Have You Had Your Hug Today  (Yellow Rock)
Hugs and heart health

The side effects of this medicine are all good!

We all know a hug feels good, but what’s the connection between hugs and heart health?

…Well, it appears that human contact through hugs lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, which cuts the risk of heart disease. Hugs have also been shown to improve overall mood, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects. Positive physical touch has an immediate anti-stress effect, slowing breathing and heart rate.

“A good hug speaks directly to your body and soul, making you feel loved and special,” says Mihalko Baczynski, a relationship coach.

“Hugging is all natural; it is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, non-fattening, no carbohydrates, no preservatives, no artificial or genetically engineered ingredients, and 100% wholesome” says Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD.

Not only are hugs completely natural, they don’t cost anything either! Hugs are free! And best of all, the supply is endless.

Research proves connection between hugs and heart health

A University of North Carolina study showed that hugs increased levels of the hormone oxytocin and reduced blood pressure.

There is a scientific explanation for the seemingly magical qualities of a hug that researchers uncovered. Each time we hug, we increase the level of oxytocin in the blood. This hormone triggers a “caring” or “bonding” response in both men and women (oxytocin is most well known for stimulating contractions of the uterus during labor and the release of milk during breast-feeding).

Several animal studies lend support to this idea; for example, oxytocin levels rise and blood pressure falls in rats when their bellies are stroked.

A daily dose of oxytocin from hugging can help protect us from heart disease. And while it works for both genders, women seem to be the greater benefactors as exhibited by the second phase of the University of North Carolina study.

The North Carolina study also reinforced research findings that support from a partner, in this case a hug from a loved one, can have beneficial effects on heart health.

University of Toronto psychiatrist Brian Baker who studies how marriage affects men’s hearts says, “Male heart patients with good marriages stay healthier than do those living with conflict.” One can presume that men and women in a good marriage probably hug more than those in conflict.