The Healing Power of Tears

Eye with Tear.jpgNot Just Drops of Water: Here’s an interesting finding. Frey compared the chemical make-ups of tears caused by eye irritants such as sliced raw onions, and tears caused by emotions. Tears caused by emotions were found to have more protein and beta endorphins in them. These emotionally induced tears appear to contain high levels of cortisol, an important hormone released during times of stress. When we cry from emotional stimulation, we may actually be releasing toxins from our bodies, in the same way we do when we sweat or breathe out air. Through crying, we help ourselves heal.

The Gender Gap: Although all over the world, women are more likely than men to cry, the difference in frequency is not that great. American men, for example, have been found to cry about 1.8 times per month. American women cry about 3.5 times per month. Women may cry more often because they have naturally higher levels of prolactin, a hormone found in tears. Prolactin is also the hormone that triggers milk production.

  1. tommy d. September 27, 2006

    Any trans fats?

  2. Brian September 30, 2006

    As my former professor and current dance/movement therapist Dr. Danielle Fraenkel once said, “tears are like stars in the sky, like gems in the earth. it’s okay to cry.” It was interesting to me when she recommended we do not reach for the tissue box and offer it to the people we work with because the simple act of reacing for the tissue box can deliver a subtle message that it’s time to stop crying. A powerful message considering that our society often does not put value on crying… in fact, in many families, crying is categorized as one of the taboo expressions of emotions.

    I also like the idea espoused by Dr. Linda Chapman, who studies neurologically-based art therapy: “it’s okay to cry, your body is designed to cry.” Reading this post on lacrimation was wonderful to me because it reminds me that many of us still feel deep down we do not have permission to cry, even though it is a natural process.



  3. Celina November 15, 2007

    There’s another post on HashOut which talks about the same topic http://hashout.blogspot.com/2007/10/healing-power-of-tears.html .


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