Posted by Judy Moon
I am a hugger, I will admit it.
I was recently saying good night to my peeps after a wild and crazy night of knitting and my friend Tina went to hug me and she said “whoops, wrong way” and switched directions. She knows I like to hug “heart to heart”. My friend Melissa questioned this right side wrong side conversation and I explained that when I learned the LifeLine Technique, I was taught by someone that instead of raising you right arm and leaning in towards the left, if you do the opposite you are connecting hearts when you hug. I love that! I do my best to convert anyone I hug.
It made me think about hugging in general and it’s history.
Wikipedia states – A hug is a near universal form of physical intimacy in which two people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely. If more than two persons are involved, this is informally referred to as a group hug.
My research revealed that hugging seems to be a natural innate thing that we do. Our bodies are hard wired for this type of connection.
There was a very cool study in the 50’s involving baby monkeys. They created these “surrogate monkey moms” out of wire. One mom had access to a bottle so the baby could eat, the other mom was covered with a fuzzy surface that the baby could cuddle into. As the monkeys began to thrive, the ones who spent more time cuddling with fuzzy mom did better than the ones who didn’t. Way cool!
So I’ve already mentioned that I dig the heart to heart hug, which by the way, totally throws some people off. Is ii because a lot of people are right handed? Is that hugging from the heart is too intimate for some? I’m not sure.
Brain research also shows that it takes 20 seconds of connection for the hormone oxytocin to be released. This is the same powerful hormone that increases during lovemaking, child birthing, and kissing. Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and increases the bond we feel with others. So whenever my husband gives me a hug, he jokingly will start counting to me.
Next time you give someone a hug, try switching it to the other side and if you are really feeling it – go for the 20 second hug- spread that oxytocin!