Happy almost Valentine's Day, ladies and gentlemen.  Today, we're going to take a look at the polarizing holiday that leaves as many (or more) sad as it does happy.  The day is supposed to be about embracing and celebrating love, so let's do just that.  I'm not talking just about love for another person - I'm talking about whatever it is that you love (Doctor's note - this excludes loving things that are destructive).  This weekend, pay extra attention to the things that you love.  For instance, I'm going to pay extra attention to my wife and my dogs.  If you don't have a person to share the day with - that's OK.  You love the movie "Top Gun" - watch it.  You love football - watch ESPN Classic all day.  You love writing - write. 

Love Can Heal

Studies have shown for years that people that are in a loving relationship and/or have pets live longer and are, in general, healthier people.  You see, love is not just some hokey thing that an ad man once came up with to get you to buy things.  It is an emotion - a very real one that can be discussed scientifically.  The word "love" is just a label, mind you...but let's talk about the function behind the label. 

There are hormones in your body produced by various organs.  They travel through the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body, often affecting how you feel (emotionally and physically).  Testosterone and estrogen, for example, are hormones produced by your reproductive organs.  They team up with epinephrine/adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin causing feelings of physical attraction, followed by emotional commitment.  So when guy meets girl and they are attracted to each other, and then start dating - that above hormone release is what's going on inside your body.  You know what?  For 99.9% of mammals - that's it - there's nothing more to it than that.  They never get out of that "dating" stage, so to speak. 

We're different - we were biologically and physiologically programmed to be able to find a monogamous mate.  We make up one of only a very small percentage of mammals that have a third hormonal process that allows to form a deep, emotional attachment with another person.  Oxytocin is the hormone produced that increases feelings of closeness, going beyond the attraction and commitment phases to create that unspoken feeling called "love."  Mom's produce it like crazy shortly after giving birth.  It is produced by both men and women when they bond with each other.  It's called the "love" hormone.  And it's good for you...

Oxytocin production is one of the primary means to dealing with stress, so when they say that "love has healing power" - the reason is because oxytocin counteracts stress hormones.  Cortisol is another hormone produced in the body - particularly during times of stress.  It increases your blood pressure, among other things.  Basically, it causes certain parts of the body to speed up, while simultaneously causing other parts of the body to slow down.  The love hormone helps keep that stress hormone in check. 

What does this have to do with Upper Cervical Care?

Given that stress - be it physical, emotional, or chemical - is the number one cause of dis-ease - you're ability to deal with stress is very important.  The love hormone plays a big role for that reason.  Hormones are produced by organs, which are told how to, when to, and why to make those hormones by the brain via signals sent through the nerve system (and routed by the brainstem).  Hormone regulation is another of those vital functions that our body does automatically without us having to think about them. 

Pretty Awesome, Personal Statistic

I was under Upper Cervical Care for 8 months - and then I met the woman that is now my wife.  Coincidence?  Not to this guy...

Thinking good things for you, as always,

Dr. Chad