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Hug Therapy | Secrets Unveiled

Hug Therapy

Tell me, who doesn't like getting hugged? Scientists claim that Hug Therapy is much more than simply getting a warm feeling, that is, it goes deeper and deeper to such an extent that it can even impact your hormonal level. 

Have you ever noticed the response of a newborn child after getting hugged?

I have seen and also personally experienced the impact of Hug Therapy on kids as well as elders.

Sometimes, even a trivial instance of touch can do miracles. If a newborn is continuously crying, simply hug and see the response.

In this post, I will be taking you through the various aspects of Hug Therapy.


What is Hug Therapy?

Hug Therapy works on the concept of the power of touch. Scientists have claimed and researches have shown that Hug Therapy can play a crucial role in dealing with day to day stress, anxiety, depression and also helps in inculcating positive thoughts.

For the best benefits, a deep hug is recommended where the hearts of both are pressing against each other.

The therapy teaches us the importance of love flowing both ways. It helps you to get out of the circular thinking pattern and get in sync with your heart and mind.

Hug therapy is very similar to meditation and laughter. It helps you to de-stress and encourage you to forget the past and enjoy the present moment. Similar to meditation, it encourages you to flow with the energy of life.

What happens when you hug someone for 20 seconds?

Hugging for an extended time can boost oxytocin levels, which helps in alleviating the feeling of loneliness, anger, depression, and isolation.

Extended Hug also increases serotonin level aka "happy chemical" responsible for one's well being and happiness.

You can treat extended hugging as an investment in the relationship. It helps in developing a sense of trust and encouraging empathy. It likes a win-win situation.

A frequently extended hug can impact the nervous system in a positive way. You can find a change in your skin conductance due to galvanic skin response of receiving and giving hug.

If you are looking for instant benefits from Hug therapy, then have at least 10 hugs for quite a few time. The instant benefits are muscle relaxing, aches soothing, blood circulation improvement, and tension reduction.

The hug therapy starts working even before you are born. Trust me, the child in the womb can also feel the touch. The touch therapy has a significant imprint at the cellular level.  

If you can walk down the memory lane, you will find that the hug therapy was responsible for the self-esteem. All of us are pampered by our parents and loved ones during our childhood and teenage. As a result, we develop a positive attitude, innovative capabilities, skill sets etc.

Hug therapy also improves one's immunity. A deep pressed hug activates Solar Plex Chakra leading to stimulation of the thymus gland. These glands are responsible for the regulation of the production of the white blood cells. 
The WBC are the building blocks of your immune system. These cells are responsible to fight against any attack by virus, bacteria etc on your body.


Hugging can lower your blood pressure and boost memory

Till now we have discussed the emotional and mental benefits of hugging. The Hug therapy is also good for the physical health.

The pressure receptor "Pacinian corpuscles" is activated due to the sensation that our skin produces when we hug someone passionately. A signal is sent to the vagus nerve, an area of the brain responsible for lowering the blood pressure.

Can Hug therapy reduce the fear of death?

According to the research published in the Journal of Psychological Science,
a sufficient amount of hugs every day can help you reduce the fear of death drastically. Even hugging an inanimate object like teddy fear can help you substantially to overcome the fear of existence says a research conducted by VU University, Amsterdam.

At times, it has been found that the people with low-esteem think that his life is meaningless and he is not born for a purpose or with an objective. To inculcate self-confidence and positivity, hug therapy can be a great option. However, the hug should be at least 6 to 7 times a day by family members and for more than 20 seconds for the best results.

The lead researcher, Sander Koole tested the hypothesis that people with low existence deal with existence concerns by connecting with others.

An experiment was conducted in which students were asked to fill a questionnaire. The experimenter gave an open palm touch on the shoulder blade to some of the participants while asking them to fill the survey and rest weren't given any physical touch or hug.

The result was interesting. The low-esteem participants who got open palm touch reported less death anxiety on the questionnaire as compared to those who didn't receive any physical touch.

Koole believes that Hug therapy can be a supplement when treating low esteem and other related disorders with traditional cognitive-based therapies.

Koole concludes that interpersonal touch has a very powerful effect on an individual.

Can Hug Therapy treat age-induced loneliness?

Loneliness is definitely not good for health but it becomes worst in the old age. According to research conducted at Ohio State University, reveals lonely people experience more reactivation of latent virus as compared to the well-connected ones.

When stressed lonely people produce more inflammatory compounds responsible for heart and other chronic diseases.

So it's advisable to give hug therapy to the older members of your family such as grandfather, grandmother and so on. By doing so, you can help them to overcome low esteem and other related problems.

The worst part about loneliness is that it can independently act as a source of chronic stress. It's always advisable to be socially connected. Lonely people react strongly to the negative event or stressful situations.

