“A Profound Calming Effect”

Posted: March 24th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Calm, News, Trust | No Comments »

That's how one researcher described the effects of oxytocin. In her book, Inner Peace for Busy Women, Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. describes the oxytocin released by touching and even talking as having a profound calming effect.

Again, women seem to be more receptive to the effects of oxytocin than men, and some of the key ways they are able to boost their levels of the trust hormone include touching, especially skin-to-skin, and talking with others.

No one has really defined what type of talk spurs oxytocin release, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it doesn't have to be quoting Walt Whitman verses or whispering sweet nothings. (On the other hand, you probably don't want to come off as an intense, creepy, stalker type either). Just talk. Nice easy conversation. Put the focus on her: what do you like to do, where did you grow up, that's a beautiful bracelet…where did you get it. Get the picture?

See an article discussing the book here.

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Why Oxytocin is So Calming for Women

Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Empathy, News | No Comments »

Women, so it seems, rely on their friends to help them through rough, stressful patches much more than men. Some research supports this observation. What is it about women's friends that helps them deal with life's stresses so much? Well, along with activities like kissing, skin to skin contact, massage and so on, oxytocin levels are increased in women simply by connecting with friends.

Is there some anthropological reason for this? Probably. But the point is that when a person is undergoing stress, a potentially harmful hormone called cortisol is released. Now cortisol has its purpose, but in our modern society, the fight or flight reflex that it plays a role in is triggered a lot more often than is really needed (when was the last time you had to run from a pack of wild dogs that wanted the game you just hunted?) Oxytocin helps balance out the effects of cortisol. Women appear to be more receptive to oxytocin, and can up their levels without even being touched–just talking to good friends can do it.

To read more on this go to this link.

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    Oxytocin Deepens Attraction Through Sense of Well-Being

    Posted: February 26th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: News | No Comments »

    The University of Waterloo ran a Valentine's Day piece in its student newspaper walking readers through the stages of attraction, lust and love. Interestingly, oxytocin was discussed as being really important for deepening the connection between people through the sense of peace and well-being that someone feels when with that "special someone."

    What does this mean if you're using an oxytocin spray rather than causing it to be released through touching? It's good news or bad news depending on how you imagine a certain situation should turn out. If you are already in a relationship, it's all good! Your significant other will find you more attractive and desirable.

    If you're trying to meet someone for the first time, well, again it depends. If you think the oxytocin spray is going to cause them to start ripping off clothing in a frenzy of desire…probably not gonna happen. On the other hand, if you want the person you meet to be more calm, open, trusting as you speak with him or her–you know, giving you the time and space to get to know you better–oxytocin spray may just help make that happen.

    It's not super heavy on the science, but it's a good, interesting read: The Biochemistry of Love.

    Maybe if Tiger Used Oxytocin None of this Would Have Happened

    Posted: February 24th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: News, Sexuality | No Comments »

    So I'm kidding (mostly) about the title. But an interesting article just came out (link at the bottom) discussing sexual addictions. I can feel the eye rolls now…I know that's usually my reaction when I hear about some celebrity who claims that he's not really cheating because he is a sex addict. Uh huh.

    Well, the interesting thing about the article I'm describing is its look at researchers' thoughts about what causes sexual addiction. For starters most (the article claims 90%) sex addicts are men. And why would that be? Because of how and when oxytocin is released in women:

    “Women have a hard time believing that sexual compulsion exists because in part, they can’t relate to it,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of Sex Recharge. “During desire and sex, the female body produces higher levels of the feel-good chemical oxytocin, making sex more of an emotional act than it is for men.”

    In other words, for women, this physiological response can act as a hormonal safeguard from developing an obsession…

    Oxytocin builds trust and deepens emotional bonds. So even though I wasn't really serious about Tiger, I do sort of wonder how things could have been different if he had treated his sexual relationship with his wife more as an emotional connection and not so much as just a physical one.

    To see the whole article click here.

    Starting to Wonder What Oxytocin CAN’T Do

    Posted: February 16th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Healing, News | No Comments »

    So, let's see…oxytocin makes people more trusting and more relaxed. It helps people "read your mind" in the sense that they are better able to understand your facial expressions, which in turn makes them more understanding or empathetic.

    On top of all that, as if it weren't enough already, CBS News recently released a report that suggests that oxytocin may also work as an antioxidant. You know, the stuff that helps fight cancer.

    Now, I'm not claiming that oxytocin nasal spray will prevent cancer! I'm just always amazed at all the amazing things this little hormone – that hardly anyone knows about – can do.

    To see the whole CBS story, click here.

    Her Big Fat Geek Wedding

    Posted: February 12th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Empathy, News | No Comments »

    A science writer for the New Scientist magazine was recently married, and she decided to turn the occasion into an experiment. She had a scientist who studies oxytocin take blood samples from her, the groom, their family members and people in the wedding party both before and after the wedding.

    Some of what they found, even though it's not a huge, statistically valid study, is really good news for people who are interested in using oxytocin spray as a way to help them have better relationships. Not only did the people tested at the wedding have higher levels of oxytocin, the scientist who did the study suggested that they were brought closer together emotionally through that extra oxytcin. On top of that, they were probably more empathetic or sensitive to each other. So we know that oxytocin spray causes most of the same benefits of oxytocin released in the brain. Now we see that it gives even more of a boost to people hoping to get along better with other people.

    Oh, and for the men in the audience, women seem to react more strongly to the positive effects of oxytocin. So next time you're at a wedding, just remember that there's not going to be much better of a time to try your latest line–she's ready to listen!

    (Of course, you could bring that feeling with you wherever you go, with oxytocin spray. Just go to the home page to learn more about that).

    Click the link to read the whole New Scientist article.

    A KISS Says It All!!!!

    Posted: February 6th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: News, Sexuality | No Comments »

    Research into kissing–what a great gig!–has shown that it causes a whole range of changes in the brain's chemistry. Saliva may help pass testosterone to your partner, which is one way to get the engine revved up. Cortisol, a hormone that's related to stress, is reduced, which causes people to feel good and more romantic. Finally–and this is the important thing to us–it releases oxytocin, which helps people bond.

    This is yet another example of oxytocin's positive effects on mood and romance. Of course, if you're not already kissing someone, you can increase their "bonding hormone" levels by using an oxytocin spray. You will both feel more trusting and open to more possibilities…

    Read the whole article at the link:


    30 Ways to Boost Sex Drive

    Posted: February 4th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: News, Sexuality | No Comments »

    This item isn't so much about oxytocin as it is about things you can do to, well, boost your sex drive. The list is largely directed toward women, but some of the tips apply equally to both sexes. The importance of oxytocin's role comes in the tip about touching and cuddling more to increase oxytocin levels. Of course, oxytocin spray absorbed through the nasal passages has been shown to bring about those same feelings of intimacy.

    Click on over to the article in The Sun to read about all the tips, not just the one about oxytocin. You'll have to wade through a few interesting ideas having to do with things like armpits, garlic and meat, but it's a quick fun read, and you may learn a useful tip or two along the way.

    Go to the article

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    Nest making and oxytocin comparably promote wound healing

    Posted: January 30th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Healing, News | No Comments »

    …in rats.

    Obviously we can't count on using oxytocin to scab over the road rash after the next losing battle with the pavement. After all, no one reading this, I'm guessing, is a rodent. However, last year researchers at Massachussets General Hospital published results demonstrating the healing effect of oxytocin (and, more directly, nest building) in an animal study. This work connects to other findings over the years about the relationship between stress and rate of healing.

    Read the abstract from the National Institutes of Health here.

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