Date: 5/4/2012 8:52 PM UTC
Date: 3/27/2012 9:39 PM UTC
A recent NY Times Sunday Review (March 25) featured an essay entitled, The Brain On Love. The author, Diane Ackerman, writes about recent discoveries in the field of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB). IPNB, developed by Dan Siegel and Allan Schore, is a relatively new approach to exploring the brain and how it is directly impacted by life experiences throughout our lives. Ackerman focuses mainly on the impact of relationships on our brains, and in particular, marriage. To share with you, I have excerpted a few segments from Ackerman’s commentary which I found most impactful:
….All relationships change the brain — but most important are the intimate bonds that foster or fail us…..
….As the most social apes, we inhabit a mirror-world in which every important relationship, whether with spouse, friend or child, shapes the brain, which in turn shapes our relationships……… It’s not that care-giving changes genes; it influences how the genes express themselves as the child grows.
….Does it also promote physical well-being? “Scientific studies of longevity, medical and mental health, happiness and even wisdom,” Dr. Siegel says, “point to supportive relationships as the most robust predictor of these positive attributes in our lives across the life span.”
….When two people become a couple, the brain extends its idea of self to include the other; instead of the slender pronoun “I,” a plural self emerges who can borrow some of the other’s assets and strengths……………. We don’t just get under a mate’s skin, we absorb him or her.
….But a loving touch is enough to change everything. James Coan, a neuroscientist at the University of Virginia, conducted experiments in 2006 in which he gave an electric shock to the ankles of women in happy, committed relationships. Tests registered their anxiety before, and pain level during, the shocks.
Then they were shocked again, this time holding their loving partner’s hand. The same level of electricity produced a significantly lower neural response throughout the brain. In troubled relationships, this protective effect didn’t occur. If you’re in a healthy relationship, holding your partner’s hand is enough to subdue your blood pressure, ease your response to stress, improve your health and soften physical pain. We alter one another’s physiology and neural functions.
However, it’s not all sub rosa. One can decide to be a more attentive and compassionate partner, mindful of the other’s motives, hurts and longings. Breaking old habits isn’t easy, since habits are deeply ingrained neural shortcuts, a way of slurring over details without having to dwell on them. Couples often choose to rewire their brains on purpose, sometimes with a therapist’s help, to ease conflicts and strengthen their at-one-ness. (My underline, of course.)
……Wedded hearts change everything, even the brain.
Read the entire essay at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/the-brain-on-love/?scp=1&sq=On%20love&st=cse Thanks. Jim Covington
Date: 3/12/2012 8:41 PM UTC
Date: 3/5/2012 8:09 PM UTC
Date: 3/2/2012 8:42 PM UTC
Date: 2/23/2012 5:56 PM UTC
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Date: 2/7/2012 9:47 PM UTC
OUR LONGEST MARRIED COUPLE: 78 YEARS With the secret to how it’s done. It's at the end of the video.......http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/video-america-longest-married-couple-163138456.html
Date: 1/26/2012 5:34 PM UTC
They don't do it every day (really!). They believe in quickies (alright!). Read on for other reassuring truths about what a sexually healthy marriage looks like.
By Lisa Lombardi
Redbook, 12/ 11
This article is full of good advice including these nuggets from Barry McCarthy:
2. They touch out of bed, too. They're not the scary PDA couple, feeling each other up in the frozen food aisle. But they are the sort to hug for no reason, swap foot rubs just because and even make foreplay the main course. "There are five degrees of touch, and couples in the best marriages regularly do at least four of them," says Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., marriage and sex therapist and author of Rekindling Desire. "Many couples have two modes of affection: nothing or intercourse, and when that's the case, 'nothing' usually wins out," he explains. Why? When a kiss or back rub always leads to nooky, spouses may end up avoiding contact unless they want sex. A better idea: Get hands-on when you're not hoping to get it on. "Your sex will become much more natural, because one kind of touch flows into another," says McCarthy. By physically connecting in small ways throughout the day, you stay warmed up for intense action later. And you'll still feel close on those inevitable nights when you're too stressed or tired (or both!) for the main event.
5. They don't expect Hollywood sex. We can all picture it: candles glowing, white 1,000-thread-count bedsheets billowing, lovely lovemaking culminating in simultaneous, earthshaking orgasms. The only thing is, that almost never happens, says McCarthy. And the duos who are most likely to succeed wisely know not to expect it. "When you're living together and have two kids, two jobs, etc., if you're having Hollywood sex once a month, you're doing great," he says. How great? According to McCarthy, among happily married couples, up to 15 percent of erotic encounters are not even enjoyable for one or both spouses. Maybe the sex is hurried, physically uncomfortable or doesn't lead to the final fireworks. Secure couples are able to roll with off-nights, rather than taking them as a sign that something's wrong with their relationship. And they don't postpone sex until all the planets are perfectly aligned, either. . . .
For all ten tips: http://tinyurl.com/d7eemdt
Date: 1/23/2012 8:02 PM UTC