Did you know, touch is the very first sense that we acquire as human-beings? It is no wonder then, that touch and physical contact are essential for our well-being. Hugging is a reciprocal act that allows us to give and receive comfort and reassurance. When we hug someone, we open ourselves to their energy field, and nurture trust in the relationship.
Healing Hands Students give Instructor, Denise Fultz a group hug on the last day of class for Anatomy for Bodyworkers!
Physiologically, hugs can have a huge impact. Below is a list of just a few of the benefits you’ll receive by making hugging a habit.
Hugs Increase Happiness!
Hugging releases Serotonin into the body. Serotonin affects and controls many mental and emotional processes. It is known as the ‘feel good’ hormone because it helps to make us feel happy, relaxed and confident. It also positively impacts motor functions, hormones, and blood pressure. High levels of serotonin negate sadness and increase pleasure. This has an immediate effect on our moods and feelings, reducing loneliness and depression.
Hugs Boost the Body’s Immune System.
According to a 2010 study published in the journal Developmental Review, the effects of touch, such as hugs and massage therapy showed a noticeable drop in heart rate and blood pressure. Study participants also exhibited a boost in their immune systems, increasing their white blood cell count and decreasing their levels of cortisol.
Hugs Boost Self-Esteem!
Touch is the first sense we develop and is all-important to infants and developing children. Hugs, cuddles and physical comfort we received from our families growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level. Hugs remind us at a subconscious level how to self-sooth. They help to connect us with our self-love.
Hugs Help You Lose Weight!
Hugs, even for just 20 seconds, help boost Serotonin levels in both the hug initiator and receiver. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between obesity caused by overeating and low levels of Serotonin. When levels of serotonin are too low, the brain receives signals that the body is hungry, and we feel the urge to eat. Once serotonin levels normalize, the desire to keep eating disappears therefore acting as an appetite controller.
Hugs Promote Faster Healing!
Hugs boost the release of Oxtytocin, which is important in maintaining a youthful body and healthy muscles. In a study conducted on old and young mice with muscle damage, those who received oxytocin experienced faster healing than the mice who did not. The mice that received oxytocin were able to repair muscle damage eighty percent more than the young, untreated mice.
Hugs Help Us Communicate We Care!
With almost 70% of all communication coming through non-verbal ques, hugs are an excellent way to express your care and concern for another without saying a word.
Hugs Reduce Stress!
Studies have shown that hugging causes the release of a hormone, Oxytocin, which acts on the limbic system, the brain’s emotional center. Reduced cortisol levels reduces pain, helps us feel calmer and more relaxed. Oxytocin also promotes feelings of contentment, reduces anxiety and pain. oxytocin as promoting feelings of devotion, trust and bonding, and says it lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people.
Healing Hands offers two Certification Programs and more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses. Considered a trail-blazer in education of the Holistic Healing Arts, Healing Hands boasts three SoCal locations with day, evening and weekend classes. Learn more online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (858) 505-1100 in (Kearny Mesa) San Diego, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.