With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air this month… and so are Pheromones, Hormones, and Neurotransmitters.
Ever wonder why you are attracted to a certain person and not another? What provokes gut feelings about certain people in your life? Why do you fall in love with one person and not another? Well the answer involves pheromones. Pheromones (from the Greek words Pherein, meaning I carry, and hormon, to excite) are odorless molecules that are produced in the body and enter the world by wafting off the skin. They float up from the sweat glands and linger in strands of hair. Ever hug someone and hold a second longer to catch a whiff of his or her hair? What causes that subconscious action? Pheromones. Each unleashed pheromone is packed with information about your sexual desires, your level of aggression, and the attributes of your immune system. It carries your one of a kind chemical signature or fingerprint!
Pheromones bypass the logical, thinking brain and affect the center of the primitive, emotional brain. Can the simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating experience of being “love sick,” or being impaled by the arrow of Cupid be reduced to a simple chemical reaction in the brain? Well, yes. Pheromones are chemicals that one individual emits to elicit responses in another individual of the same species. The female fruit fly exudes an intoxicating pheromone to inform the male fruit fly she is ready to mate, so powerful these pheromones make the spindly-legged male weak at the knees. The female essence attracts him instantly to her to mate at that exact moment. It is unavoidable, he is compelled by nature.
Pheromones are powerful, but they aren’t the only antidote to love. When we are struck by Cupid’s arrow we produce a number of hormones and neurochemicals as well. The hormones are produced from our Endocrine Glands (pituitary, testes, ovaries, adrenals, thyroid, and pancreas) and released into our bloodstream. The neurochemicals originate in the brain and travel delicately down pathways and synapses through our entire body.
Here are a few examples of the how and why we are affected when we fall in love:
This is manufactured by the brain, it is the “feel-good” endorphin that makes our brain buzz. It increases blood pressure and heart rate, thus the love “high” we get in the beginning stages.
Side Note : PEA is also found in Cocoa. Does this answers the addiction to chocolate and why some women prefer chocolate over sex!?!
This is the “cuddle chemical”. This molecule is released in the Pituitary gland and inspires a reaction when we touch or are touched by someone we love. It is released in child birth, while nursing a child, from the touch of our significant other, and even from only a glance from the object of one’s affection. Oxytocin is also released in large warp speed amounts during intercourse.
This is sometimes referred to the “monogamy molecule.” In conjunction with testosterone, vasopressin has a tempering effect and keeps males’ sex drive in check so they do not go straight to the next attractive female and mate with her, then the next, then the next. Perhaps all men do not have this molecule in balance… is infidelity simply a chemical imbalance? Hmm…
This is our “sex drive” hormone. This hormone is produced by men and woman. It is produced in the testes or ovaries, and in the adrenal glands. Testosterone tapers off in woman after menopause due to evolution, since we are no longer reproducing. That is why many woman are using supplementation and hormone replacement for testosterone.
Testosterone plays an important part in a man’s libido and sperm production. It is shown in many studies that stress and mood can instantly reduce a man’s testosterone levels. A man’s libido, along with testosterone levels, are shown to drop during major deadlines, after losing a job, during financial hardships, and even if his favorite sports team loses!
Dopamine is our “orgasm” neurotransmitter. It gives us the intense pleasure during an orgasm. Dopamine affects how we see and react to life. If we experience pleasure when embraced by a lover, or when we watch a beautiful sunset then Dopamine is at work. If we lose pleasure for the things we once loved, then something’s wrong with our Dopamine levels. It is a very important chemical in sex, love, and having a connection with others.
In Infinity Wellness Center, I get to see small miracles daily. By balancing hormones and neurotransmitters, I see patients feel good again in all aspects of life and love. The quality of their life improves greatly.
Disclaimer: By no means am I a cupid, but when hormones are in balance, love certainly works better!