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Anti-Stress, Growth, Healing, Well-being and Oxytocin -- Recent Research and Hypotheses

Posted Oct 13 2012 6:13am


View from a walking 
path in Century Park
Shanghai, China




Hunter's Trance Link to Oxytocin?
'He [Edward O. Wilson, Harvard evolutionary biologist] called this state the “hunter’s trance”, connecting it to the anecdotal reports of many hunters and argued that the ability to enter such a trance is connected to humans’ enormous evolutionary success.  When they left the forest for a life on the savannah, hominids who entered the “hunter’s trance”  were able to learn the habits of carnivorous predators as well as the animals they hunted.  Those who didn’t have the ability were most likely to get eaten...

Enter oxytocin, a hormone best known for starting childbirth and inducing lactation.  It turns out that it does a lot more than that.  It is secreted at the base of the brain, in the hypothalamus, and the entire nervous system is sensitive to its effects.  Oxytocin production is stimulated by estrogen, but it is not a female-only hormone, because men produce it as well.

Oxytocin lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, quiets the brain’s fear centers, and suppresses the production of stress hormones.  Childbirth begins with a flood of oxytocin that contracts the uterus and stimulates milk production.  Nursing stimulates the production of more oxytocin, as does the sight or sound of the baby.  New mothers will even produce oxytocin at the mention of their baby’s name or upon seeing a photograph.  It’s oxytocin that puts new mothers in the brain-addled state that allows them to spend hours gazing at their babies, finding new and fascinating details in their faces and tiny bodies.  The equivalent of a “hunter’s trance” in the mother ensures survival for the otherwise helpless infant.'
Author /Blogger Nancy Casey




Chillout Music Love Chapter 2
Credit: Youtube.com
Scenes of beautiful natural scenery, goddesses 
and other gorgeous creatures of Mexico






Biophilia, 'Lover of Life'

E.O. Wilson the Harvard evolutionary biologist has written and spoken about many topics in regards to our evolutionary past and misalignments with the modern age (de-forestation, insufficient exploration of our natural world, excessive wheat and grain fields replacing natural habitats, etc). One topic I like a lot is based on a term that he coined biophilia, 'lover of life' because this type philosophy sums up a lot of my current thoughts on modern pharmaceuticals and the problems with the entrenched disease-model which tries to match a  (drug, synthetic toxin) to every symptom on a growing list of symptoms modern men and women inevitably accrue with the reliance on perhaps what is an unnatural human diet and lifestyle (consistent stressors, refined grains, GMO crop products, neurotoxins, EDCs, environmental pollution).  For every little sniffle, cough or stomach ailment, a conventionally-trained practitioner will happily prescribe antibiotics without reserve.  With each new study on the gut, immunology and their connections to health, it verifies to me that antibiotics are indeed fulfilling their definition... anti-life or against-life. Antibiotics eradicate both the good and bad bacterial species, leaving the few, hardier pathogenic yeast and bacteria species to thrive in cleared out niches -- to putrify and overgrow  in the small (SIBO) and large intestines.. Naturally they can  fester in the other orifices and compartments (e.g. sinus cavities, v*gina cavities, oral cavities, etc) and/or translocate to internal organs. Worse, the 'good' microbiota may never ever be restored or replaced according to some new data, despite even use either of probiotics and fecal transplants .  Pandemic food allergies, skin conditions, chronic illnesses, autism and autoimmune diseases continue to expand despite so-called advances in pharmaceutical medical care.  Probiotics, PRO-LIFE, are great and pro-biotic foods are even better (dirt-containing, traditionally prepared fermented vegetables, meat, seafood, fowl ( kiviak ),  kopi luwak , beans, buckwheat, dairy, etc).



Root Transplant:  Ex-Pat Living in Shanghai, China

We've lived now in Shanghai for one year after moving from California and the transition was not smooth (for me; kids were only disgruntled for a few months).  Displacement was a humongous stressor and I went straight into adrenal dysfunction for 6 long weeks which I've written about earlier: ADRENALS ONE  AND TWO .  When you tend to be 'rigid' I think it takes quite a bit longer to adapt and figure out the terrain... Do you how a gardener can improve success of transplanting a plant by dusting  powdered GA (gibberillic acid)  on the roots prior to transferring?  Before coming here, I wish I had me some magic rooting dust...

Anyway after having the f-cking sh-t kicked out of my mojo, life turned around, this January when we came back. I actually tremendously missed our new space, friends and our adventures.  Subsequently, I became busy whilst tending to the new root system... resuming and enjoying a transformed life (China stuff... family activities, reading, expat friends, working out, cooking, yoga, tai chi, kickboxing, sprint tri's). 

Sorry for the absence on the blog! I did really miss it...



