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Exploring the Science Behind Ceremonial Cacao: How its Impact on the Body and Mind

Cacao, in the form of chocolate, has become a widely consumed food today. However, its history dates back over 4,000 years when it was cherished by the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec Amerindians. Ceremonial cacao has been recognized and utilized for its ability to influence our emotions and enhance our creative abilities.

While this may sound abstract to skeptics, understanding the biochemical properties of cacao can shed light on its ancient significance. Stimulating and energizing compounds in cacao increase blood flow to the heart, resulting in heightened sensations of pressure, energy, and vitality. This enhanced heart activity brings about a heightened sense of awareness, encompassing emotions, memories, self-awareness, self-esteem, and love.

It is fascinating to witness how cacao chemistry can impact both our bodies and minds simultaneously!

Cacao is highly valued not only for its taste but also for the pleasurable, joyful, and empowering sensations it produces. But what specific components are responsible for these sought-after effects, which have been cherished by cocoa enthusiasts throughout history?

One of the key elements is serotonin, a neurotransmitter known for promoting a sense of well-being. Cacao not only supplies the body with serotonin but also aids in its natural production. Serotonin is famous for its ability to combat stress, improve mood, and foster feelings of comfort, contentment, happiness, relaxation, and overall well-being.

Interestingly, the effects of well-being and vitality can last for several days following a cacao ceremony, where a significant amount of this food is consumed. This can be attributed to cacao's capacity to stimulate the body's internal production of serotonin. One can even argue that ceremonial cacao consumption may serve as a potential antidote to depression and lethargy.

Phenylethylamine (PEA): The chemical associated with love. PEA is known for its connection to the exhilarating feeling of falling in love. When consumed, PEA stimulates the release of endorphins, natural compounds in the central nervous system that resemble opium. This stimulation helps promote alertness, concentration, mental sharpness, improved mood, and enhanced memory. Because of these effects, the combination of cocoa and dance in TransDance ceremonies is justified. Cacao prepares the body for dancing by increasing blood circulation and metabolism, reinforcing the intoxicating effects that dancing produces. TransDance is a therapeutic practice that awakens and nurtures the joy of living. Anandamide: The chemical substance of happiness. In Sanskrit, "ananda" means happiness. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter found naturally in cocoa and also in the human brain (or at least in the areas that are currently being explored). Anandamide binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC, the active component in cannabis. However, unlike THC, anandamide does not induce altered states of mind, but rather creates a sense of euphoria without subsequent depression. Theobromine: The chemical substance of relaxation. Theobromine acts as a vasodilator, relaxing smooth muscles. This chemical offers several benefits, including increased blood flow, improved brain oxygenation, and long-term antioxidant properties. Magnesium: The substance of relaxation. Magnesium is an essential mineral found in every cell of the body, particularly important during muscular activity. It helps boost energy levels, calm nerves, alleviate muscle pain, and aid in digestion, among other benefits. This component is highly useful for promoting relaxation after the intense activity induced by the other ingredients, thereby complementing cacao's therapeutic functions, especially when combined with dance. While the main active components of cacao have been described, they are not the only ones. Ceremonial Cacao, when prepared at low temperatures, is a rich source of antioxidants that rejuvenate the body's cells, contributing to a sense of physical and mental well-being. Cacao's vegetable fat, which accounts for nearly 50% of its composition, serves as an excellent source of energy, aiding the body in detoxifying harmful unsaturated fats. Additionally, ceremonial cacao offers intangible ingredients that enhance and expand its medicinal and therapeutic possibilities.

Better than words, experience offers its own lessons and conclusions. Come and discover the TransDance & Cacao Ceremony, to find out more click here ,-)

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