Sex, Blood & Belladonna (Sex and blood stories Book 2)
The sex scenes were timed right and not on an assembly line of the same thing again and again.
I like being surprised. And this book surprised me in all the right ways. It beats the shit out of Twilight Aelat rated it it was amazing Jan 21, Meryl a Freedman rated it it was amazing Jan 14, Batise Braxton-mcmanus added it Feb 25, J Pfeiffer added it Sep 11, Faisal marked it as to-read Nov 24, Melissa marked it as to-read Apr 06, Mistress darklings marked it as to-read May 15, Danielle Green marked it as to-read Jul 09, Gideon Cole marked it as to-read Jul 15, Ilone Taylor marked it as to-read Jul 16, Angela marked it as to-read Jul 17, Becca Kunze added it Jul 20, Monique marked it as to-read Sep 02, Zenovia Lampropoulos marked it as to-read Sep 27, Jennifer marked it as to-read Apr 02, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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Sex I know, I know. Having sex while pregnant — especially in the later stages — seems awkward at best.
Blood, Sweat & Fears
But it's one of the most effective ways to trigger your body's natural painkilling chemicals. And an added perk to pregnancy: your orgasms may be more intense, according to sex and intimacy coach Xanet Pailet. Blood flow is key to arousal in general, as it engorges the clitoris and sparks sexual desire. Orgasms cause the uterus to contract, which is also what happens during labor.
So regular orgasms during pregnancy may help the body associate this sensation with pleasure, rather than pain, Pailet says. Hypnotherapy Hypnosis is commonly used to treat addiction, depression, and anxiety disorders, but it can also help a woman experience a virtually pain-free birth, says Marie Mongan, founder of the HypnoBirthing Institute. When the body is relaxed, it's not in trauma and the muscles work the way they're designed to work," says Mongan, who teaches her clients self-hypnosis techniques, such as guided meditation, deep-breathing techniques, and listening to recorded affirmations.
Women aren't in a trance, per se, but rather a deep state of relaxation. The American Psychological Association says hypnosis has proven to be an effective analgesic for labor pain. And some medical professionals prescribe these same techniques, even if they don't call it hypnosis.
Schurman says she's a big believer in "mindfulness. We encourage women to listen to tapes of positive affirmations, which works on your attitude," Schurman says. Water Therapy There's perhaps nothing quite as blissful for a pregnant woman than sliding into a warm bath. The water takes the pressure of the baby off your spine and allows your body to feel weightless a magical state when you're feeling anything but. Many modern hospitals even have bathtubs in their maternity rooms.
When push comes to painful shove, women may choose to have an epidural — chemical anesthesia inserted via catheter directly into the spinal cord, numbing the body from the waist down — to treat pain. Women who were hoping for a natural birth may feel guilt or shame for asking for pharmaceuticals, but they shouldn't.
Although it can seriously impact the quality of life, lovesickness is currently not considered in official disease classification systems. Consequently, no official therapeutic guidelines exist, leaving subjects to seek the cure on their own. Methods: We review literature of the past years dealing with the concept, diagnosis and the healing of lovesickness and contextualize it with neurochemical, ethnomedical, and ethnographic data.
Since neurobiological and pharmacological connections between the love drive and the sex drive exist, we review also the literature about herbal an- and aphrodisiacs, focusing on their excitatory or calmative potential. Results: An overall consensus regarding socio-behavioral regimes exists for dealing with lovesickness from historical through contemporary literature. The herbal drugs used for treating lovesickness or inducing love passion do not possess the alleged properties. The pharmacological effects of aphrodisiacs are heterogeneous, including dopaminergic and adrenergic activities, but there is no evidence for any serotonergic effects.
The libido-regulating properties of anaphrodisiacs seem to be associated with sedative and toxic effects or decreasing testosterone levels. From Greek mythology to modern history, cultural expressions and implications of love, sex and procreation is and was organized along hierarchical lines that put men on top. Eros was associated not only with romantic feelings but also with sexual attraction. In Greek mythology the deity was able to excite love in and between men, women, semi-human figures, animals, planets and even rivers and fountains with the consequence that a woman could fall in love with a river or a fountain with a boy Cantarella, , p.
The idea that love passion or lovesickness would enter the human body through the eyes was also expressed by Hesiod around BC , Plato ca. This theory coincides with the notion that the eyes are generally seen as the windows to the soul Ibn Hazm, ; Lick et al. Strong feelings such as pleasure and fear, as well as pleasurable visual stimuli are processed by the sympathetic-adrenal system and are generally reflected by pupillary dilatation Hess and Polt, Specifically, sexual arousal is associated with pupil dilation, which can serve as a visual cue to other subjects in assessing their own sexual appeal Lick et al.
