From a warm handshake or hug to a friendly pat on the back, there are many ways to express oneself through touch. One key benefit of touch is that it releases oxytoxin, aka the love or bonding hormone. Experts say oxytoxin is extremely powerful and has health-giving properties including reducing stress levels, and boosting immunity.
Women who receive more hugs from their partners have lowered heart rates and blood pressure and higher levels of oxytoxin. Even a 10-second hug every day can reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce stress levels, boost immunity and lessen your chances of depression!
A hug physically protects the most vulnerable parts at the front of your body. Doctors explain that during a hug, your breastbone where the thymus gland is protected, and this gland is responsible for stimulating the development of disease-fighting T cells.
A pat on the back or a squeeze on the arm is a great way to express reassurance or give someone a confidence boost. That’s because confidence is connected to your neck and shoulders, so any touch on the arms or upper back promotes those feeling. Even a handshake is a powerful way to give energy.
It Is Everywhere
If you feel averse to human touch, try patting an animal instead. Even stroking a pet offers the same oxytoxin release that’s equivalent to a big hug. It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps lower blood pressure and heart rate, and regulate breathing.
Text: Good Health, Bauer Syndication/Additional Reporting: Sylvia Ong