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Let’s Hug More!
(Types of hugs & their health benefits)
Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Hugging a loved one isn’t a great way to bond, it has several health benefits as well. Hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing.
Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
There are so many different ways that you can hug a person. Obviously, each type of hug is going to have a little different meaning to it, and that is particularly true when the hug comes from someone you are dating. From a friendly hug to a passionate squeeze, hugging is the universal language of love, comfort, and friendship. Read through this list of different types of hugs and pick a few to try with your sweetie.
Buddy Hug – This is the one where they wrap their arms around you and pat you on the back; the kind of hug your buddy might give you. It is really more of a ‘let’s be friends’ hug. This usually comes right after someone says they don’t want to date you anymore “but we can still be friends, right?”
Sleepy Shoulder Hug – This is the one where you wrap your arms around each other, and the girl lays her head on the guys shoulder and rests there awhile. For her, this means: “I feel safe in your arms.”
Polite Hug – This is the kind of hug where they act like they are trying to hug you without touching you. It is usually accompanied by the ‘polite smile’. This means that either, this is your first date, and they are undecided about you, or it is your last date, but you have not found that out yet. Sometimes it is both, all wrapped in one.
Bear Hug – This the real thing; you wrap your arms around each other and hold on tight. What does this mean? I missed you – I adore you – I couldn’t wait to see you. Definitely a positive sign.
Unreciprocated Hug – Otherwise known as being given the cold shoulder. When you hug and they stand there like a stiff board with their hands hanging at their side, you can be pretty sure they are not happy with you.
Snuggle Hug – This one usually takes place on the couch in front of the TV or the fireplace. It means they are enjoying being with you and want to stay close to you. (Don’t spoil the moment by getting up to go to the bathroom.)
Squeeze Hug – This type of tight hug is more of a “I had lots of fun” hug, than a passion hug. It is kind of a “thank you, let’s do it again” message.
Waistline Hug – This ‘hug’ is usually done while walking together or standing together. You both have an arm around the other one’s waist. This type of hug generally means ‘we’re together’ or ‘we’re a couple’.
Hug and Twirl – What does this mean? This means he hasn’t seen you for a long time, and he’s really happy to see you. You lucky girl, you!
Butt Squeeze Hug – A sexy, passionate hug. Pull your partner in close, lift your leg around their legs and give their butt a passionate squeeze.
Ecstatic Jump-n-Hug - Run at your partner and jump into their arms with excitement!
Encouraging Hug – Pull your partner close and give them a gentle squeeze with a light pat on the back.
Hug of Joy – A semi-close hug with excitement and movement that often times includes a bit of excitement jumping.
Spoon Hug – While not normally thought of as a hug, the ‘spoon’ is essentially your arms wrapped around your partner — a hug! While lying in bed on your side, pull your partner close and wrap your body around theirs in a ‘spoon’ position.
Sympathy Hug – Pull your partner close and lay their head lightly on your shoulder as you give their back a light rub.
Tree Hug – Find a large tree (perhaps while picnic-ing), and each partner wrap their arms around the tree to meet the other partner’s hands.
Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you in many ways. It has been found that the hormone oxytocin is released into the blood stream when you hold a friend close. This lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, and can even improve your health. Let’s see more advantages.
- The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.
- Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
- Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
- Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we are born our family’s touch shows us that we are loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our mother and father while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
- Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
- Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
- Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
A little hug statistics: We need four hugs a day for survival, we need eight hugs a day for maintenance, we need twelve hugs a day for growth!