In this weird and wonderful world we live in, who would have thought hugging would make the headlines! Whether you are a hugger or not, the benefits of human touch is a fundamental need.
When we hug, oxytocin is released – often known as the hug hormone. Physically our blood pressure lowers and cortisol reduces – our stress levels drop. Emotionally our anxiety decreases. From babes in arms, the comfort of arms around us caring brings calm and a sense of security. In the womb a baby develops a network of nerves that make up a sense of touch. The skin to skin touch when a baby is born is instinctive for both mother and child. And as we reach the end of our lives and comforting gentle hand hold helps bring peace, shared emotions and serenity.
But what happens in between…. from birth to death. The middle bit. Life.. at times it can get in the way of our basic needs. A pandemic has forced many into situations where touch is almost non existent. Many have seen and felt the consequences of this and are craving a simple hug. However as we grow and experiences increase barriers to human touch can occur, think of the small child who loves hugs – but then reaches an age where they feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when this is done in front of friends; or personal space boundaries become embedded and someone avoids that personal touch. Friendships may change, security in a relationship may change. In 2020 we quickly become aware that hugging was off limits, interaction with others reduced hugely and this must be a factor in the increasing stats on depression and anxiety.
Clients often come to Radiance for massage treatments to focus on low mood, or are in need of a boost. Too much stress leaves you susceptible to illness and regular massage is one way to offset the stress.
Its simple – massage makes us feel good! Its another form of human contact which helps boost the happy hormones. Research shows a significant decrease in cortisol (average of 31% decrease), serotonin is boosted (average 28% increase) and dopamine is boosted (average 31% increase)