It's still cold and flu season. So, obviously people are concerned about their immune strength. Today, I will tell you an interesting facts about hugs. Yes, hugging is good for you!
Humans are social creatures, we talk, we laugh, we have intricate body language and we hug!
Now, scientists from Carnegie Mellon have found the simple hug might be a weapon on the front line of your immune battles.
According to a study published in last months, Psychological Science, people who are stressed or have ongoing problems in relationships would have trouble fighting off a cold virus.
The peeps at Carnegie Mellon found, those with low "social support" would succumb to cold symptoms more quickly than those with high social support.
They discovered this when they exposed 400 volunteers to cold viruses and talked to them about their relationships, conflicts and if they'd received any hugs that day.
- The findings suggest those who received hugs from a trusted person were less stressed and had less severe illness symptoms. The researchers think this is because they had a broader social support structure.
- In the study, 75% of the volunteers have developed a cold. However, those with higher social support and frequent hugs recovered better; more hugs, more better!
- According to a 2003 study, a 20 second hug with a partner followed by 10 minutes of hand-holding had significantly lower levels of stress, in both partners.
- A separate study says, a 10 second hug can provide a physiological response that is beneficial as well.
Studies have shown hugs lower blood pressure, decrease feelings of loneliness, and improve cardiac health, because when you hug someone, the hormone oxytocin is released, which makes both the hugger and the huggee feel good.
The oxytocin interacts with the body in a number of ways, aside from being known as the "love hormone" because it facilitates bonding, it also boosts chemical release which trigger immune system boosts. That also drops the levels of stress hormones in the body, which impair immune strength, not to mention the other things stress can do to the body.
Vaccine Against Flu VirusesThis is extra interesting news, given the recent release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This year's flu vaccine isn't exactly right. Before each season, the scientists use statistics and behaviors of influenza strains from previous years, to determine which flu viruses will dominate, and then create a vaccine for those.
Last year, the CDC says, the flu vaccine was 60% effective - which is pretty good. This year though, they missed one.
So, get hugging! In the end, giving your friend a hug might be the better than sharing your vitamin C and we could all use a little more love, right? Just make sure you're not already sick. That might be counterproductive.
The question is, when it comes to hugs, is it better to give or receive? Tell your answer on the comments below.