(NaturalNews) An article in The Washington Post reports that oxytocin
can help those with autism make eye contact and interact better with
others. Oxytocin is known as the natural hormone that creates feelings
of connection, trust, love, and joy. This is also the same hormone that
is triggered by touch, soothing music, and consuming foods that contain
A French study early in the year found that when
participants inhaled oxytocin, they improved in face recognition scores
and had enhanced performance in a game that involved tossing a ball with
others. The results of the study indicate this hormone could help those
with autism function better.
to Angela Sirigu, who directs the National Center for Scientific
Research in France, "Administering the hormone soon after a child’s
autism is diagnosed might help him or her develop more normally. It’s
possible it can become a cure, if it’s given early when the problems are
detected in the little kids."
Oxytocin can be activated naturally in the body as well. A UCLA study demonstrates the connection of touch and oxytocin release. Volunteers were either massaged or asked to wait in a room for 15 minutes. Researchers measured blood oxytocin levels for each person before and after the experiment. Those who had received a massage had an increase in blood oxytocin levels with women producing more than men.
Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, explains the link between massage therapy, autism, and oxytocin production:
Research has found that these children
show less autistic behavior: they are more social and attentive after
receiving massage therapy. This safe, nurturing touch and regular
sensory integration is beneficial in reducing inattentiveness, touch
aversion and withdrawal.
studies have proven that oxytocin is released in our bodies during, and
after, receiving nurturing touch. A 2007 study reported that oxytocin
helped autistic individuals retain the ability to evaluate the emotional
significance of speech. The study also showed a decrease in autism
spectrum repetitive behaviors.
Another study illustrates the
relationship of increased oxytocin levels in the body and soothing
music. A randomized controlled trial established that patients who
listened to relaxing music after open heart surgery had significantly higher levels of oxytocin than those who did not.
In addition, dietary fat is beneficial to oxytocin creation. When a food
is consumed that contains fat, the intestines secrete cholecystokinin
(CCK). CKK travels to the brain along the vagus nerve where it triggers
the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin then causes the stomach to contract
creating a feeling of satiety. It is important to note that the type of
fat is crucial in relation to health. Organic, nourishing fats such as hempseed and flax, red palm oil, raw cacao butter, extra-virgin coconut and olive oils are ideal.
a variety of methods to encourage higher oxytocin levels in autistic
individuals, this hormone shows promise in minimizing the devastating
effects of autism spectrum disorder.
Sources for this article:
Andari, Jean-Rene Duhamel, Tiziana Zalla, Evelyn Herbrecht, Marion
Leboyer, and Angela Sirigu (2010), "Promoting social behavior with
oxytocin in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders." Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Karolinska Institute (2008, July 23), "Hormone Oxytocin May Inhibit Social Phobia." ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 17, 2010
Kevin Lewis, "Surprising insights from the social sciences." boston.com, July 27, 2008
Nilsson (2009), "Soothing music can increase oxytocin levels during bed
rest after open-heart surgery: a randomized control trial." Journal of
Clinical Nursing, Volume 18, Number 15, pp.2153-216(9)
Tina Allen, "Massage Therapy for Children with Autism." liddlekidz.com, January 2010
Hug the Monkey: How oxytocin, the hormone of love, lets us trust and mate. www.hugthemonkey.com
About the author
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef, and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness, and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.com she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.