Do you know what Oxytocin is?
well the true definition says….
Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a P sized structure at the base of the brain. Oxytocin is a complex hormone that affects us in almost every area of our lives.
Ever since I trained as a counsellor I have heard the word oxytocin being used in a whole manner of different words such as the love hormone, the cuddle hormone and the trust hormone to name but a few. Later when I trained as a Hypno birthing instructor I began to learn just how much oxytocin dances through each day of our lives, making sure that we fall in love, make love, that we form attachments with people, improves our quality of sleep and to helps to reduce our stress levels.
New research is suggesting that oxytocin plays a crucial part in enabling us to not just forge and strengthen our social relations, but in helping us to stave off a number of psychological and physiological problems as well. But more conceptually, oxytocin is proving to be a crucial ingredient to what makes us human.
So let me tell you why I literally love this hormone:
- Oxytocin is such an easy hormone to feel you literally have to just give somebody a hug shake their hand and low levels of oxytocin will fill your body. It’s that simple and affects both you and the person you’re touching helping to build trust and build relationships. Also just by petting and animal such as a dog and a cat produces the hormone for both so don’t be limited to just us humans.
- It is often referred to as the love hormone as it essentially helps couples to form a greater sense of intimacy and attachment. Oxytocin, along with dopamine and norepinephrine, are believed to be highly critical in human pair-bonding, it creates the desire for couples to want to be together and to ultimately make love together and is a primary factor for bringing about an orgasm.
- Oxytocin is an indispensable part of labour and childbirth by stimulating uterine contractions and is known to help achieve a calm and relaxed birth. Once baby has been born the power of oxytocin that flows between the mother father and their baby is almost palpable and has a significant effect on bonding and breastfeeding.
- Oxytocin gives us the ability to break down barriers when meeting new people, it helps us to build positive self-esteem and because the hormone plays such an important role in trust building relationships wounds can be healed, damaged relationships can sometimes be fixed and trauma can be overcome.
- Amazingly oxytocin also helps with pain relief and healing wounds through its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that a rise in oxytocin levels can help relieve anything from giving birth to something as common as a headache. Now sorry ladies but making love with your partner will get rid of that headache!
- Now as an anti-depressant oxygen oxytocin has been used for some time and research has shown that mothers who are suffering with postpartum depression have found to have low levels of oxytocin.
- Not surprisingly because oxytocin has the ability to alleviate social anxieties and produce feelings of trust, the hormone has the peripheral ability to reduce stress which is something to consider when you consider just what stressful lives we lead.
- Finally, I love the fact that Oxytocin increases our desire as human beings to be generous. Why? Some studies have shown that the release of Oxytocin increases our ability to be empathetic thus giving us the desire to share or give away. Oxytocin, along with dopamine and norepinephrine, are believed to be highly critical in human pair-bonding.
So there you have it just some of the reasons why I love the hormone and the hope like me you can agree that it indeed dances with us throughout our lives with the people that we meet, when we fall in love and when we give birth to our children.
Now the next question has to be how do we produce Oxytocin? How can we produce more of it? But also how can we indeed make sure that it’s with us every day throughout our lives? Look out for my next blog to learn more.