The Neurobiology of Trust

ShareBy Paul J. Zak If you were asked to fall backward into the arms of a stranger, would you trust the other person to catch you? Such a situation, a common exercise in group therapy, is a bit extreme. But every day most people place some degree of trust in …

Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

ShareFeeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is …

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Oxytocin – The Neurochemical of Everything Good

ShareOxytocin has been a favorite focus in my e-newsletter before. (Healing and Awakening into Aliveness and Wholeness at www.lindagraham-mft.net.) Oxytocin is the brain’s naturally occurring hormone of “tend and befriend” (Healing Heartache, Sept. 2008), the molecule of motherly love and attachment (The Neurobiology of Feeling Unlovable, Feb. 2009), the neuropeptide …

Recent Articles:

Oxytocin and Postpartum Depression

Also known as ‘post natal depression,’ postpartum describes some of the emotions that surround the period immediately after childbirth when the bond between mother and baby is often cemented by the production of milk during breast-feeding.  But for many mothers this cementation is made more difficult when their natural hormones don’t kick in and they find it hard to lactate – and this pressure builds up till it spills over into the whole family relationship.

Way back at almost the beginning of the last century, 1906 to be exact, a British scientist discovered a naturally occurring hormone, secreted during childbirth called oxytocin (translated from the Greek meaning ‘speedy birth’) and found that it had a couple of primary functions; first it contracted the uterus to help the birthing process and then it stimulated the mammary glands to begin lactation. While it was Sir Henry Dale[1]  who first discovered the hormone and its connections, much work has been done in the area of postpartum across the years and most recently James F. Paulson, PhD et al, talked about the issue in the ‘Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics’[2]  in an abstract from an article that looked at the links between postpartum on mothers, fathers and parenting. In the full article they discuss the role of oxytocin in lactation and the impact that the reduction or even cessation of milk production can have on stress levels for the whole family.

… Continue Reading

Need Help with Drug Addiction?

November 16, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off

The Coalition Against Drug Abuse website has lots of great information about alcohol and drug addiction.

“If you think that someone you love is addicted to drugs, it’s important that you handle the situation carefully. It’s common to be afraid to approach you loved one about drug use, because you don’t know how he or she will react. However, the important thing is finding the substance abuse help he or she needs.”

How to Help a Drug Addict

Oxytocin and Schizophrenia

November 8, 2012 Oxytocin and Mental Illness, Uncategorized Comments Off

Schizophrenia is a highly damaging psychological disorder with massive costs to anyone who suffers from it. While there are many different types of treatments available as a prescription and as supplements alongside psychosocial treatments, the highly serious and complex nature of the disorder means that medical professionals are always keeping their ear to the ground in the hope that a new treatment will come along, and oxytocin is proving to be a highly promising candidate. This article will go over the causes of the disorder, and then delve into oxytocin and its potential.

… Continue Reading

Experiencing the Stress of Technology? Oxytocin Can Help

October 26, 2012 Featured YouTube Video, Oxytocin and Stress Comments Off

Many people have opinions on the stress of technology and its effects, and its far-reaching implications. Technology is very popular and pervasive, and this stress, added to already well-known problems caused by the digital age, will no doubt put it at the center of the health debate.

The age of information technology is like a silver cloud with a gray lining. We could not accomplish parallel levels of work product and efficiency by any other means, but there have been many health implications. Our ability to acquire information in an instant is believed to be making disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) worse than ever before.

In general, levels of social anxiety are expected to rise as a result of our technological advances. World events, our social lives and our friends’ social lives are in our thoughts more than ever before, leaving those who are more susceptible to anxiety on a knife edge. The information era has exploded, and we are being bombarded with high levels of information that we would have never thought possible (or even useful) just a decade ago. It is all very complicated, and with this comes anxiety quite naturally (1).

So what about oxytocin?

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin and Schizophrenia

October 7, 2012 Oxytocin and Mental Illness Comments Off

Oxytocin may have therapeutic benefits for those with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a highly damaging psychological disorder with massive costs to anyone who suffers from it. While there are many different types of treatments available on prescription and as supplements alongside psychosocial treatments, the highly serious and complex nature of the disorder means that medical professionals are always keeping their ear to the ground in the hope that a new treatment will come along, and oxytocin is proving to be a highly promising candidate. This article will go over the causes of the disorder, and then delve into oxytocin and its potential.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin Helps Slow Aging Process

September 26, 2012 Oxytocin and Aging Comments Off
It's never too soon to slow the effects of aging.

It's never too soon to slow the effects of aging.

Oxytocin and anti-aging 

We all know what the doctor recommends for a longer and healthier life. Keeping fit and eating well are two of the best things you can do to promote a long fruitful life. But there are many other things that should be considered when it comes to aging, both internally and externally, including reducing
stress and anxiety
in your life.

Your body will age at a natural rate, but often the process of aging can be accelerated. Living a physically unhealthy life in general causes premature aging, but many other environmental factors can cause just as many problems. Your brain is powerful, and if it is not in a healthy state, due to too much stress for instance, then the aging process can be accelerated significantly.

How Can Oxytocin Help Slow the Aging Process?

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin and You

September 5, 2012 Oxytocin and Depression, Oxytocin and Sex, Uncategorized Comments Off

Oxytocin is a peptide created in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, and acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, rendering itself highly important for many physical processes in the body, alongside social and emotional processes and development in the body and in the brain.

