Oxytocin – The Healing Power of Touch
The human touch is powerful in so many ways, containing the power to heal and repair the body, both the physical and emotional bodies. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide released by the pituitary gland, is released in the body when exposed to touch and helps heal and protect the heart, decrease inflammation and reduce stress hormones.
Oxytocin and the Heart
Research has indicated that oxytocin can help reduce the risk of heart disease and even promote healing of the heart muscle by reducing inflammatory processes within the body. This makes sense, and is kind of cool, as intimate touch is generally promoted through the emotional state of love.
Oxytocin can also reduce the number of cell deaths in the heart, which may help in keeping it in shape as time goes on. Cuddling with a loved one or even a pet, plus exercise and a healthy eating plan, may go a long way in helping to produce natural oxytocin, promoting every aspect of health.
The powerful oxytocin may also help reduce the level of cortisol within the body, as well. Stress can drastically reduce the quality of life and the quality of health by decreasing the immune system, increasing inflammation and even increasing fat storage by making cells less sensitive to insulin.
For stress reduction, human closeness may just be what the doctor ordered.
Oxytocin May Help in Autism Treatment
Researchers have found that oxytocin may be depressed in many people suffering from autism. A collection of research shows that an increase of oxytocin in these people showed an increase in social interaction and eye contact.
The feeling of trust and empathy is strongly associated with oxytocin release in humans, and may be an example of how it can aid in autism treatment. Although most studies on oxytocin and autism regard the supplementation of synthetic form of the hormone, I suspect that natural production is best, as it carries the least amount of side effects.
Pets and Oxytocin
Having a pet has also shown a correlation with increasing oxytocin in the human body and providing healing. You don’t need to be in an intimate relationship to get the benefits of oxytocin, you just need to be close to anything you truly love.
Although studies mainly show the benefits of dog owners, I suspect that many cat owners may also experience this healing hormone. Some cats can be very loving, and I personally do enjoy cats quite a bit. It also seems that just being with friends and enjoying their company can also increase the levels of this powerful chemical.
Recipes coming up…Grain-Free Pizza and Mini-Donut with Chocolate Frosting.
For now, this is The Healthy Advocate.