Definitely, Hug therapy can treat age-induced loneliness. The hug therapy should be inculcated in the daily routine and most importantly hug should be deep and more than 20 seconds, so that the good feel hormones aka "Oxytocin" and other related chemicals can be released in the body.

A full-body hug can stimulate the nervous system and thus, reduce the feeling of loneliness, fear, anxiety, and depression.

How Oxytocin is related to Hug therapy?

Logically, hug therapy is based on the release of the oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is also called feel-good hormones. You can find the importance of this hormone even during the childbirth. To make the mother feel good and to reduce the intensity of pain during the childbirth process, Oxytocin is released in mother's body.

Oxytocin is said to improve the sex drive, thus hug your partner deeply for better libido. It also helps you to stay socially active and connected.

Researcher shows that frequent hugging can help you to regain normal heartbeat and blood pressure. A full body hug reduces the stress hormone aka "cortisol" level in the body and thus, can be a stress reliever.

Hug therapy can even help you to save your married life or the relationship. A study shows that couples who hug more frequently stay longer in a relationship as compared to those who rarely hug.

As you grew older, you become more fragile and hence, you need a Hug therapy for good physical and mental health.

According to a study reported at the American Psychosomatic Society, a brief hug and a hand holding of 10 minutes of your wife or partner can save you from the physical effects of stress.

A research was conducted by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in which the couples were exposed to a stressful situation. Half of them hugged each other before getting exposed to a stressful situation and rest of the couples faced the stressful event without hugging each other.

The findings show that the heartbeat of the couples who didn't hug increased by 5 beats/ minute as compared to the huggers.

According to research, Oxytocin can make social interaction more rewarding and pleasurable by stimulating the cannabinoid system.

Are well-hugged babies less stressful as adults?

A survey conducted by the Emory University on rats found a link between touch and relieving stress, particularly at the early stage of life.

The research further says that the same can be implied on the humans.

According to a new study published in the science journal, adults who have a problem handling stressful situations may not have received enough hug and proper nurture at childhood.

The researchers also studied the brain chemistry of two groups of rats. The group of rats that was cuddled was found to release less amount of stress hormone when exposed to a stressful situation.

The researchers believe that the development of babies is controlled by both nature and nurture.

How the Hug Therapy impact the immune system?

The Hug therapy plays a crucial role in balancing and regulating the hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

When these hormones are balanced in the body, the immune system will function efficiently.

Having a hormonal balance will help you to deal better with different level of stress effectively and thus, lead a happy life.

Some benefits of the efficient immune system are as follows:
  • Fight infection efficiently
  • Fight fatigue
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Ease depression
  • Stress reduction
Cuddling can release dopamine, a hormone that increases sexual desire, and thus, can act as a stress reliever by increasing the sexual activities. Less stress means less production of cortisol aka "stress hormone" and thus, less damage to the immune system.

Oxytocin inspires positive thinking and as a result, you view and approach towards a problem is highly positive. For example, getting a hug at a party where you know only one person can be a mood booster. It can also help you to stay socially connected.

Cuddling can boost the immune system. When you are in love, you feel invincible. Actually, you are experiencing Oxytocin release and this hormone can make you feel as if nothing can hurt you.

It also increases the secretion of the hormones that fight infection. So, in fact, you are boosting your immune system because you are feeling too good, happy, and healthy to feel sick.

Some mind-boggling facts about HUGGING and HUG Therapy

  • On an average, an individual spends an hour each month on hugging.
  • A full body hug is very effective. It stimulates the nervous system; therefore, increases self-esteem, defuses tension and also decreases the feeling of the loneliness.
  • There can be a delay in walking, talking, and reading if the infant doesn't get the proper amount of hug.
  • A deep hug for 20 seconds or more can give you an instant mood booster and thus, helps in calming the mind and reducing the heartbeat rate.
  • Hugging can help to fight stress-induced illness.
  • Frequent hugging can satisfy your skin hunger.
  • Hugs are anti-aging.
  • Hugs act as nonverbal communication.
  • Hugs relieve pain.
  • Hugs can help with depression.
  • Hugs can help to treat Insomnia and anxiety.
  • Hugs can decrease food craving.
  • Hugs help to relax the muscle.
  • Hugs increase empathy and understanding.
  • Hugs stimulate your sex drive.
  • Hugs boost happiness.
  • Hugs protect against heart disease.

Tips for Hugging

  • Make eye contact.
  • Approach slowly.
  • Read body language.
  • Open your arms.
  • Take deep breath.
  • Lean into a hug.
  • Use a light touch to start.
  • Be genuine.
  • Hold the hug.
  • Release gradually.

Give Hug Therapy a Try...

Next time, when you are feeling stressed or anxiety is taking a hit on you, give hug therapy a try. Give a tight hug to your family members especially your grandparents to help them relieve stress, depression, and anxiety.

Since we have revealed the secrets of hug therapy so give your life a boost and inculcate the habit of hugging and cuddling in your daily routine for a stress-free life.

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