Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in “feel-good” hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain…
Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.
“The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable” explains Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Masturbation causes a rush of dopamine, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called oxytocin, which is commonly referred to as the “love hormone.”
This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases cortisol, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress.
According to BDSM and fetish researcher Dr. Gloria Brame, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience.
By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state.
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.
Sexual arousal and orgasm increase the number of white blood cells in the body, making it easier to fight infection and illness.
Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?
The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses.
According to Dr. Jennifer Landa, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive.
A study conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.
During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm.
The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections.
The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm.