The Beatles were spot on back in 1967 when they spread their message singing “All you need is love”.
Fast forward to today, Harvard Medical School validated those lyrics with their result of a 75 year old study on adult development that found that what keeps us happy and healthy is not fame nor money, but the number of close interpersonal relationships we maintain. Yes, this is the best predictor of living a long and healthy life -more than diet, exercise or smoking.
Oxytocin is our strongest chemical for social bonding, sensitivity, empathy and love. It communicates with our brain and nervous system. Unique actions of oxytocin include the facilitation of birth, lactation, maternal/paternal behavior and promoting the extended periods of nurture necessary for rearing a human child. Since it is our nervous system and brain’s that produces human behavior, supporting our neurotransmitter pathways facilitates and reinforces our ability to establish social connections.
Case: Doug, a 45 year old male, presented with a history of depression since young adulthood. He excessively used alcohol and coffee to regulate his mood. He lost interest in his hobbies, career and spending time with friends or family. Doug’s depression was attributed to a traumatic childhood, high stress and low social support. He had tried many prescriptive anti-depressants that would work for a few months then not at all and left him feeling more detached and alone.
After some clinic interviewing I suspected a decrease in his serotonin production, our main neurotransmitter involved in calm, positivity/happiness, self esteem and motivation. We started with detoxification therapies while minimizing alcohol and caffeine, these included colon hydrotherapy and Decongestive Lymphatic therapy weekly for 6 weeks. Doug also started taking oral 5-htp daily with the necessary B vitamin co-factors to promote more serotonin production in his brain.
After 12 weeks taking 5-htp, a high protein and essential fat diet, and botanical adrenal support with Ashwaganda, his energy levels, sleep and overall sense of well being improved immensely. His depression debilitation score decreased from a 8/10 down to a 2/10 and his quality of life was returned.
Doug continues to maintain a state of remission through seasonal cleansing, his nervous system supplements and a bounty of LOVE from our community.
Cheers to loving ourselves enough to love others!
Dr. Jamie Doughty, ND
Medical Director of Tummy Temple
Image credits from Shutterstock.com: Oxytocin “love hormone” structural formula by Leonid Andronov