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In the Spotlight

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wednesday Wellness: Hugs and Heart Health

We all know a hug feels good, but what's the connection between hugs and heart health?
Well, it appears that human contact through hugs lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, which cuts the risk of heart disease. Hugs have also been shown to improve overall mood, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects.
Research proves connection between hugs and heart health
A University of North Carolina study showed that hugs increased levels of the hormone oxytocin and reduced blood pressure.
There is a scientific explanation for the seemingly magical qualities of a hug that researchers uncovered. Each time we hug, we increase the level of oxytocin in the blood. This hormone triggers a “caring” or "bonding" response in both men and women.

Elevated blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease - about one in three US adults has high blood pressure!
If hugs lower blood pressure (and they do), just think of the positive benefits of a whole lot of hugging!
Start and end your day with hugs for heart
Several sources suggest that everyone needs at least four hugs a day for healthy survival, eight hugs a day for emotional strength, and 12 hugs a day to really grow and be empowered. Stop and think about just how often you give or get a hug.
Start by giving your love a healthy hug today. Include more hugs in your daily routine. Ask yourself whose day could I improve by giving them one or more hugs today? Not only will you be helping them, but you'll benefit too.
Some people don't like their personal space to be invaded. Others may feel too vulnerable at times to want to be touched. So proceed with caution if you feel this way or if you sense discomfort in someone else.
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