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Falling in love triggers chemical activity in the body

Washington, Sat, 14 Feb 2009 ANI

Washington, Feb 14 (ANI): When struck by cupid's arrow our cheeks flush, palms sweat and hearts start racing, and scientists have now found the reason behind all these signs of love-chemical reactions in the body.


Loyola University Health System love guru Domeena Renshaw says that falling in love causes the body to release some chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions.


"Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions. This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race," said Dr. Domeena Renshaw, author of Seven Weeks to Better Sex.


When two people fall in love, levels of substances, which include dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, increase.


Dopamine creates feelings of euphoria while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for the pitter patter of the heart, restlessness and overall preoccupation that go along with experiencing love.


MRI scans revealed that love lights up the pleasure centre of the brain.


When one falls in love, blood flow increases in this area, which is the same part of the brain responsible for drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorders.


"Love lowers serotonin levels, which is common in people with obsessive compulsive disorders. This may explain why we concentrate on little other than our partner during the early stages of a relationship," said Renshaw.


Renshaw has warned that the physical responses to love may work to our disadvantage.


"The phrase 'love is blind' is a valid notion, because we tend to idealize our partner and see only things that we want to see in the early stages of the relationship. Outsiders have a much more objective and rational perspective on the partnership than the two people involved do," said Renshaw.


There are three phases of love, which include lust, attraction and attachment.


Lust is a hormone-driven phase where we experience desire.


During the attraction phase, blood flow to the pleasure centre of the brain happens, when we feel an overwhelming fixation with our partner.


This behaviour fades during the attachment phase, when the body develops a tolerance to the pleasure stimulants.


Endorphins and hormones vasopressin and oxytocin also flood the body at this point creating an overall sense of well-being and security that is conducive to a lasting relationship. (ANI)


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