What You Never Knew About Hugs-Healthy Hugs.

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Hugs can be used to serve different purposes .And we can define it as a tight or amorous embrace with or without fondness.

This is another sensitive topic. And I am looking at it as a form of Social and Mental Health. Lest you wonder and say ‘why is he talking about hugs’??? Calm down friend! You will see why as you follow me.My Interview with Anita.
Que:Do you hug?
Anita:yes
Que:Why do you hug?
Anita:I’m mostly a reciprocator. Very rarely do I initiate hugs. When I initiate it, it’s a sign of affection and over-excitement. I have to be very happy about something to initiate a hug.
Que:How do you feel when you hug someone you love?
Anita:i can’t really explain it.More affection! But when I reciprocate hugs, I feel basically nothing.When I initiate hugs, it increases the affection. When I reciprocate hugs, it doesn’t necessarily mean I like the person.
But I must reasonably like someone to hug the person… and it can be only once in the person’s life and of course, it increases the likeness and affection.

👉My Interview with Anthony.

Que:Do you hug?
Anthony :oh yeah!
Que:How did you feel?
Anthony :I felt cherished.
Que:Why do you hug?
Anthony :it’s a sign of compassion.Most especially when we haven’t seen in a long time.

👉My Interview with Zena

Que:How do you feel when you hug?
Zena:I get goosebumps. Especially when it’s someone I love. I get happy without really knowing why.

👉My Interview with Janny
Que:Have you hugged before?
Janny:Yes Na. I have hugged plenty.
Que:How do you feel when you hug?
Janny:Nothing!it depends on who is hugging. For a friend, nothing. For someone I am in relationship with, something.
Que:What do you feel?
Janny:Affection.
Que:Do you think that hugs heal emotional wounds?
Janny:Yes it does. Someone can be angry with you. That hug can set things right within even when the person has some problems.
You may not be told, but it does.

👉My interview with Kunle
Que:How do you feel when you hug?
Kunle:i feel affection.

So friends, this is just a summary of what anyone feels when hugged or when hugging takes place.

HUGS.
Now let’s talk about hugs proper. Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you feel when you hug? Have you ever wondered at why you forgave someone who offended you just after a hug? Let’s view hug in two perspectives.

A. The Physiology of /physiologic benefits of hugs.
B. Types of Hugs.

A. The Physiology of /Physiological benefits of Hugs.

Hugs make you feel good for a reason and it’s not just the
loving embrace that gives us that warm feeling in our
hearts. It’s much more. It affects the entire body to such
an extent that many scientists claim it is equivalent to the
effect of many different drugs operating on the body
simultaneously. Even seemingly trivial instances of
interpersonal touch can help people deal with their
emotions with clarity and more effectively.

1. REDUCE WORRY OF MORTALITY/DEATH.
In a study on fears and self-esteem, research published in
the journal Psychological Science revealed that hugs and
touch significantly reduce worry of mortality. The studies
found that hugging — even if it was just an inanimate
object like a teddy bear — helps soothe individuals’
existential fears. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful
mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by
another person may help to instill in people a sense of
existential significance,” lead researcher Sander Koole
wrote in the study .

2. STIMULATES OXYTOCIN
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic
system, the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of
contentment, reducing anxiety and stress, and even
making mammals monogamous. It is the hormone
responsible for us all being here today. You see this little
gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers
forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured
expelling us from their bodies and making them want to
still love and spend time with us. New research from the
University of California suggests that it has a similarly
civilizing effect on human males, making them more
affectionate and better at forming relationships and social
bonding. And it dramatically increased the libido and
sexual performance of test subjects. More frequent partner
hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood
pressure and heart rate . The chemical has also been
linked to social bonding . “Oxytocin is a neuropeptide,
which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust and
bonding,” DePauw University psychologist Matt
Hertenstein told NPR . “It really lays the biological
foundation and structure for connecting to other people.”
When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our
bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates
and our cortisol levels. Studies have also shown that at least 20 seconds of the hugging act helps in the release of this chemical called oxytocin. Cortisol is the hormone responsible
for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.Therefore the act of hug is said to reduce stress, reduce blood pressure as well as prevent heart disease.

3. LOWERS HEART RATE
Embracing someone may warm your heart, but according
to one study a hug can be good medicine for it too: In an
experiment at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,
participants who didn’t have any contact with their
partners developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per
minute compared to the five beats per minute among
those who got to hug their partners during the experiment.

4. STIMULATES DOPAMINE
Everything everyone does involves protecting and
triggering dopamine flow. Many drugs of abuse act
through this system. Problems with the system can lead
to serious depression and other mental illness. Low
dopamine levels also play a role in the neurodegenerative
disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as
depression. Procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of
enthusiasm are linked with low levels of dopamine and
hugs are said to adjust those levels. Dopamine is
responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling, and it’s
also responsible for motivation! Hugs stimulate brains to
release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. MRI and PET
scans reveal that when you hugs people or listen to music
that excites you, your brain releases dopamine and even in
anticipation of those moments. Dopamine sensors are the
areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and
methamphetamine target. The presence of a certain kinds
of dopamine receptors are also associated with sensation-
seeking.

