The Health Benefits of Hugs

When I lived in Chicago, every once in a while I’d cross paths with the “Hug Guy.” He spent countless hours a week offering hugs to strangers. When asked why once, he replied that we all need hugs. He’s 100% right on that. Human beings are social creatures, and the act of hugging is healthful on many levels.

1-     The pressure on the sternum from a hug stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates the release of white blood cells. Hugs help your immune system!

2-     Hugs help build trust and safety, leading to open and honest communication, which is good for your emotional health.

3-     Hugging releases tension in the body, relaxing muscles, taking away pain, and increasing circulation.

4-     A 6-second hug releases oxytocin, a feel-good chemical, into the system.

5-     Hugs also release serotonin, which elevates mood and creates a sense of happiness.

6-     A hug teaches encourages us to be truly present in the moment and our immediate actions, much like meditation.

7-     Hugs lower blood pressure.

8-     Hugs help our sense of well-being, lowering levels of depression.

9-     A good hug helps to balance the nervous system and improve parasympathetic balance. Huh? It helps stimulate digestion and elevate mood. In short, it builds up the body.

If you can get all of these benefits from a hug lasting at least 6 seconds, imagine what 30, 60, or 90 minutes on one of our massage tables will do for you. To truly spoil your body and mind, call us at 615-939-2787 to book a massage today.

When we’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s easy to shrug off a well-intentioned touch from someone who cares. Fight the urge to do that. Even your inner snowman likes warm hugs.