body adapting to certain stressors. Stress them the right way and you have growth; stress them the wrong way and you won't see any gains (or worse, you may injure yourself).

The article "Wall Tissue Remodeling Regulates Longitudinal Tension in Arteries" in the journal Circulation Research describes how changes in blood pressure or blood flow induced arterial remodeling that normalizes mechanical loads that are imposed on arterial tissue. In other words, increased blood flow/pressure in the artery forces the artery to refashion itself to accommodate the stress. Additionally, the researchers found that this arterial remodeling; "involved tissue elaboration, [where] endothelial cell replication rates were increased by more than 50-fold and smooth muscle cell replication rates were increased by more than 15-fold, and substantially elevated elastin and collagen contents were recorded."

These findings are fascinating as they show how the body can remodel itself to accommodate stressors that might be applied to it. Intriguingly, the researchers also note that; "reduced axial strain was not normalized, presumably because remodeling processes, apart from cell contraction, are ineffective in decreasing strain, and arterial smooth muscle orientation precludes large effects of contraction on axial strain."

In another article, "Changes in the orientation of the smooth-muscle cells of the tunica media from major arteries under constant lengthwise stretching in situ," published in PubMed, researchers examined tunical expansion (the tunica is the tough fascial sheath that contains the corpora and corpus) and found that; "changes in the orientation of arterial smooth muscle cells during a constant longitudinal stretching of the artery in vivo are not similar in different sections of the stretching zone."

While not related to jelqing specifically, the article, "Megalophallus as a sequela of priapism in sickle cell anemia," in the journal Urology, describes the case of a man who incurred "significant penile enlargement" as a complication of sickle cell anemia. The enlargement occurred due to a bout of priapism (having a permanent erection), which is a common consequence of sickle cell anemia. Following this episode, the man was diagnosed with "painless megalophallus." Examining him, doctors discovered enlarged, hypoxic corpora cavernosa. They concluded that the megalophallus probably resulted from; "permanent loss of elasticity of the tunica albuginea due to severe engorgement during the episode of priapism." The doctors also noted that the man's sexual function was intact.

These studies provide an interesting physiological context for appraising the efficacy of jelqing. And while science is finally showing that physical changes in smooth muscle and arterial structure can be effected by stressing exercises, jelqing experts like Al Alfaro, of ForSize, are quick to warn that it is vital for men to adopt only those exercises that are safe and proven. Interestingly, these new studies have spurred Alfaro to design new exercises specifically targeting enlargement of the fascia area identified in the second study.

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