Oxytocin: You don't have any when you are depressed

In my little n=1 self experiment I can probably attribute a couple of super vital things that factored into re-establishing allostasis.  Last fall my children brought back a high maintenance kitten  Angel .  She was about a few weeks old and had to be hand-fed every 2-3 hours. I believe she raised my oxytocin.   We had to give her up to a foster home eventually due to anaphylactic like allergy reactions that my daughter ('N') used to have (instant asthma, face and eye swelling). However, this past spring my children surprisingly appeared to have grown out of most of their cat dander allergies, a discovery made after fostering 'Sylvia/Seal', another kitten!  Melissa McEwen ( Hunt Gather Love ) told me a reassuring story once how she had overcome cat dander allergies after her gut was healed.  I believe we all enjoyed better gut health, gradually since the Paleo diet, and for 'N' it was possibly related to how 'N' lost the last of her molars which were riddled with mercury amalgam (we are all mercury-free now).  One of their classmates found a box of kittens that was left by their international school in March, and guess what? Yes. They brought them (all) home. And raised my OXYTOCIN  ;)  *haa ahaaha*  

They fostered two kittens initially from the remaining litter. After two nights of round the clock feeding, as well-intentioned as they were, they could NOT for their life wake up to syringe- and bottle-feed on schedule).  My oldest daughter found a home for one kitten after about one week and continued to provide excellent alloparenting of the second one, 'Sylvia/Seal'... See end for photoalbum...

Oxytocin is low in many chronically ill conditions according to studies (chronic pain, depression, autism, schizophrenia,  surgically menopausal rodents with heart disease ).  Certain factors (sometimes at certain developmental stages) inhibit oxytocin production: touch deprivation, chronic pain, alcoholism, female estrogen deficiency.  

Many factors can influence and positively affect oxytocin secretion... exercise (even in surgically menopausal rodents with heart disease ; in humans any kind works  but perhaps not until exhaustion ), yoga, positive social contact, sex/climax, massage , having an attached pet gazing at you (see refs), you gazing at an attached pet, baby-at-your-boob, etc. 

What are the effects of oxytocin per recent evidence [cute, source: myhealthnewsdaily.com ]?

11. Oxytocin promotes attachment
10. Oxytocin solidifies relationships
9.  Oxytocin eases stress
8.  Oxytocin crystallizes emotional memories
7. Oxytocin facilitates birth and breastmilk
6. Oxytocin boosts sexual arousal (may even revive dead  d*cks and v*ginas)
5. Oxytocin decreases drug abuse and cravings (alcohol, cocaine, narcotics, ecstasy, meth, cannabis, ?FOOD?!)
4. Oxytocin improves social skills
3. Oxytocin triggers protective instincts
2. Oxytocin induces sleep
1. Oxytocin fosters generosity




Animals Release Oxytocin from Everywhere






References

Dog's gaze at its owner increases owner's urinary oxytocin during social interaction. Nagasawa M, Kikusui T, Onaka T, Ohta M.Horm Behav. 2009 Mar;55(3):434-41

Postnatal oxytocin alleviates adverse effects in adult rat offspring caused by maternal malnutrition. Olausson H, Uvnäs-Moberg K, Sohlström A.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Mar;284(3):E475-80.


The orgasmic history of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor. Magon N, Kalra S.Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep;15 Suppl 3:S156-61.

Male anorgasmia treated with oxytocin. Ishak WW, Berman DS, Peters A.J Sex Med. 2008 Apr;5(4):1022-4. 
Topical oxytocin reverses vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized pilot study. Jonasson AF, Edwall L, Uvnäs-Moberg K.Menopause Int. 2011 Dec;17(4):120-5.

Plasma oxytocin during intense exercise in professional cyclists. Chicharro JL, Hoyos J, Bandrés F, Gómez Gallego F, Pérez M, Lucía A.Horm Res. 2001;55(3):155-9.


Acute changes in endocrine and fluid balance markers during high-intensity, steady-state, and prolonged endurance running: unexpected increases in oxytocin and brain natriuretic peptide duringexercise. Hew-Butler T, Noakes TD, Soldin SJ, Verbalis JG.Eur J Endocrinol. 2008 Dec;159(6):729-37.

Oxytocin and social motivation.
Gordon I, Martin C, Feldman R, Leckman JF.Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2011 Oct;1(4):471-93. 
[Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing].   [Free English PDF  click ]Uvnas-Moberg K, Petersson M.Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2005;51(1):57-80. 





Photoalbum: Our Oxytocin-Inducers, the Kittens We Fostered


 'Twix' (Day 3-7?)... Alloparented (by 'N') for one week 
before finding a permanent home

Twix's sister, 'Sylvia/Seal' (Day 5-7?)
Look at those LETHAL KITTY CLAWS
Alloparented for nearly 7 weeks


Initially, bottlefed for a few weeks. Later we
weaned her onto softened 
paleo/ancestral food (Orijens),
raw egg yolks, pork belly,
and occasional chicken liver bits








Bottle fed every 3 hours, pooped-pee'd every 3 hours, 
loved, gazed at and stroked EVERY WAKING MINUTE ;)




Seal/Sylvia (4-5 wks old) on right... 
Another feline Xiao Bai (Little White, left) rescued by
my neighbor who found him in a box at Century Park
whilst walking her dog. We get to babysit catsit Xiao Bai
when she's out of town on business.
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