The Health Benefits of Hugging

The Health Benefits of Hugging

The average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds. But hold on for longer, around 20 seconds, and the body releases oxytocin, the love hormone. This is known to have a profound therapeutic effect on the body and the mind.

Not only does it help us relax, it also makes us feel more secure, calming fears and anxiety, and is said to boost our immune system, too.

The calming effect continues long after the end of the hug and occurs whoever we hug - our partner, a child or our pets.

Feel the love ... share your hugs please!

Article by S.Colino for health.usnews.com

Could a hug a day keep the doctor away? The answer may be a resounding "yes!" Besides helping you feel close and connected to people you care about, it turns out that hugs can bring a host of health benefits to your body and mind. Believe it or not, a warm embrace might even help you avoid getting sick this winter.

In a 2015 study involving 404 healthy adults, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University examined the effects of perceived social support and the receipt of hugs on the participants' susceptibility to developing the common cold after being exposed to the virus. People who perceived greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold, and the researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained 32 percent of that beneficial effect. Even among those who got a cold, those who felt greater social support and received more frequent hugs had less severe symptoms.

"Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that's] usually associated with stress," notes study lead author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. Hugging "is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity."

Some experts attribute the stress-reducing, health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin [….] read more>>

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