The Science Behind a Hug

It’s really all about touch. We are inevitably a relationship species and because of that we seek out connection with others. As a way to bond with others, we use touch. The science behind that comes from a hormone called Oxytocin; often referred to as the “hormone of love,” it triggers nurturing and loving feelings and helps to promote trust. In a study conducted by Dr. Kathleen Light, she discovered that “warm touch” between couples (which included a 20 second hug) increased Oxytocin in both males and females. In a separate study, she was able to connect warm contact to a positive effect on blood pressure and heart rate. An important aside worth mentioning is that she states that the quality of the relationship made a big difference to the lasting effects of the hug. Even more reason to keep our relationships healthy and our hugs in good supply. 😊

To read the study: https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2006/02_24_2006/story03.htm

Photo credit: http://Photo by Tom The Photographer on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “The Science Behind a Hug”

  1. Today’s gem has me thinking about Virginia Satir, a family therapist from the 70’s who said, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.

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