Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping now

Oxytocin: The "Love" Hormone That improves Our Quality of Life

 

By: Dr. Will Cole

 

Many of my patients in my telehealth functional medicine clinic want to learn more about the inner workings of their health. A common question I get is what exactly drives our feelings and emotions and if that can be defined scientifically. And it all comes down to our brain chemistry.


Influenced by internal and external triggers, our brain releases a variety of chemicals known as neurotransmitters that control how happy or sad we feel. It also controls that warm and fuzzy feeling we get when we’re in love.


You can thank the specific neurotransmitter, oxytocin for that. Oxytocin is released by your brain's pituitary gland and is the powerful hormone that surges during orgasm. This is one of the main biological reasons why sex is a bonding experience for couples. Therefore, oxytocin is also known as the “love” hormone.


But oxytocin is so much more than that. In fact, the release of oxytocin has been linked to a variety of health benefits that can seriously improve your overall health. Let’s take a look at why we should encourage this neurotransmitter to flourish.

 

1. Improves sleep

 

Administering oxytocin has been shown to improve quality and duration of sleep, as well as cardiorespiratory homeostasis. However, additional research needs to be done on oxytocin’s exact role in managing sleep apnea.

 

2. Alleviates pain

People struggling with chronic pain have been found to have lower levels of oxytocin. In studies looking at individuals dealing with cancer, IBS, and back pain, oxytocin was able to relieve the pain associated with these conditions.

 

3. Boosts immunity

Your gut contains close to 80 percent of your immune system and your gut and brain are inextricably linked through the gut-brain axis. For example, those feelings of butterflies in your stomach are caused by oxytocin. When oxytocin is released, your body’s immune modulating T-regulatory cells are given a boost.

 

4. Curbs cravings

While underlying hormone imbalances are often a factor in weight gain and weight loss resistance, there can also be a psychological component for some individuals. In regards to binge eating, oxytocin has been shown to reduce the urge to eat for pleasure rather than hunger and can actually increase feelings of satiety.

 

5. Lowers inflammation

Chronic inflammation is one of the main underlying contributors to most modern day health problems. Oxytocin lowers inflammation through its ability to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6.

 

6. Calms anxiety

Oxytocin has been shown to lower anxiety levels even in cases of severe anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.

 

7. Reduces heart disease risk

When your body releases oxytocin, it lowers inflammation, blood pressure, stress and anxiety, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

 

8. Strengthens relationships

As we mentioned earlier, oxytocin is commonly referred to as the “love” hormone for its ability to increase bonding in romantic relationships. In fact, studies have shown that the release of oxytocin can increase monogamy in couples. But is also linked to childbirth. During labor, a mother’s body releases oxytocin to help the uterus contract and get ready for childbirth and then assists in strengthening the bond between mom and child once they are born.

 

How to boost oxytocin

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to influence your own brain chemistry and boost oxytocin naturally.

 

1. Reconnect with your loved one

Simply connecting with your partner on an emotional level can increase oxytocin. Keep the fire burning with words of affirmation, acts of service, spending time together doing something you both love, and connecting with meaningful conversation.

 

2. Physical touch

Any sort of physical touch can boost oxytocin, not just sex. Cuddling, hugging, kissing, and just holding hands is enough to give your love hormone a little boost.

 

3. Get a massage

Going back to physical touch, even non-romantic or sexual touch can release oxytocin. Research has shown that even just 15 minutes of massage is enough to boost oxytocin in both the person receiving the massage and the person giving the massage. 

 

4. Meditate

Focusing your meditation practice on someone you care about - known as loving-kindness meditation - is enough to boost oxytocin.

 

5. Cuddle with your pet

Physical touch isn’t limited to human connection, as taking time to pet your dog can also release oxytocin in both yourself and your dog!

Learning how oxytocin is released in the body just goes to show us that health and our journey as human beings is not one that should be experienced solo.

