It’s a powerful word, and one you may be surprised to read about on my blog. But the truth is that with Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to remind everyone to jump into bed with a significant other (or yourself!) and let the good times roll.
All laughter aside, I really do want to discuss the benefits of regularly experiencing orgasms. In the busiest stage of life, couples tend to forego their own pleasure in lieu of a Netflix binge. But this behavior may be playing a larger pole in the overall declining health of our society. (Along with the medical, food, and exercise – or lack there of – choices, of course.)
We all know that sex can feel amazing. Orgasms can be mind-blowing. However, it may also just be so-so some of the time. That latter feeling is the one that typically tells you to just skip the sex and opt for a glass of wine instead. However, if you can get yourself out of the rut and back into the sack, your mind, body, and soul will thank you!
The Benefits of Regular Orgasms
Natural chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin are released during an orgasm, making us feel happy, flushed, warm, or sleepy. The hormone Oxytocin is also released during an orgasm. This hormone increases your happiness and relieves your stress by fighting against hormones like cortisol that can make you feel tired, old, and overall unwell. Oxytocin travels from the brain to the heart and throughout the entire body, triggering, or modifying a full range of physiological functions and emotions: happiness, attraction, love, affection, and even hatred after being stressed. It also plays a role in a wide variety of other physiological and pathological functions.
Orgasms Can Boost the Immune System
Regular sex modifies and improves your immune system. Oxytocin lowers stress levels which means fewer colds and illnesses. Chronic stressors are associated with suppression of both cellular and humoral measures, meaning that unresolved stress can cause your immune system to stop fighting even the smallest of colds. Having sex twice a week is enough to increase your overall health.
Orgasms Can Fight Migraines and Headaches
Orgasms can relieve migraine pain or cluster headaches, according to a 2013 study – however, achieving a full orgasm is necessary in alleviating the pain. This can be done by masturbating or with a partner, depending on what makes you feel the most comfortable during your pain.
Orgasms Can Lower Blood Pressure
There is a direct correlation between achieving orgasm and lowering blood pressure, in a positive manner.
Orgasms Can Increase Heart Health
Not only does sex calm the mind, but it calms the body and reduces the work efforts put forth by your heart. Stress, anxiety, anger, and loneliness constrict your blood vessels and speed up your heart rate, increasing your risk for heart attack. Let Oxytocin lower your heart attack risks by having sex regularly.
Orgasms Can Lower Anxiety
In the high-stress world most moms (and all adults) are living in, anti-anxiety medications are being used at an all-time high. A 2010 study found that Oxytocin impacts your anxiety level in a positive manner, lowering anxiety immediately upon release. Perhaps sex may help lower our current statistics relating to stress and anxiety.
Orgasms Can Improve Circulation
Having sex improves circulation to organs in the pelvic cavity, delivering nutrients to the growing healthy tissue.
Orgasms Can Reduce Signs of Aging
With every orgasm (and every time you are ‘turned on’) the body releases dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is an anti-aging hormone that improves muscle strength, bone density, body fat, sexual satisfaction, and overall well-being. It tends to decrease in your twenties, but sex can help increase your levels.
Orgasms Can Improve Sleep
Oxytocin reduces cortisol levels, calming your mind so you can sleep better. Orgasms also release vasopressin, which accompanies the release of your neuroprotective hormone melatonin.
Orgasms For Women
Orgasms can regulate and keep your menstrual cycle healthy, even lessening the pain of your cramps.
Orgasms For Men
Research shows that men who regularly experience orgasms twice a week (or more) live longer than men who do not.
Perhaps a little bit of sex each day can keep the doctor away?
Many times you read that anxiety is a normal part of life, but if you are googling and researching because of how your anxiety makes you feel, then you may have an anxiety disorder. Chest pains, nightmares, atypical fears, and non-diminishing anxiety are cause to dig deeper.
Diagnoses that may actually be anxiety related:
Brain chemistry can affect your mood and mental health. Researchers have linked abnormal activity in certain brain structures to anxiety disorders. There are a number of factors that have been identified by specialists as being related to anxiety. The brain of an overly anxious person is already more sensitive to stress. When the body is confronted with a perceived threat in the environment, the brain prepares it to react. The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) becomes active in stressful situations. The SNS is what triggers physiological reactions in the body such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Dilation of the pupils
- Tensing of the muscles
- Accelerated breathing
- Trembling hands
While a healthy person’s brain recovers from stress at a normal rate, the brain of a person who is prone to anxiety takes longer to re-adjust itself to a normal state. An anxious individual is also more likely to experience acute stress because even in a relaxed state, the brain of someone with anxiety issues is somewhat over-excited. Anxiety disorders cause the affected person to be in a perpetual state of stress, so events and situations can further upset the balance of the body.
