International day of hugs : their benefits in infants and on the stress

Health 19 January, 2018


Published the 19.01.2018 at 19h21


Keywords :

stresssanté mentaleamitiébébé

Hugs are good for the health, the health of adults and children, and even toddlers. The world day dedicated to this gesture of affection is a good occasion to recall.

In the services of neonatology, the hug becomes a real treatment. The little “shrimp” put in an incubator, long weeks may benefit very early in the delivery.

The skin-to-skin

And this hug has a name : the skin-to-skin contact, also called ” kangaroo care “. As its name indicates, this hug is to carry the newborn on the chest of the mother or of the father, even his skin. Scientists have measured the real benefits of this warm contact. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, they showed that premature infants who received skin-to-skin ” were two times more likely to reach their 20th birthday than those who received only standard care. In addition to the age of adulthood, they were less aggressive, impulsive, hyperactive, or stressed than their peers ; they also had a brain volume more important than the other, the sign of a good development of the brain.

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.