Previous
Next

The Wellness Club

Sporty & Rich Wellness - How to Navigate Job Insecurity

How to Navigate Job Insecurity

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @ericabassotherapy Experiencing a layoff at your workplace or losing your job can be extremely stressful. It's normal to feel a range of emotions during such times. Job loss or insecurity can threaten components of psychological well-being, such as one’s financial health and identity, and leave individuals feeling vulnerable and...

Read more
Irregular Periods: What Do They Mean?

Irregular Periods: What Do They Mean?

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: drmelissa.co A woman’s period is a vital sign. Just like your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breath rate, a woman’s cycle is indicative of her health overall. An imbalanced period indicates suboptimal health.  The menstrual cycle is incredibly complex and requires a constellation of factors to align for it to occur at regular intervals. Factors that can delay a period or cause...

Read more
The Health Benefits of Ghee

The Health Benefits of Ghee

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @islandem_ Ghee, or clarified butter, is the product of slowly heating cow’s butter to 100°C until the fat, milk protein (casein), and sugar (lactose) separate. The protein and milk are...

Read more
The Power of Napping

The Power of Napping

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @inceipek1 In today's fast-paced world, where work schedules are demanding and screens keep us connected around the clock, finding time to rest and rejuvenate has become increasingly challenging. However, one simple yet highly effective practice that offers us a potential solution is napping. Often underestimated, napping holds a plethora of benefits for both physical and mental health. The Science Behind Napping

Read more
Should You Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Should You Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil  This is a topic that has so many variables but this article will give you some real world experience and ideas on how you can come to your own conclusion when it comes to working out on an empty stomach. The first thing to consider...

Read more
5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates founder Chris Bardawil  Most of us know about the physical benefits of exercise: improved posture, weight management, increased energy, looking stronger...but what about the psychological benefits of exercise? Here are five key benefits your mental health will get from regular exercise.  Better Sleep: Exercise can help regulate our circadian rhythm which is our body's internal clock that influences when we feel tired and when we feel...

Read more
Nourishing The Mind: How Nutrition Impacts Mental Health

Nourishing The Mind: How Nutrition Impacts Mental Health

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @inceipek1 The saying "you are what you eat" holds more truth than we might realize, especially when it comes to our mental health. The connection between nutrition and mental well-being is a complex and intricate web, with scientific research increasingly highlighting the profound impact that our dietary choices can have on our mood, cognition, and overall mental...

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness

Understanding the Complexities of Histamine Intolerance

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @dermahealthnutrition Histamine plays several important roles in the body, including regulating gastric acid production, controlling blood vessel dilation, modulating immunity and response to allergens. Histamine is found in varying amounts in almost all foods. Histamine intolerance results from an imbalance between histamine intake and histamine metabolism in...

Read more
A Root Cause Approach for Treating Perioral Dermatitis

A Root Cause Approach for Treating Perioral Dermatitis

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @drmelissa.co Dermatitis is a term that describes general inflammation of the skin. While it is relatively easy to diagnose, discerning the cause can be challenging; typically there are a plethora of factors that come together to cause this condition. Perioral dermatitis (PD) is general inflammation of the skin around the mouth (“peri”...

Read more
A Look Into What a Naturopath Eats in a Day

A Look Into What a Naturopath Eats in a Day

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

  By: @drmelissa.co What I eat in a day is a topic I consistently am asked about and I often hesitate to share because no two people are alike and I believe there is no one-size fits all approach when it comes to diet and overall health. What works for me may not work for anyone else. I...

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness

Adverse Reactions to Food: Allergies versus Intolerances

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @dermahealthnutrition Many food-related symptoms are mistaken for "allergies" when in fact they may be food intolerances. Food allergy and food intolerance are two distinct reactions with unique characteristics in terms of their underlying mechanisms. Accurately distinguishing between the two conditions is crucial for effective diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately for improving the wellbeing of those affected.

Read more
Sporty & Rich Wellness

5 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Translation missing: en.blogs.article.by Taylor Davis

By: @coreflexpilates Many of us know about the physical benefits of exercise, but what about the psychological benefits of exercise? Exercise can help ease anxiety and depression, improve your sleep and keep your memory in check. Here are five benefits your mental health will get from regular exercise. Better Sleep - E

Read more