New research suggests that certain activities including making love and exercising regenerate key areas in the brain.
It’s understandably a bit confusing to keep up with all the differing sexual health news. Recently, we reported on the mind-blowing effects of coffee, blowing your nose and making love: turns out these are just a few of the known risks factors that temporarily increase your odds of having a stroke. Can it be that sex is also beneficial to the brain? Recently, scientists suggested that sex might regenerate the brain, results that score high on our eco-sexy science news.
While we still have much to learn about how our brains operate and respond when in love, experiencing pleasure, or having sex, for example, what researchers have discovered flies in the face of accepted science from just a few decades ago. That’s because until recently, modern science did not believe that the brain, after a certain age, could regenerate. The term used to describe how the brain can grow, adapt and regenerate is ‘Plasticity,’ and it was thought to diminish over time. Young brains are more nimble and better equipped to handle brain traumas in particular, or so the prevailing theory went, because they are still growing. After a certain point (age), the brain’s ‘plasticity’ hardens up.
Now we know that it isn’t such a cut and dry scenario. Our ever-evolving understanding of our brains on sex gives us additional reasons to praise the brain health benefits from exercise and sex. According to reports, the Hong Kong researchers suggested that their findings can be used to determine how medicine treats certain diseases and improve our understanding of aging, sexual behaviors and psychological health.
One area getting attention is known as the hippocampus, a brain structure that is involved in memory and emotional regulation. How the hippocampus actually works is still a mystery, but stress, depression, and post-traumatic brain injury can shrink it. This latest discover shows how exercise, reproduction and sexual activities increase the plasticity of the hippocampus.
In the Middle East, where social morays are more conservative, one application could be to encourage more of these behaviors under appropriate circumstances to help modulate stress. Of course, there’s still a lot we don’t yet know about the brain-mind-body-stress-sex junction; but the implication of regenerating the brain is bigger than just understanding how our brains work. It’s also important to note that activists in the field of eco-sexuality suggest that greening our personal lives plays subtle, but important roles, in increasing the health of the planet.
“The potential importance of neurogenesis in sexual behavior, sexual cues and reproductive function has provided new insights,” explained one scientist involved in the research. ”These insights might provide a better understanding of sexual dysfunction, sexual disorders and normal sexual functioning.”
In other words, if sex can help the brain regenerating, what can we determine about our sexuality by the structure, function and activity of our brain? What role does sexuality play in our mental and emotional wellbeing that’s modulated by the brain? And what about sex and consciousness?
There’s a possible aspect of mindfulness in research that shows how making love can serve functions for humanity beyond procreation or physical pleasure.
Imagine these doctor’s orders: Make Love 3x a week, see me in a month. Making love green: Good for you, good for the environment, bad for stress.
:: Image Corey Seehus, Brain Cells USA
Read more on sexual and eco-sexuality issues:Fundamentals of Eco-Sexuality: Is Conscious Sex the Way Towards Global Peace?
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