Participants in BDSM achieve an altered state of awareness comparable to that experienced by yoga practitioners or marathon runners. Cortisol, the stress hormone, may be reduced by participating in these types of activities. As with BDSM, it is possible to experience the same benefits.

According to one study, couples in dominating positions saw lower cortisol levels after a BDSM session.

The “stress hormone,” cortisol, has been linked to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and insulin intolerance.

A number of studies have indicated that some participants see BDSM as a spiritual experience.