Research has shown that neuropeptide oxytocin, also known as the bliss hormone, can deliver the following benefits:

• Living longer. One of the main ways of acquiring the oxytocin is through skin-to-skin contact with another human being — simple touch and closeness. It is one of the main reasons that couples who touch each other live longer than single people.

• Faster recovery from illness and living longer whilst living on your own. Touch with animals has some beneficial effect as well. Oxytocin quite likely plays a role in why pet owners heal more quickly from illness and live longer than singles without pets.

• Parent – child bonding. Oxytocin has a powerful effect on infants bringing greater bonding and mental and physical health for both parents and children.

• Increases empathy and generosity

• Reduces stress (and can help with PTSD)

• Improves digestion (it improves gut motility and decreases intestinal inflammation)

• Acts as an anti-depressant and helps with anxiety

• Can help with weight loss

• Can heal wounds through its anti-inflammatory properties and also provide pain relief

• It improves social skills – There are currently studies ongoing about the effects of oxytocin on autism

• Through its trust building actions, can help to heal emotional wounds

• Reduces drug cravings

• Reduces cortisol and promotes sleep

• Helps to crystallise emotional memories and can thus help with emotional healing

• Brings greater heart health – emotionally and physically

• Oxytocin reduces cell deaths in an injured heart and reduces certain inflammatory factors that can slow healing

• It helps with childbirth

• It naturally enhances a sense of:

o Optimism
o Trust
o Mastery
o Self-esteem