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 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 PMS / PMDD

May 1, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off

Mostly, when people come up against problems in life, they most often associate it with not getting enough of what they need and what they want. Things like acceptance, appreciation, partnership and social standing are all things that we all grope at one way or another, and when we have these things going on well, it is easy to see why we want them, because our anxiety levels fall, and our happiness increases.

All of these social tendencies that we share as humans have their roots ultimately in the production of hormones in the brain, which all relate to one of the first neurological process we evolved to have; the reward system. When we do something right, we get rewarded, and we experience this reward with the brain releasing feel good hormones to signify that something has been done right. The brain rewards you, and is letting you know that if you want to keep on feeling good, you better keep on doing it right.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin and Our Need For Touch

April 11, 2012 Oxytocin And Adoption, Uncategorized Comments Off

By Thea Blair

I first noticed how effective touch was in resolving children’s conflicts and emotional issues during the 14 years I taught a mixed age pre-school in my home. It began as a way to manage the behavior of toddlers who just could not get along with their peers or were having a “melt-down.” My intuition told me that they were out of their skill range: they were overwhelmed or over-stimulated. I would hold them over my heart as if they were infants and discovered this was much more effective than any form of “time out.” Later, I saw miraculous results using other forms of gentle touch with older children, too. I began experimenting with either comforting or playful touch. Sometimes I would put a hand on the shoulders of two children having a conflict, sometimes I would hold a child who was sad or angry. Sometimes I would offer them imaginative back massage stories or bounce them on my knee. It was during this time that I began to adapt verses and songs into massage routines. I was amazed at the results: my caring touch was resolving difficult situations much faster and easier than verbal communication alone.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin AND Generosity

April 9, 2012 Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

One of the most puzzling conundrums about the human race is that we, unlike many other animal species, can be moved to acts of generosity towards others, often complete strangers and more often than not at a cost to ourselves. There are many examples – helping someone with a difficult problem and diverting our energy and attention away from our own task describes it more prosaically.  You see someone fall and the immediate reaction is to rush to his or her aid – why? Well the exact reasons seem to be shrouded in the mystery that is the human psyche but a recent paper  (2007) by some Californian academics is that a little known (to the public at large that is) hormone called oxytocin may be at the root of it.

… Continue Reading

60 Seconds with Dr. Tammy: Intimacy Q&A

March 27, 2012 Oxytocin and Sex Comments Off

Dr. Tammy Tucker, Board-certified family physician and author of the book and the program Project Fabulous, has been practicing Osteopathic Medicine for over 10 years, and specializes in holistic health methods. This means that she takes a “whole person” approach to medicine.

60-second Q&A with Dr. Tammy about oxytocin and sex:

Q) How does oxytocin affect our sex lives?

A) Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity, counteracts impotence, and it helps us connect to our partners more deeply on an emotional level, while enhancing physical pleasure.

Q) How often would one need to take oxytocin to improve sex in older adults?

A) Oxytocin is released when affection takes place. Often older adults do not engage in affection due to underlying feelings of inadequacy with their aging appearance and lack of intimacy as aging partners’ health declines leading to the inability to perform sexually for many reasons. There are many factors, both physical and emotional, that must be considered in keeping oxytocin levels balanced in elderly adults. There is a clear understanding that all hormone levels must be in balance to achieve optimal sexual peak performance. It may be necessary for the elderly to supplement more frequently due to the multiple factors that lead to decline in these levels and therefore affect the overall balance.

Q) Will it help an individual’s partner if the individual took oxytocin?
A) The only person we can change or control is ourselves. Feeling love and trust towards another through adequate levels of oxytocin can drastically change the dynamics of a relationship. If both partners are balanced with their oxytocin levels this effect is magnified. It makes sense that if the other partner feels love and trust and openness to bond that everyone in the relationship wins.
Want to learn more about how oxytocin can help your sex life? Watch a YouTube Video, “How Oxytocin Can Help You: Dr. Tammy Talks About Stress, Intimacy, and Health


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

Oxytocin and Sex for Seniors

March 22, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off

One of the, almost, universal truths is that as you get older your body begins to turn down some of the primal drives that you have – in particular the relationships between older couples can seem devoid of the physical aspects of being in love. Forget the ‘flowers and hearts’ stuff, but there is a fundamental truth and a link between the lengths of time you have been together and the numbers of small, seeming significant, quarrels over almost nothing.

There are numerous scholarly articles related to experiments and testing on prairie voles, sheep and rats that demonstrate the levels of potency increase with the production (or in these cases the introduction) of a naturally occurring hormone called oxytocin. First ‘discovered’ in 1909 by Henry Dale (later to be ‘Sir’ and a Nobel Prize winner), oxytocin is named after a Greek phrase which, when translated, means ‘speedy birth’. What he found was that this hormone, produced in the pituitary gland does many things – amongst which are controlling the contraction of the uterus during birth and the production of human milk during the nursing period! It seems that oxytocin is a wonder drug – so why haven’t we heard so much about it? And if it was thought, primarily, to be about childbirth, what on Earth has it got to do with us seniors?

Well, ‘seniors’ have feelings too and that is what oxytocin controls. There is a wonderful warmth and feeling of ‘togetherness’ in simply having a cuddle or holding hands and that warmth is, in a way, a byproduct of the little gland, the size of a pea, that we know as the pituitary.

I talked earlier about the ‘quarrels’ between people who have been together for a long-time and much of that is down to stress and distance in a relationship – it isn’t that people move apart, more that they don’t find it easy to show emotion or come closer together. So if there was a way…and there is. By simply having a cuddle, you feel closer to the person you are cuddling physically and emotionally. And science has found a mechanism for helping people overcome that irrational fear of disagreements and feeling alone – it’s a treatment that goes under the ungainly title of ‘oxytocin factor sublingual drops or the nasal spray’ – enough to put you off, but don’t let it. … Continue Reading

Susan Kuchinskas Interview

February 23, 2012 Featured Comments Off

Bryan Post interviews Chemistry of Connection author, Susan Kuchinskas.

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button below -

Oxytocin and Introverts/Extroverts

February 18, 2012 Oxytocin And Anxiety, Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

The issue of social problems, and not having good social skills, is often related to not being comfortable in social surroundings. For people who are perfectly comfortable in social surroundings, there is no need to worry and things flow naturally and smoothly, friendships are made, parties are remembered, and life goes on.

There are people that want the same things but find it difficult to be comfortable and act naturally in the same social situations. Even if someone wants to be in these types of surroundings, exposed to new people, interesting situations and the like, their nerves change their behavior and make them exactly the sort of person they would not want to meet! The irony is not lost on many people who face this problem, and while the problems are not always acute or problematic enough to be diagnosed as a bonafide mental disorder, the negative social effects can still be large.

Do you want to feel better? Can oxytocin help you stop worrying? Can it help you overcome anxiety and social avoidance? Watch our YouTube video, “No More Worry

… Continue Reading

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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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