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Have We All Over Looked The Benefits of Hugging

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A hug a day keeps the doctor away, although it’s not how the saying goes, this is very true. Research has shown that hugging is an effective way of healing disease, sickness, depression, stress, and anxiety. Hugging is a potent healing therapy that’s easily overlooked.

Here is why Hugging is so powerful:

Hugging Stimulates The Thymus Gland

By Hugging you strengthen the immune system. When you apply gentle pressure on the sternum while engaging in a hug, it emotionally charges and activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This then stimulates the thymus gland. The Thymus Gland regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells and keep us healthy.

Hugging Prevents Illness

When you engage in the art of hugging it’s a direct response of affection, by being affectionate you are reducing stress and anxiety that can prevent many diseases. Research that was conducted through, The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, found evidence of significant effects after carrying out more than 100 studies into hugging and touching. They found that it reduced pain, faster growth in premature babies, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms immune system found evidence of significant effects after carrying out more than 100 studies into hugging and touching. They found that it reduced pain, faster growth in premature babies, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, improved the immune systems in people affected by cancer and lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes.

Hugging Stimulates Oxytocin

Oxytocin is the hormone that works as a neurotransmitter on the limbic system in the brain. Oxytocin aka the “cuddle hormone” is what’s responsible for creating feelings of contentment, and the cause for monogamy in mammals. Without this hormone, we would not be here today. According to research done at the University of California, Oxytocin has a similar effect on human males making them better at forming relationships and more affectionate. Is also responsible for increasing the libido and sexual performance of test subjects. When hugging Oxytocin is released into our bodies through the Pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol responsible for high blood pressure, stress and heart disease

Hugging Cultivates Patience

A hug is not only a way to show affection and appreciation to another person, but it also helps in connecting energies as we allow someone into our aura or our energy field. In a way, it works the same way as plugging a mobile device into a power socket. In this fast pace world its important to slow down, even if just for a moment, to offer a sincere hug, in return, you will not only benefit from the healing effects, but by sharing energy it will cultivate patience within you.

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Hugging Boosts Self-Esteem

Children that get hugged daily have better self-esteem than those that don’t. The tactile sense is fundamental in infants. A baby recognizes its parents by touch. From the moment we are born our parent’s affectionate touch shows us that we’re loved and accepted. The associations of our self-worth are created from childhood and stay embedded in our nervous system as adults. The hugs and love we received from our parents remain imprinted at a cellular level, by receiving a hug it reminds us of that on a somatic. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self-love.

Hugging Stimulates Dopamine

Low dopamine levels have a major impact on the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. Dopamine is what gives us that feel-good feeling, and it’s what motivates us. Hugs stimulate the release of dopamine to the brain, the pleasure hormone. Everything we do involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow.

Hugging Stimulates Serotonin

By engaging in a hug endorphins and Serotonin gets released into the blood vessels through the release of endorphins and serotonin we experience pleasure, negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances of getting heart disease, it also helps in fighting excess weight and prolongs life. Even cuddling pets have a soothing effect that reduces stress. Hugging few minutes lifts our serotonin levels, elevating our mood and creating happiness.

Hugging Balances Parasympathetic

Hugs help to balance out the nervous system. The skin has a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centers called Pacinian corpuscles that sense touch and send impulse messages to the brain through the Vagus nerve. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect of moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.

How To Give A Healing Hug

The average length of a hug between 2 people last approximately 3 seconds. Researchers have discovered that when a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. The rest is quite simple open your arms grab a loved one or pet and give them a heart opening soul clenching hug and don’t let go until you reach 20 seconds. As the quote from psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

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“Happy Hugging”

This article is copyrighted material and not permitted to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute without asking for prior permission by  The Open Mind.

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