5. STIMULATES SEROTONIN
Serotonin flows when you feel significant or important.
Loneliness and depression appears when serotonin is
absent. It’s perhaps one reason why people fall into gang
and criminal activity — the culture brings experiences that
facilitate serotonin release. Reaching out and hugging
releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels
and the released endorphins and serotonin cause pleasure
and negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances
of getting heart problems, helps fight excess weight and
prolongs life. Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing
effect that reduces the stress levels. Hugging for an
extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood
and creating happiness.

6. WELL-HUGGED BABIES ARE LESS STRESSED AS
ADULTS
Want to do something for future generations? Hug them
when they’re still little. An Emory University study in rats
found a link between touch and relieving stress ,
particularly in the early stages of life. The research
concluded that the same can be said of humans, citing
that babies’ development — including how they cope with
stress as adults — depends on a combination of nature
and nurture .

7. PARASYMPATHETIC BALANCE
Hugs balance out the nervous system. The skin contains
a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centres called
Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are
in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The
galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a
hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in
moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more
balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.

8. ENHANCE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Research shows that the hug hormones above are
immuno-regulatory . All of this has an even deeper
meaning on the way our systems work with each other,
including our immune system. This also parallels with the
way that hugs promote the relaxation response — they help
to change the way your body handles both physical and
social stresses, thus boosting your immune system
naturally, to do the job it was designed to do!

B.Types of Hugs.
I’m sure many of us don’t know about this. The different types of hugs. Patiently read through.

‘I Love You’ Hug
A close cheek-to-cheek hug that says “I Love You”.

‘I Want You Now’ Hug
A close hug with a bit of rubbing and grinding.

Big Bear Hug
Pull your partner in really, really, really close, put your arms
completely around them, and squeeze tight.

Butt Squeeze Hug
A sexy, passionate hug. Pull your partner in close, lift your leg
around their legs and give their butt a passionate squeeze.

Ecstatic Jump-n-Hug
Run at your partner and jump into their arms with excitement!

Encouraging Hug
Pull your partner close and give them a gentle squeeze with a
light pat on the back.

Friendly Hug
Put your arms lightly around your partner’s shoulders and give
a gentle squeeze.

Group Hug
A hug involving multiple people – family or friends – where you
all put your arms around one another.

Half Hug
A quick wrap, lightly touching your partner where your arms
only go halfway around (hence, half a hug).

Hello & Goodbye Hug
A quick, semi-close hug paired with a peck on the cheek.

Pet Hug

Hug of Joy
A semi-close hug with excitement and movement that often
times includes a bit of excitement jumping.

Passionate Squeeze
Pull your partner in closely and give them a passionate
squeeze.

Snuggle Hug
Usually works best when sitting on a couch, etc. Drape your
arm around your partner’s shoulders and snuggle up in close!

Combo Hug

Spoon Hug
While not normally thought of as a hug, the ‘spoon’ is
essentially your arms wrapped around your partner — a hug! While lying in bed on your side, pull your partner close and wrap your body around theirs in a ‘spoon’ position.

Too long Hug
In this hug, the partner is about going on a long trip and they may not see for some time. Wife gives too long hug, but husband is mindful of catching his flight.

Sympathy Hug
Pull your partner close and lay their head lightly on your
shoulder as you give their back a light rub.

Tree Hug
Find a large tree (perhaps while picnic-ing), and each partner
wrap their arms around the tree to meet the other partner’s
hands.

Friend zone Hug

In Summary :Hugs are also key to a long lasting relationship between couples. And I want to lay emphasis on married couples. Hugs alone can settle misunderstandings and quarrels. They help to prevent divorce in life relationships and they have great healing effects.

NOTE FOR THE SINGLES
A lady can hug a man casually and see it as nothing but that man you gave that casual hug may chase you for the rest of your life because you ignited something in him. If you have done it severally, the answer to the plenty disturbances you get may just be from the casual hugs you freely give but well noted by the man.

Someone I know said she doesn’t like giving out hugs because men read a lot of meaning into it.Well,what a casual hug is to a lady is a very emotional hug to man most times.

Is your marriage void of hugs???
Is your family void of hugs???
Is your relationship with your better half void of hugs?

Give your mom/dad that hug.
Give your siblings that hug.
Give your spouse that hug.

Try these different types of Healthy Hugs and see the change in your relationship lives.
Hug Healthily.

Thanks for reading this article.

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I'm Dr Okeke Ikechukwu Promise aka Doctopreneur. A graduate of University Of Port Harcourt,'14Set. A blogger, entertainer as well as an entrepreneur. I am yet unmarried. I'm a lover of first hand information and i love sharing them. Stay tuned with Nigerian Prospective Medical Interns and www.nigerianmedinterns.com as i join to make it Wow. It's Doctopreneur saying Welcome.

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