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Give Your Valentine A Hug - Cuddling Boosts Overall Health


Giving your Valentine a little cuddle this week will benefit more than your love life.

Medical and health research from across the country shows that cuddling and touching is also a great health boost that is proven to have serious benefits.

“The next time your significant isn’t interested in cuddle time - present the evidence,” says Sonal Haerter, MD, a physician in St. Joseph’s Internal Medicine Center. “Medical studies show that cuddling can boost overall health by lowering blood pressure and releasing ‘feel good’ hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin.

Cuddling is one of the best means of physical affection and ignites a brain chemistry reaction that has far reaching effects. It garners closeness and increases your mental well-being.

Other health benefits of cuddling include:

  • Pain relief
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Reduction of social anxiety
  • Stress reduction
  • Protection against inflammation

Although cuddling and physical affection is often associated with romantic relationships, something as simple as a hug can increase oxytocin levels and provide a health boost. In addition, it has been proven that mother and infant skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth improves chances of successful breastfeeding, and touch by nurses improve the health of the elderly in nursing homes.

“I often give my patients hugs when they come to see me for medical treatment,” says Dr. Haerter. “Non-verbal communication can transmit empathy and understanding. A hug can go a long way.”

Contact: Carmelle Malkovich, 602.406.3319

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