International day of hugs : their benefits for the stress

Health 19 January, 2018


Published the 19.01.2018 at 15h58


Keywords :

stresssanté mentaleamitié

Have you ever crossed on a sidewalk or a place, these funny buggers with a sign ” free hug “, smile in the corner of the lips and with open arms, ready to embrace ? These people deliver hugs for free to strangers in the street. You may be part of those who make a strategic retreat or cross rushed out of the street in order to dodge the hug. But you’re wrong.

Hugs are good for health. The world day dedicated to this gesture of affection that we observe in many animals, is a good occasion to recall. In fact, the câlinothérapie, a phenomenon that is very recent and very much in fashion, is not only based on the intuition according to which receive the kindness of others has a positive impact on the mental and physical health. It is a fact scientifically established.

The friendship of the rats

A study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology shows that the male friendships and the manifestations of them (generosity, affection…) can help combat the stress and to counter its physiological effects.

The experiment was conducted on both rodents men exposed to moderate stress, isolated and locked up for several hours. Once together, after having suffered the situation of anxiety, the two friends tended to socialize heavily, to share a meal and to show gestures of affection-like hugs.

Their levels of oxytocin have been identified in the course of the experiment. This chemical compound, commonly called ” hormone of pleasure “, is associated with many social behaviors such as empathy or social recognition. When the rats had gathered together after their detention, its rate increased. A virtuous circle seemed to settle : social interactions were lowering their stress level, which, subsequently, fostering social interactions.

Hugs from trauma

If in the literature, the effectiveness of the hug in the treatment of stress remains poorly documented, on the ground, the gentle way seems to make its evidence, in particular thanks to the animals that many humans like to cuddle. They are also involved with hyperactive children, patients and elderly persons, of which they are improving the health of a sudden of papouilles, kisses and big hugs.