How Do You Increase Oxytocin?


Quick Answer

Eating is one way to increase oxytocin levels naturally. The hormone is released by activation of the vagal afferent nerves. Oxytocin can also be released by stimulation of other senses such as olfaction; interaction involving touch; and certain types of sound and light. Psychological mechanisms also trigger the release, notes Dr. Ray Sahelian.

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Oxytocin is a hormone that aids in relaxation. It reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels due to its anti-anxiety properties. Oxytocin also prepares a woman in labor to better cope with pain and stress. The levels of oxytocin in a pregnant woman's body determines how closely she connects with her newborn. Children have an advantage of social interaction and communication skills from the effects of oxytocin. It can also be stimulated by warmth and touch, especially during massage, according to Dr. Sahelian.

When couples lose intimacy in a relationship, activities that release oxytocin such as looking into another person's eyes, holding hands, kissing and having sex help restore previous connections. Oxytocin is released when couples have sex and achieve orgasm, explains Dr. Sahelian. It also suppresses detected threat stimuli from fear and activates a person's defense mechanism. This process is completed to calm the brain from excitement.

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