Oxytocin. Do you know why is this hormone so important to Human beings? And how it can it give us all a better quality of life if we increase its production on a daily basis?
Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone in humans. It is responsible for feelings of connection and is referred to as the ‘Bonding’ and ‘Love’ hormone. It was given this name due to the role this hormone plays in the body. Oxytocin acts in the neuroanatomy in intimacy, especially during and after childbirth. It is released in large amounts in the cervix and uterus during labour which facilitates birth, maternal bonding and lactation (breastfeeding). It is also associated with helping couples/friends establish a greater sense of intimacy and attachment.
New research suggests that this amazing hormone plays an important part in enabling Human beings to not just create and strengthen social and healthy relations, but also by provides the crucial ingredients for making us Human.
Psychologist Matt Hertenstein states that “It really lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting people.”
Oxytocin is primarily produced by the hypothalamus gland in the brain and it is transported and stored in the Pituitary gland.
In a dance class for example, students are usually interacting with each other through shaking hands, exchanging nice words while greeting each other and even giving hugs. The simple act of bodily contact causes the brain to release low levels of Oxytocin, in your body and in the person you are touching. It’s a near-instantaneous way to establish trust and increased feelings of self- esteem and optimism.
When students are invited to participate in games where they are engaging with each other as a partner or as a group, possibly holding hands to dance in a circle or even having to touch each other in order to perform a movement, they don’t realise that they are being given the possibility of healing their own wounds and relieving and releasing stress, anxiety and emotional pain that they may be experiencing but no one else is aware of.
Not surprisingly, given its ability to alleviate social anxiety and produce feelings of trust, Oxytocin produced in a dance class, has the peripheral ability to reduce tension while you are having fun, building up good relations and toning your body.
Dance has become more accepted by society as a fundamental tool to heal people from creating a separated life style where everyone is more and more busy, spending less time taking care of themselves and each other, having fewer moments with their families and loved ones – all the occasions in life that support the growth of this amazing and fascinating hormone.
At least now you can be more aware that you receive great benefits by attending a particular class or by doing certain activities that enable you to keep your body fit and healthy and your levels of Oxytocin high, resulting in helping you become a more fulfilled and happy person! Another reason why the arts can help change the world!