Why giving someone a ‘bear’ hug can make you live longer

When we discuss the subject of Mingling and how it helps us to stay younger and healthier, the ladies in my classes are not keen on the 5th point on the heart which is ‘Love’, so as always there is a scientific explanation to this point (I love a bit of science!).

 

Doctors at the University of North Carolina have found that hugging may dramatically lower blood pressure and boost blood levels of oxytocin, a relaxing hormone that plays a key role in labor, breastfeeding, and orgasms.

And the more you hug, the better: Women who hugged the most daily had the highest oxytocin levels, and their systolic blood pressure that was 10 mm/Hg lower than women with low oxytocin levels—an improvement similar to the effect of many leading blood pressure medications,  Getting more daily hugs from their friends/family/lovers was related to higher oxytocin, and so the hugs were indirectly related to lower blood pressure.

The hormone oxytocin has been linked to trust, and it helps women bond with everyone from newborns to stockbrokers. But its biggest benefit may turn out to be physical. 

  • Oxytocin is linked to emotional as well as physical closeness in partners, And while the healing power of this connection is not yet proven, they think it will be very soon.
  • Oxytocin also surges through the bodies of men and women during orgasm.  But whether sex itself directly improves women’s health is still not certain.

  • Oxytocin levels decline with age,  In a study aging mice with extra oxytocin retained muscle mass that was lost by mice of similar age as their oxytocin naturally declined. Oxytocin signals the muscle stem cells to actively divide and make more muscle cells.
  • It also suppresses our fear and protectiveness.

So lets get hugging and releasing more oxytocin into our systems.

Come along to one of our special Health Classes, especially for women over 40… 

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Find out more about the ‘Mingle’ heart HERE

 

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