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"A brief hug greatly reduces the harmful physical effects of stress"

The findings suggest one reason that isolated, lonely people tend to have poorer health, ... & older adults may benefit most from touch. "The older you are, the more fragile you are physically, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health."

Study: Hugs warm the heart, and may protect it

A brief hug and 10 minutes of handholding with a romantic partner greatly reduce the harmful physical effects of stress, according to a study reported over the weekend at the American Psychosomatic Society meeting here.
Loving contact before a tough day at work "could carry over and protect you throughout the day," says psychologist Karen Grewen with the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
In the study, 100 adults with spouses or long-term partners were told to hold hands while viewing a pleasant 10-minute video, then asked to hug for 20 seconds. Another group of 85 rested quietly without their partners. Then all participants spoke for a few minutes about a recent event that made them angry or stressed. Typically, asking people to revisit these scenes drives up heart rate and blood pressure. After the talk:
  • Blood pressure soared in the no-contact people. Their systolic (upper) reading jumped 24 points, more than double the rise for huggers, and their diastolic (lower) also rose significantly higher.
  • Heart rate increased 10 beats a minute for those without contact compared with five beats a minute for huggers.
This is the latest of many studies suggesting humans are "hard-wired" to thrive as social animals, says Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School. Field's research shows touch lowers output of cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol dips, there's a surge of two "feel good" brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.
U.S. couples aren't very "touchy-feely" in public, Field says. Her studies in U.S. and Parisian cafes show that French couples spend about three times as much time touching as Americans.

A Hug a Day

A study suggests that hugging your partner can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, both classic signs of stress. ... So couples who enjoy more cuddling may have lower physiological stress responses, reducing their risk of heart and other diseases.

Free Hugs Conquer the World

Australian movement spreads to China and Korea

An anonymous Australian schoolteacher in his 20s who calls himself Juan Mann (pronounced One Man, a bilingual pun) kicked off the Free Hugs craze in 2004. It has snowballed as it's rolled around the cyberworld, and nowadays few countries are immune.
On his much-visited Web site (see below) he explains that he began the fashion one day when he arrived in Sydney after his life had turned "upside down" in London.
After feeling lonely at the airport with nobody to welcome him back home he went to the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held a sign up with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.
He knew it was worth it when, after being ignored for 15 minutes, he made a woman smile whose only daughter had died in a car accident exactly one year before.

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need.

Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.
In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.
....Ready to be part of the something big? Ready to change the world with nothing but your arms wide open?
Worry, inactivity impede sleep's health benefits

Daytime stress and lack of exercise keep the heart and immune system from getting "recovery" time in a good night's sleep, scientists reported over the weekend.
Sleep research is in its infancy, but cutting-edge findings already challenge a common view that day and night are two separate "principalities" in life, says psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale of the University of California School of Medicine in San Diego.
Instead, researchers are discovering "there's a mutual penetration between day and night" USA TODAY


"Ready to change the world with nothing but your arms wide open?"

Natural Health & Energy
INHS Hygienic Review

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