Oxytocin and its role in the body

Oxytocin was first discovered for important roles in reproduction, including uterine contraction and regulation during childbirth, and the letdown reflex for breastfeeding. It has since been discovered to be just as important for human social function and anxiety reduction, and to form relationships and trust between members of social groups and for intimate relationships. In this way, oxytocin holds a great deal of control over our emotional responses to social situations, helping us to stay calm and content and get on with things. This makes it a very important hormone in the grand scheme of things, which is why it has been the subject of intense research since its discovery.

How oxytocin works

The whole system in which oxytocin works involves many parts of the brain and body including the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the brainstem and the heart. This makes it difficult to pinpoint its precise role and function, but what is known is that the hormone initiates a system similar yet opposite to the role adrenaline plays in stressful situations. While adrenaline gets us ready for the ‘fight or flight’, oxytocin calms us down and makes us more comfortable. Simple things like eating chocolate or sharing a hug release oxytocin in a normal healthy human.

Relationships

There is little to dispute the positive effect of oxytocin in relationships. A paper published in 2008 in Biological Psychiatry showed that it can reduce levels of cortisol when couples argue, helping to significantly reduce levels of stress. This article mirrors a wealth of other reports which show how there is a definite positive correlation between oxytocin levels and amiability and content within a given relationship.

Sexual Implications

There is not a huge body of evidence to show any direct links between the hormone and sexual performance, and as of present the direct link between oxytocin and sexual response is not clear. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest however that oxytocin has its role to play with sexual stimulation, response and function, and because oxytocin and sex are both linked so closely to emotional behavior, it comes as no surprise that they are both linked at least as an indirect positive correlation.

The things which can affect a healthy sex life are often the same – things like anxiety, communication, connection, trust and security. When there are problems with these types of things within a relationship, a couple’s sex life is often the first thing to be affected. Problems like this often produce a negative feedback effect, which further deteriorates the quality of the relationship and the happiness of both partners. The good news is that the links between all of these emotional and social ailments and oxytocin are proven, and so there are very effective ways to help improve your sex life if you think these things might be affecting you.

What can be done?

We live in a world where stress is more common than ever before. Fast paced lifestyles, employment stress and a ‘quick fix’ mentality are all acting to increase levels of anxiety and stress in people all around the world. The American National Center for Health Statistics released an MMWR report on depression among US adults, which has found that just under 10% of US adults qualify as under depression, and around 4% with major depression. This accords with antidepressants being one of the most prescribed drugs in the US.

How does this link in with Oxytocin? The more depression you experience, the more difficult it is for your body to produce oxytocin, and to experience all the benefits that this hormone creates. You are less likely to produce natural oxytocin when you are under high levels of stress, which means that oxytocin supplements can often be required.

Oxytocin Factor is a supplement of choice among many physicians and professional practitioners, with proven results in reducing stress and anxiety, and the many problems associated with them, such as sexual arousal and maintaining a healthy sex life. So taking oxytocin could be just the supplement you are looking for, with many people finding stress affecting their sex lives stating really positive changes when they take it.

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

 

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Oxytocin Factor Four Part Interview with Susan Kuchinskas

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Featured Content:

Susan Kuchinskas Interview

23 Feb 2012

Bryan Post interviews Chemistry of Connection author, Susan Kuchinskas.

Oxytocin (Part 5/5)

7 Jul 2011

ShareIt is my goal in therapy to help patients love and have the capacity to receive love; all else is secondary. Love makes us strong for our progeny. We need sex to enhance love, have progeny, and vice versa. It is the natural outgrowth of love. What we too often …

Oxytocin (Part 4/5)

30 Jun 2011

ShareAnother hormone, vasopressin, contributes to male nurturance of offspring – it makes for caring fathers. It also has pain-killing effects and helps make animals venture out and be more exploratory. If vasopressin is blocked, there is immediately less paternal behavior. When injected directly into a section of the brain of …

Oxytocin (Part 3/5)

23 Jun 2011

ShareBonding is the most positive aspect of human relationships. We learn how to bond emotionally in adulthood through early bonding in childhood, as simplistic as that sounds. It cannot be taught! And it certainly cannot be taught in later life. Attachment is pretty well set in our childhood. It is …

Oxytocin (Part 2/5)

16 Jun 2011

ShareOxytocin is found only in mammals. When it is high, one experiences a sense of relaxation, rest, and growth, repair and healing, loving behavior and emotional-attachment. Love and nurturing early in our lives are necessary for optimum health, and healthy brain development cannot take place without it. It isn’t just …

Oxytocin (Part 1/5)

9 Jun 2011

ShareFeeling is the central organizing principle of human behavior. You can measure feeling in the brain, in the body’s biochemistry, in mother’s milk, in saliva and in spinal taps. We can measure it in brain chemicals such as serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, and dopamine. Feelings are all encompassing, and love is …

Oxytocin Promotes Social Attachment, Beginning with Mother and Child

1 Apr 2011

ShareBy Maureen Salamon Oxytocin’s nickname as the “cuddle hormone” is well-earned, since many studies have proven its ability to promote attachment not just between mother and child, but among groups. One of the primary bonds among mammals, of course, is between mother and baby, and much research has focused on …

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