Go ahead, HUG
by Melissa Snyder
Sep 19, 2010 | 2325 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Recent national studies confirm the importance and significance of love and caring. Some data from this research shows hugging and other types of expressions of affection toward children markedly reduce problem behaviors and enhance development.

By these obviously positive results, it would make sense that being affectionate and receiving affection could have a monumental impact.

Hugs are a great way to start! I am a known hugger. It’s true. I give free hugs away all the time. Hugs are a natural way for some to show love and to also comfort someone. Something you may not know is they have health benefits!

A study called “Free Hugs” conducted by Juan Mann found hugs help lower stress and help connect people with people.

As simple a thing as a hug can have such powerful effects it can lower blood pressure and heart rate. I won’t bore you with all the medical reasons I researched but I will say there are a number of them.

One that surprised me was the results of a study showing how hugs produce the “bonding hormone” oxytocin which promotes trust between people and influences social appreciation.

Dr. Karen Grewen found affection and hugging increases levels of oxytocin — having a positive effect on emotional stability.

A friendly hug between two people can increase one’s comfort level, make them feel welcome, provide a sense of security and communicate many other things.

For those of us who are always looking for ways to shed a few pounds and become healthier, we should add hugging to our daily routines. Why? Because it lowers cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for slowing our metabolism. When this happens our chances of weight gain increase. NOT something I want.

Another remarkable success story I discovered is about a “hug test” conducted by a woman who had horrific pain throughout her body. The results showed how hugs can make a positive difference. Her health and condition began improving as a result of her husband giving her four hugs every day.

Dr. Dolores Krieger, who researched hugs, proved that touching, especially hugging increases the production of hemoglobin which brings oxygen throughout the body, making one feel vibrant and energetic.

When you think about it, a hug doesn’t seem to have much credibility as an effective medical or therapeutic treatment, but looks can be deceiving. The simple act can improve overall mood as well as provide its health benefits. The only requirement is, the hugs need to be sincere.

Why not do your own research? Start hugging friends, family and those who look like they could use a hug. There is no telling what benefits you will discover when you put your arms out and your heart in it.