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 Can Stave Off the Pangs of Addiction

July 29, 2011 Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

Keeping former drug abusers clean for the long haul is notoriously difficult, but scientists believe novel therapies developed from oxytocin may offer hope to addicts trying to kick the habit.

Researchers began studying oxytocin’s effects on drug cravings during the 1990s, and a 1999 issue of the journal Progress in Brain Research noted that the hormone reduces withdrawal symptoms and lowers tolerance to various addictive drugs, including opiates, cocaine and alcohol.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin May Be Able to Help Smokers “Kick Butts”

July 24, 2011 Oxytocin In The News Comments Off

By Maureen Salamon

Oxytocin and nicotine have much in common. Both calm anxiety. Both light up the brain’s “reward center” – a network of cells linked to pleasure. But oxytocin is clearly the healthier of the two chemicals, and researchers think it may have the power to help smokers “kick butts.”

Oxytocin’s reputation as the “love hormone” is actually the reason why support groups benefit people with addictions, scientists say. Those with bad habits to kick reinforce feelings of safety and trust among peers when they meet to talk about their struggles, a process that triggers the release of oxytocin in the brain.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin (Part 5/5)

July 7, 2011 Featured Comments Off

It 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 confuse is love and need. Those who never had their needs fulfilled early in life will keep on looking for fulfillment, believing it is love when too often it is only sexual. So long as someone is needy, he or she will confuse that need with love.
… Continue Reading

How Does Oxytocin Lessen the Stress and Bring on the Sex?

July 5, 2011 Oxytocin And Anxiety, Oxytocin and Sex Comments Off

Job pressures, commuting, money troubles. What do they have to do with sex?

Well, those are the stressors we need to get past to get in the mood for sex, and luckily oxytocin can help.

… Continue Reading

Oxytocin (Part 4/5)

June 30, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Another 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 male voles, vasopressin increased their paternal behavior. They couldn’t be loving fathers without it. Vasopressin is a counterbalance to oxytocin, creating more aggression and territoriality in animals.
… Continue Reading

Oxytocin (Part 3/5)

June 23, 2011 Featured Comments Off

Bonding 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 not something we learn; it is something we feel. It is also something biochemical. Those who did not bond very early on with their parents may well be condemned to a lifetime of broken, fragile, tenuous relationships. It may be in large part due to deficits in the hormonal wherewithal such as oxytocin. Oxytocin researcher and National Institute of Mental Health scientist, Thomas Insel has remarked that, “Many of the affectional ties to the mother observed post-natally (after birth) could be laid down by pre-natal experience.” Life in the womb may determine life outside the womb for decades to come. It is a continuum, not two separate unrelated events. If the early relationship with one’s parents was distant, alienated and glacial, it may be a harbinger of the love relationships we have or don’t have later in life. The earlier the alienation from one’s parents, the more trouble there may be in relationships later on. I have seen it in hundreds of my patients. It approaches a biologic law – if my sampling of our patients is any index.
… Continue Reading

Oxytocin’s Effect on Sleepiness Likely Tied to Mixing with other Chemicals, Researchers Say

By Maureen Salamon

It’s well-known that sex can make people sleepy. So can melatonin, a hormone available in pill form that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. But where does oxytocin fit into this? Scientists are still figuring that out, though oxytocin seems to combine with other chemicals and situations to bring on the zzzz’s more quickly.

Need help falling asleep? Watch our YouTube video, “Can’t Sleep? Oxytocin Aids Sleep

… 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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