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It is said that dilated pupils were pharmacologically induced for signaling seductive cues or sexual arousal in the Italian Renaissance period 1. According to what seems to be an urban legend see footnote 1 , Venetian women used the sap of Atropa belladonna L. Conversely, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and according to Andreas Capellanus — AD , blindness impedes love Capellanus, , p.
Although they share common brain activation patterns, sexual arousal and the experience of romantic love are distinct from each other Cacioppo et al. Romantic love is very likely recognized and acknowledged by all human cultures Jankowiak and Fischer, ; Hatfield et al. The arbitrariness by which Eros distributes his love darts, however, implies that reciprocity is by no means guaranteed. Unrequited love, erotic frustration and the craving for the beloved object manifest themselves in what is commonly referred to as lovesickness see Tennov, This often depressive and melancholic state of mind is characterized by intrusive thinking and also has an addictive component.
Love addiction is to be distinguished from drug addiction. Despite lovesickness no longer being perceived as a state of disease, associated despair, depression and jealousy are known to trigger a range of harmful behaviors such as stalking, self-injury, physical abuse, homicide and suicide Tennov, ; Fisher, ; Toohey, , pp. Generally in literature and specifically in folklore and mythology, far more recommendations and recipes focus on how to kindle romantic feelings and mutual attraction in the love object than to end passion and overcome lovesickness Tennov, In fact, Galen classified lovesickness as a sort of melancholia depression caused by excess of black bile and associated body liquids such as blood and semen Mesulam and Perry, ; Ferrand, ; Allen, Therefore, the evacuation of the excess liquids through bloodletting and sex was considered an appropriate cure Allen, Currently there is a debate about the moral implications of producing and using bonding and anti-love drugs such as oxytocin and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors Earp and Savulescu, However, the search for drugs that promote or stop relationships, passionate attraction and lovesickness has remained illusive until relatively recently.
Here we try to give a historical overview of the diagnosis and treatment of lovesickness and the herbal and natural product drugs used to influence romantic feelings as well as sexual performance and libido. In the midlife crisis allegorizing Odyssey attributed to Homer, ca. This suggests that drugs antagonizing erotic attraction were not available in classical antiquity and that Circe was not aware of any remedy protecting from the perils of love.
Although Greek mythology is unambiguous, we focus on the questions of whether natural products exist that are able to attenuate the neural circuits involved in the experience of romantic love and whether the accumulated literature over the past years holds information in this regard. Since neurobiological and pharmacological connections between the love drive and the sex drive exist vide infra , we investigate whether the literature about herbal aphrodisiacs or anaphrodisiacs hold any clues for an anti-love drug.
We contextualize our review with neurochemical, ethnomedical and ethnographic data addressing symptoms of lovesickness and methods of diagnosis, as well as the perception of love and lovesickness associated with gender over the centuries see Graphical Abstract. The Greek physician Erasistratos was not able to diagnose any bodily disease with the sick Antiochus. Contrary to Erasistratos, who waited for the opportunistic situation, Galen experimented with possible stimuli and analyzed the elicited responses realizing that the name of the love object is enough to trigger the autonomic response Mesulam and Perry, Nine hundred years later, Avicenna treated lovesickness [ Avicenna, b ; vol.
Moreover, the patient sighs loudly, the breathing is separated and fast and laughter might be interrupted by crying. All organs are moist with exception of the eyes while the eyelids are large and thick from sleeplessness.
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The pulse is irregular like the pulse of an extremely melancholic person changing from one time to another Avicenna, b , vol. Avicenna explicitly mentions male patients, which suggests that it was socially less accepted to write about women in love or for women to show lovesickness openly. It might also be that women were counseled and attended by female specialists.
McNamara , for instance, cites Plato reporting that midwifes acted as matchmakers, suggesting that they were possibly also treating lovesickness.
Ethnopharmacology of Love
Examining the pulse was popular for diagnosing lovesickness from the Greco-Roman period until 17th century England Mesulam and Perry, ; Hajal, McNamara , however, stresses the curiosity that notwithstanding the ancient Greek regarded lovesickness as a true disease, the Corpus Hippocraticum does not contain any reference to lovesickness and its treatment.
Intriguingly, the symbols used to ward off evil eye, especially on the Italian peninsula, have been associated with phallic and pornographic images since the classic Roman period. Above all, the symptoms of evil eye and lovesickness can be very similar Spence, , which has resulted in misdiagnosed afflictions Toohey, , p. The caudate nucleus structure of the dorsal striatum , highly innervated by dopamine neurons, is part of the cerebral reward system and has been shown to be involved in the early and mid-term stage of romantic love by functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI; Bartels and Zeki, ; Aron et al.
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Neural activity of the brain can be visualized by fMRI, which measures the change in blood perfusion in association to the energy required by specific brain areas. Bartels and Zeki scanned human brains and demonstrated that 2D images of the beloved lead to a unique pattern of activated brain areas comprising the caudate nucleus and the putamen as well as loci in the medial insula and the anterior cingulate cortex.