Megan Friedman says, “Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway that is normally reserved for our babies.”
Hugging is Healthy
Oxytocin is a miracle drug produced naturally by our bodies. It helps our body’s immune system, helps keep us healthier, and helps cure depression. Oxytocin reduces stress, helps improve sleep patterns, and can be highly rejuvenating.
Impact on Babies
A great many studies have been made on the effects of human contact on newborn babies. Creating a healthy and happy newborn will be highly dependent on receiving touch from other people.
Newborns who are touched gently and regularly gain weight and grow at a better rate than those babies who lack such contact. Premature babies are generally released from the hospital sooner than those who are not touched regularly. Human cuddling, gentle massaging, soothing stroking of the child’s head will create a psychological and physically well-developed person. Guess why God made babies so doggone cute; so we would naturally want to cuddle with them.
Babies who don’t receive human contact in the early days of life often suffer from health problems and can exhibit a failure to thrive – a condition frequently seen in orphanages where babies often do not receive enough human contact.
Impact on Adults
So, what is the impact of oxytocin on adults? To know how powerful oxytocin is for adults you need to know that the opposing hormone your body naturally produces will take over if not enough oxytocin is produced. The opposite hormone is Cortisol, also known as the fight or flight drug. You need to realize what cortisol’s impact on your body is in order to understand the importance of oxytocin.
Cortisol (remember, the fight of flight chemical) is produced when your boss takes you to task, or you have a blowout argument with a loved one (i.e. spouse, child or sibling); any number of things that can cause this helpful hormone to be over-produced in your body. Not surprising is that cortisol can be extremely overproduced during the grieving process, another very stressful time.
This cortisol frequently runs unnaturally high as a result of your stress-filled life and is known to cause all kinds of long-term health problems. This can be very deceiving since an elevated level of cortisol will often allow you to be ultra-productive, while at the same time robbing you of much needed sleep and keeping you wired an excessive amount of the time.
SO, oxytocin is given to all of us to offset and neutralize the effects and provide us with that relaxed feeling, you know, the one you get after intimacy – oxytocin, also known as the LOVE HORMONE. News Flash: You can’t restore healthy adrenal function without balancing cortisol.
Maybe this has been too scientific for your taste. If so, just remember: Hugging is all natural. It is organic and sweet. It has no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners and is 100 percent wholesome.
Hugging is the perfect accessory. There is no assembly required, very few moving parts and no batteries to replace. It is non-taxable, non-polluting, and non-fattening. Low-energy is required with high returns!
Hugging is thief-proof, 100 percent returnable, and above all, releases oxytocin into your body.
HUGGING IS THE PERFECT GIFT SO, SHUT UP AND HUG SOMEONE.
Bob Rill, Chaplain
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
Bob has over 20 years of experience as an educator and administrator. As a Grief Recovery Specialist and a Veteran, he delights in helping individuals move beyond the pain of loss.