Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just A Hug

Who doesn't love a great big hug?

Well here's a reason to get or give even more of them.

Did you know that the simple act of hugging has actual health benefits?

Maybe you already knew that but I didn't until recently.  I remember this one day in particular a few months back.  It had been a really stressful kind of day.  The kind where you just want to curl up in a ball and wish it all away.

When Daddy came home from work, He just wrapped me in His arms and told me that I needed a hug.  It was a long hug.  The kind where after a few minutes you get kind of squirmy and uncomfortable, especially when you aren't really in the mood.  When He let go, He explained that He had read a study that claimed hugging actually brings down elevated heart rates and can reduce blood pressure.

He hugged me again and told me just to focus on His heart beat.  For the first time that I really can recall, I just allowed myself to melt into His embrace and focus on the slow beat of His heart between us.  This sounds crazy but it didn't take long before I relaxed, my breathing slowed and I could feel my heart slowing down and now beating with His.  

I know...I know...too gushy.  But that's not my point here.  My point is that it took less than a minute and I felt truly calmed and centered. 

The great thing is...it actually works for both people in the embrace.

For those of you that don't know, I am a scientist so I take very little at face value.  I will research just about anything to find the "facts".  I NEED data!!  And this was no different.  I had to find out why this worked. 

What I found is that this is a proven phenomenon.

Just ten seconds of hugging can lower blood pressure. 

Levels of oxytocin (yes, the same chemical used to induce labor), often referred to as "love hormones" increase, while the amounts of stress chemicals, including cortisol, decrease.  While oxytocin's role in the body is still pretty complex and unclear, it does seem to have a variety of benefits, both in helping people create positive social interactions and in combating stress. 

A long hug also increases the serotonin levels in your body.  Serotonin is a chemical which can elevate our mood, combat depression, and can actually play a role in our overall cardiovascular health. 

Hugs also help by boosting your immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates can stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells and white blood cells fight infection, keeping you healthy and disease free. 

So, you see, we may need sex, spankings, and other kinky stuff for our mental and physical health but sometimes...we just need a hug!!

Thank you Daddy for hugging me every day and knowing just the moment I need one the most.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” - Virginia Satir



  1. I love this and I love hugs! I absolutely believe in the power of a good hug. Great post!


    1. Thanks Bonnie! Glad you liked it. You know how I've mentioned that I am not a touchy feely person...well this gave me something to really think about:)

  2. I didn't know this! Awesome. I am a very huggy person! lol <3

    1. I know! I had no idea either. I hate that my kids are getting older and not so prone to hugs. Oh well...guess Heron will have to make up for it:)