A chemical in the brain which is involved in the onset of anxiety is norepinephrine. When it is released in the brain, norepinephrine functions as a signal to the body to panic. In some cases, panic attacks are triggered in people with very little external cause. (http://emetophobiarecovery.com/)
MTHFR and Anxiety
MTHFR, short for “Methyl Tetra Hydro Folate Reductase” controls the formation of chemicals in your brain. If you inherited a non-functioning gene, or your gene is not working properly, you will have low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, which can cause genetic anxiety or depression. MTHFR is responsible for a process called “methylation,” well known for changing homocysteine into methionine. The MTHFR enzyme is also involved indirectly in the production of many neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinepherine, etc), as well as SAMe and glutathione (a pivotal anti-oxidant molecule involved in the body’s natural detoxification process).
There are 31 currently known variations of this gene. The two most common are known as the 677 and the 1298 (which makes reference to the specific location on the gene where the abnormality is).
Having one or two of the lower functioning MTHFR enzymes can contribute to symptoms of so many things (we will break these down in future blogs):
- Cardiovascular risks associated with high Homocystiene
- Folate deficiency related pregnancy and development problems
- Neurotransmitter issues like Anxiety and Depression
- Significant decrease in ability to eliminate toxins, especially heavy metals
MTHFR being tied to anxiety is not well known yet, but should be taken very seriously. A simple blood test can be done to determine your MTHFR status; along with this test, testing for B12, folate, and homocysteine labs will allow you to learn how to correctly supplement for your results. Many patients that have these less-than-optimal genes experience significant (and sometimes dramatic) improvement once beginning the “MTHF Repletion” protocol.
Anxiety is not an all-in-one disorder.
Several types of anxiety disorders exist and all should be taken seriously: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- Separation anxiety disorderis a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that is excessive for the developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.
- Selective mutismis a consistent failure to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when you can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.
- Specific phobiasare characterized by major anxiety when you’re exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
- Panic disorderinvolves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or chest pain.
- Agoraphobiais anxiety about, and often avoidance of, places or situations where you might feel trapped or helpless if you start to feel panicky or experience embarrassing symptoms, such as losing control.
- Generalized anxiety disorderincludes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is usually out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and interferes with your ability to focus on current tasks. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorderis characterized by prominent symptoms of anxiety or panic that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.
- Anxiety disorder due to a medical conditionincludes prominent symptoms of anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
- Specified anxiety disorder and unspecified anxiety disorderare terms for anxiety or phobias that don’t meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.
Several herbal remedies have been studied as a treatment for anxiety: www.naturaldatabase.com
- In some studies, people who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. When it’s time to stop using valerian, it must be tapered down to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- A few small clinical trials suggest that passionflower might help with anxiety. In many commercial products, passionflower is combined with other herbs, making it difficult to distinguish the unique qualities of each herb.
- This amino acid is found in green tea and may be found in some supplements. Preliminary evidence shows that theanine may make some people feel calmer.
Lifestyle changes can make a difference.
- Keep physically active.Develop a routine that includes lifting weights. Be sure you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities. (Strength training has been proven to balance hormones, so make sure to include this into your regular routine.)
- Avoid alcohol and other sedatives.These substances can worsen anxiety.
- Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking coffee.Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
- Use relaxation techniques.Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
- Make sleep a priority.Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested.
- Eat healthy.Healthy eating is linked to reduced anxiety. Consider gluten free and dairy free as both are inflammatory foods. Avoid alcohol and drug use, as these can cause or worsen anxiety.
- Get outside. The lower the Vitamin D level, the higher the risk of anxiety disorder or depression. Let that sun hit your skin and soak up all the Vitamin D possible.
Chiropractic Care for Anxiety:
All of your moods, feelings and health are based upon chemistry. Your internal organs and brain chemistry is regulated through your nervous system. Your nervous system is the master control system and it controls every aspect of your body and your health.
When your fist, second or third vertebrae become misaligned they put pressure on your brainstem causing neurological and CHEMICAL INTERFERENCE. When the brainstem gets pressure from the vertebrae its normal production of brain chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) are affected. As a result, the person’s production of serotonin is low causing changes in their mood and their behavior. Adjustments can help. http://thelifelounge.ca/anxiety-depression-and-chiropractic-care/
Ways to Cope:
- Learn about your disorder. Educate yourself on your condition and ways to help. Seek and ask for help.
- Stick to your treatment plan. Keep therapy appointments. Consistency can make a big difference.
- Involve your family.As with any illness, asking your partner or family members for help is an important part of coping.
- Join an anxiety support group.Remember that you aren’t alone. Support groups offer compassion, understanding and shared experiences. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America provide information on finding support.
- Don’t let worries isolate you from loved ones or activities. Social interaction and caring relationships can lessen your worries.
There’s no way to predict for certain what will cause someone to develop an anxiety disorder, but you can take steps to reduce the impact of symptoms if you’re anxious:
- Get help early.Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.
- Keep a journal.Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health provider identify what’s causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better.
It is important for people with anxiety disorders to understand what’s happening to them when they experience stress. Family and friends of those suffering need to be educated on the biology of anxiety. Knowledge of a condition can benefit the person in distress and his or her loved ones. It helps the afflicted person to cope with the illness and the people in his or her life to be supportive.