how intimacy can help manage your physical and emotional pain
Regular sex, according to medical research, has the same benefits as regular exercise. It increases the flow of certain chemicals that naturally boost and strengthen the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, stimulates circulation, invigorates the heart, diminishes the intensity of pain — especially in migraines and chronic arthritis — may reduce PMS symptoms, and releases endorphins, which simply make you feel good.
“Sex apparently unleashes a bevy of chemical compounds into the brain, starting with oxytocin, otherwise known as the bonding or cuddle hormone. Studies show oxytocin levels become elevated in women during childbirth (I know, hard to believe!) and breastfeeding, as well as in fathers who are involved with their partners and babies. Oxytocin similarly increases with sensual touch between adults, and peaks during orgasm.” (1. Deborah Barrett Ph.D)
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*MAMAS & PAPAS: for those of you that are curious — did you know that giving birth might give you an orgasm? We are actually wired with the same hormones during labor and during sex! Watch this video here for more info!
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YUP, OXYTOCIN IS OUR BEST FRIEND.
“Research consistently shows that oxytocin not only increases emotional connection, it also promotes a sense of calm and well-being, and reduces the effects of stress(as measured by blood pressure and cortisol), all of which are relevant in reducing perceptions of pain. In fact, oxytocin is currently being tested as an avenue of treatment for neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Scientists are also seeking to manufacture a synthetic version to deliver "enhanced well-being," but have not yet been successful. However, each of us has the power to boost our oxytocin levels through loving touch, and even thoughts. A study of women in happy marriages found that thinking about their partners caused a surge of oxytocin into the women's bloodstream. Oxytocin also heightens the desire to touch and be touched, which in turn increases the likelihood of further oxytocin production.” (2. D.Barett Ph.D)
DO YOU HAVE CHRONIC PAIN WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE?
If chronic pains has been putting a damper on your drive for intimacy — reconsider the benefits. If you're lucky enough to be in a loving relationship, see your partner as your pain relief. I’ve noticed with a lot of clients that I’ve worked with around their fertility + sex drive, just simply switching the MINDSET of your partner can be a tremendous healing potential. For example, from “someone to complain to” to “someone to relieve your pain” can be your remedy in itself, as you are truly bonding on a different level.
If you have enjoyed sex and closeness but are currently avoiding it out of fear or disinterest associated with pain, you may want to revisit this decision.
THE PRESCRIPTION FOR TOUCH
Turning to sex as a constant escape from physical or emotional pain is not necessarily the solution either. What you need is the tender loving touch of someone dear to your heart. It can be a profound hug, a kiss, a loving heart to hear conversation — these are the moments where our good friend oxytocin comes out.
We live in a world where being detached is more and more of a reality. Technology has certainly contributed to that, as well as just modernity is very much more independent than before. How can we cultivate a life that naturally cultivates deeper and meaningful connections — whether its to our own family, friends or lover?
Lets start by seeing how we can start the change inside, before we manifest outwards.
HERBS that make you feel gooood
Aphrodisiacs can be quite excellent sources of assisting oxytocin release. Some of my favorite aphrodisiacs and feel-good herbs are: albizzia, catuaba, damiana, cacao, mucuna, st johns wort, muira puama, maca, yohimbe and lots more!
Other important factors:
*Increase B vitamin intake and Omega-3 fatty acids.
*Increase your tryptophan intake - tryptophan is an essential amino acid and a precursor for serotonin production. It helps regulate sleep, calming dryer nerves, facilitates weight loss
SOME THINGS to consider:
- Simple carbs (white sugar, white flour, white rice) rapidly increase insulin production which can lead to a depressed state of mind and irritability.
- Avoiding Alcohol Intake - Alcohol and drugs can slow or prevent recovery from depression.
- Maintaining Proper Body Posture - The body systems and the mind are integrated. Your posture influences muscle tension throughout your body and in turn affects your brain's reactions to stimuli.
- Exercising Regularly - Exercise works as well or even better than antidepressants.
- Being Optimistic - Learn to magnify positive thoughts and kill the negative thoughts before they accumulate and bring you to a depressed mood.
We partnered with Beauty Heroes this month!
This month we've made a special collaboration with Beauty Heroes. A company devoted to ecological products and a sustainable world (and beyond!!) Check out this interview by Jeannie Jarnot, the founder of Beauty Heroes, and Adriana Ayales, our founder.