Oxytocin for Pain Suppression

Oxytocin as a pain suppression tool

Because oxytocin plays such an important role in modulating the central nervous system, you can’t talk about oxytocin effect on arousal without also talking about oxytocin and pain.

Dr. Guy Abraham, former head of infertility at UCLA Medical School spent a lot of time observing women with both low and elevated oxytocin levels and believes the hormone oxytocin has both analgesic and anxiolytic properties which make it a potentially useful agent not just sexual climax but for the treatment of stress-exacerbated chronic pain. In fact oxytocin is a good analgesic that it is being used to address fibromyalgia, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), cluster headaches. Oxytocin has also been successfully administered to humans to erase cancer pain, low back pain, and bowel pain from irritable bowel syndrome.

How can a hormone be a source of so much pleasure and pain?

For starters, orgasms are powerful pain-killers. And oxytocin combined with other compounds (such as endorphins) surge before and during climax. Beverly Whipple, professor emeritus at Rutgers University, a famed author/sexologist found that when women masturbated to orgasm “the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increased significantly by 74.6 percent and 106.7 percent respectively.” Manual massage, including sequences such as stroking and kneading, is probably one of the oldest and most appreciated modes of sensory stimulation used for the alleviation of pain, amelioration of disease symptoms and the promotion of wellbeing

Furthermore, oxytocin occupies multiple hormonal receptor sites in the body. If an oxytocin receptor site is empty is can potentially cause pain. Administering oxytocin fills oxytocin receptor sites thereby occupying sites that could otherwise be available for allowing pain to surface. Studies have also shown us that this oxytocin characteristic has been an effective tool in helping the addicted wean themselves from narcotics. Oxytocin has the ability to occupy not only its own receptor sites, but opiate (narcotic) receptor sites as well.