two cats hugging

Even animals know that hugs are a good thing.

June 25, 2016 – If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then how about a few hugs, and what do they do? We all know that hugs are a pleasant way to express caring for another person, with both participants benefiting: the hugger and the hugee. Hugs are known to release oxytocin, known as the snuggle or love hormone. The hormone is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland when people snuggle or bond socially. Even playing with your dog can give you a surge of this feel-good hormone.


Ken and I were huggers from the very beginning of our courting days and all through our marriage. If someone asked me what I miss most about him, now that Alzheimer’s has sent his spirit to another dimension, I would say, “our hugs.”

And lucky us, we hugged for no particular reason. Often just because we were there; standing around could bring on a hug, and one of the best parts was that we fit so well. With his arms around my shoulders and my arms around his back we were like a jig-saw puzzle. We fit perfectly and our hearts touched. We would hold for a minute, exchange a kiss or two and he would say, “This feels so good.” “Sure does” I always answered, and then, following another quick hug, we returned to our tasks at hand.


According to a study published by the journal Hormones and Behavior, other secretions are also noted. Serotonin, a chemical found in the human body also contributes to feelings of happiness when an individual receives even a quick hug. while lack of he chemical can lead to depression.

There is an expression from Virginia Satir,  graduate from University of Wisconsin – Madison, and holding a number of honorary doctorials, she has written numerous books on the world’s social problems. As a highly respected family therapist she says, “We need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance and twelve for growth.” While doing research and writing, she asked her daughter, “How many hugs a day do you like?” In response the child said, “I’m not going to tell you how many I like, but it’s a lot more than eight.”

Through studies, laughter and hugging therapy have been proven to heal sickness, disease, relieve loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. Deep hugs are best. Hug that person so that your hearts meet and let the oxytocin flow.

Originally posted 2016-06-24 17:05:11.

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