The Science of JoyGasm
15 Minutes on Everything you want to know about JoyGasm!!
How to make Stress your Friend
The Brain Scan of Thinking to Orgasm
The Hidden Power of Smiling
Mindfullness and Calming Depression
The Surprising Science of Happiness
You’re Already awesome! Get out of your own way!
Science Based Benefits of Orgasm
- Orgasms keep your genitals healthy. The extra stimulation causes blood to rush into the genital tissue, keeping it supple and refreshed. For best results, have an orgasm at least once a week. For women, is it that time of the month? Studies show that having orgasms while Aunt Flo is in town actually protects against endometriosis, a potentially dangerous uterine condition that can lead to infertility.
- Orgasms offer powerful pain relief. Some studies suggest that a good orgasm can more than double a woman’s tolerance for pain. Plus, it’s an analgesic, not an anesthetic, meaning it suppresses pain without affecting sensitivity to touch — a critical ingredient when sex is on the menu.
- Orgasms can protect your ticker. Sexual activity and orgasm are shown to reduce stress due to the surge of oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle hormone,” that occurs with orgasm. What’s more, studies show that orgasms lower blood pressure levels — at least among women — and high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks.
- Orgasms help you sleep better. In addition to increasing trust, attachment and bonding, the post-O hormone oxytocin triggers a cascade of bodily events, including the release of other feel-good hormones called endorphins. These endorphins often have a sedative effect. So it’s no surprise that most of us have enjoyed a fabulous night of sleep following some really great sex.
- Orgasms can help you stay in shape and lose weight. Getting busy for 30 minutes not only heats up your honey, but it also burns calories. In fact, according to some estimates, you can torch up to 200 calories with a hot and heavy half-hour session (which theoretically — and hopefully — would include an orgasm or three).
Science Based Benefits of Meditation:
- Increases immune function (See here and here)
- Decreases Pain (see here)
- Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level (See here and here and here)
- It Boosts Your HAPPINESS
- Increases Positive Emotion (here and here)
- Decreases Depression (see here)
- Decreases Anxiety (see here and here and here)
- Decreases Stress (see here and here)
- It Boosts Your SOCIAL LIFE
- Think meditation is a solitary activity? It may be (unless you meditate in a group which many do!) but it actually increases your sense of connection to others:
- Increases social connection & emotional intelligence (see here and – by yours truly – here)
- Makes you more compassionate (see here and here and here)
- Makes you feel less lonely (see here)
- It Boosts Your Self-Control
- Improves your ability to regulate your emotions (see here) (Ever flown off the handle or not been able to quiet your mind? Here’s the key)
- Improves your ability to introspect (see here & for why this is crucial see this post)
- It Changes Your BRAIN (for the better)
- Increases grey matter (see here)
- Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control (see here and here)
- Increases cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention (see here)
- It Improves Your Productivity (yup, by doing nothing)
- Increases your focus & attention (see here and here and here and here)
- Improves your ability to multitask (see here)
- Improves your memory (see here)
- Improves your ability to be creative & think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler)
- It Makes You WISE(R)
Meditation and Your Brain
Focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing—it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.
This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.
The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.
As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.
Tai chi for medical conditions
When combined with standard treatment, tai chi appears to be helpful for several medical conditions. For example:
Arthritis. In a 40-person study at Tufts University, presented in October 2008 at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, an hour of tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks reduced pain and improved mood and physical functioning more than standard stretching exercises in people with severe knee osteoarthritis. According to a Korean study published in December 2008 in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, eight weeks of tai chi classes followed by eight weeks of home practice significantly improved flexibility and slowed the disease process in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spine.
Low bone density. A review of six controlled studies by Dr. Wayne and other Harvard researchers indicates that tai chi may be a safe and effective way to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women. A controlled study of tai chi in women with osteopenia (diminished bone density not as severe as osteoporosis) is under way at the Osher Research Center and Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Breast cancer. Tai chi has shown potential for improving quality of life and functional capacity (the physical ability to carry out normal daily activities, such as work or exercise) in women suffering from breast cancer or the side effects of breast cancer treatment. For example, a 2008 study at the University of Rochester, published in Medicine and Sport Science, found that quality of life and functional capacity (including aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and flexibility) improved in women with breast cancer who did 12 weeks of tai chi, while declining in a control group that received only supportive therapy.
Heart disease. A 53-person study at National Taiwan University found that a year of tai chi significantly boosted exercise capacity, lowered blood pressure, and improved levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and C-reactive protein in people at high risk for heart disease. The study, which was published in the September 2008 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found no improvement in a control group that did not practice tai chi.
Heart failure. In a 30-person pilot study at Harvard Medical School, 12 weeks of tai chi improved participants’ ability to walk and quality of life. It also reduced blood levels of B-type natriuretic protein, an indicator of heart failure. A 150-patient controlled trial is under way.
Hypertension. In a review of 26 studies in English or Chinese published in Preventive Cardiology (Spring 2008), Dr. Yeh reported that in 85% of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure — with improvements ranging from 3 to 32 mm Hg in systolic pressure and from 2 to 18 mm Hg in diastolic pressure.
Parkinson’s disease. A 33-person pilot study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published in Gait and Posture (October 2008), found that people with mild to moderately severe Parkinson’s disease showed improved balance, walking ability, and overall well-being after 20 tai chi sessions.
Sleep problems. In a University of California, Los Angeles, study of 112 healthy older adults with moderate sleep complaints, 16 weeks of tai chi improved the quality and duration of sleep significantly more than standard sleep education. The study was published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Sleep.
Stroke. In 136 patients who’d had a stroke at least six months earlier, 12 weeks of tai chi improved standing balance more than a general exercise program that entailed breathing, stretching, and mobilizing muscles and joints involved in sitting and walking. Findings were published in the January 2009 issue of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
They felt more powerful, were more willing to take risks, presented their ideas with greater confidence and enthusiasm, performed better in demanding situations, and experienced significant increases in testosterone — a hormone linked to assertiveness — and significant decreases in cortisol — a hormone linked to stress. In other words — two minutes of preparatory power posing optimizes the brain to function well in high-stakes challenges.
By holding these postures for just two minutes before entering a high-stress situation, people (both men and women) can increase their testosterone by about 20% and decrease their cortisol by about 25% (Want to do the opposite to your hormones? Adopt a low-power pose — wrap your arms around your torso, cross your ankles, lower your chin). Power posing also increases people’s tolerance for risk and pain, and their ability to think abstractly.