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It is FREE & Improves Health!

Post by: Karen Hendricks

Would you do something to improve your health if it was FREE? YES - I said FREE! Is there anything sweeter than the word free? 

The word "free" promises something for nothing, and it's underlying connotation of liberation, puts a spring in one's step, but you know as well as I do that the word "free" may not always truly mean, "at no cost to you.".  

I have something that is FREE and you can do it for FREE.  I PROMISE!  

What could it be?  

It's giving or receiving a hug!  Yes, it's that simple.  In researching hugging, I thought to myself - do you need to be hugged daily for health benefits?  The answer was, yes! We could live without daily hugs, but it would be like dying slowly, a little every day. We need hugs as apart of a quality life. Family therapist Virginia Satir said: “We need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs to keep us as we are and 12 hugs to grow”.   According to “A 20-second hug, along with 10 minutes of hand-holding, also reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate.

Hugs are truly free and provide many health benefits. One study at UCLA  scanned the brains of participants while they were subjected to electric shocks. Their partners accompanied them during the test and in some cases, were allowed to hold their partner's hand. It was found that physical contact helped to deal with the stress of the experience and in these cases brain areas responsible for mitigating fear were deactivated when holding someone's hand .

These studies show that hugs have a very powerful effect on our brains and bodies. Hugs help us achieve a state of relaxation and comfort, while allowing us to better deal with stressors. Therefore, you should get to hugging!

Happy Hugging - Karen



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