'Cuddle drug' helps couples regain the 'spark'

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by LISA LEIGH KELLY / KPHO

KING5.com

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

New research into a hormone our bodies make every day is giving some couples a renewed spark.

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pituitary gland. While best known for sending pregnant women into labor, it is also what allows humans to connect with one another.

"If a couple is struggling with bonding issues, with intimacy issues, it could be as a result of inadequate levels of the hormone oxytocin," said Dr. Matt French of Wellness Solutions.

The treatment protocol uses little squares of oxytocin that dissolve under the tongue, taken once a day.

"People that may be more withdrawn and self-centered are starting to find themselves more open and more concerned with the people around them," Dr. French said.

Some people are naturally deficient in oxytocin, for example, those abused as a child, who were never taught to bond.

And the number one killer of oxytocin is  stress.

"So stress produces a hormone known as cortisol.  And cortisol and oxytocin are kind of the opposites of one another," said Dr. French.

If a person is under stress, the cortisol will likely counteract oxytocin, which will likely cause problems in the marriage as well.

Frank Seekins is a marriage counselor who often refers clients to Dr. French for oxytocin therapy. He and his wife have even given the hormone a try.

"My wife is one of the patients, and she says that she feels like a normal woman again,” said Seekins. “The results are wonderful!"

There's also promising research about oxytocin therapy for autistic children.

Studies have shown it helps those with autism be able to bond, and be less withdrawn.

A one-month supply costs less than $100, but it's only available by a prescription.
 

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