Hugs are more than a greeting!

December 5, 2009

GL Hoffman from What Would Dad Say Blog wrote:

Nice thing to do, Gary, and very creative. I appreciate the uncomfortableness you must have felt and overcame.

Parachute Guy has an interesting theory on hugging. When you hug him, and he hugs greetings like everyone shakes hands…(bear in mind, he is like six-foot-five, huge)….he hugs for like ten or fifteen seconds….much longer than normal. Turns out, that physically the human contact is transferred to a far greater degree when the contact is at least that long. (Video with Dick Bolles and Richard Leider or see below)

Gary, I looked this up so I would get the facts right: Hugs certainly feel good, both on the giving and receiving end, and it turns out their effects are more than skin deep. A study by University of North Carolina researchers found that hugs increase the “bonding” hormone oxytocin and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Hugs are good for your heart, they lower blood pressure, and reduce stress, so make it a point to hug someone today!

In fact, when couples hugged for 20 seconds, their levels of oxytocin, released during childbirth and breastfeeding, increased. Those in loving relationships had the highest increases.

Meanwhile, levels of the stress hormone cortisol decreased in women, as did their blood pressure. Said lead researcher and psychologist Dr. Karen Grewen, “Greater partner support is linked to higher oxytocin levels for both men and women. However, the importance of oxytocin and its potentially cardioprotective effects may be greater for women.”

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