All over the world, hugging is recognized as a common form of greeting. Depending on culture, context and relationship, a hug can indicate familiarity, love, affection or friendship. One person may also hug another as an indication of support, comfort, and consolation. In some cultures and for some people, especially between strangers, a hug may not be the norm and can be considered an invasion of private space.
But as well as being a symbol of emotional liberation and authentic self-expression, the hug is also a physically restrictive position. The vision of open arms is a sign of comfort and reassurance. But equally, those same two arms can hold us in a tight grip, creating a boundary between ‘us’ and ‘them’, those who belong, and those who don’t.
We often express the hug in the written word using universal symbology. ‘X’ – As is above so is below, ’O’ Zero – Zero Point – Union of Soul
For years studies have underscored the importance of an early, nurturing environment for good, healthy outcomes for children. “But most of those studies have looked at psychosocial factors or school performance. A Washington University study, to my knowledge, is the first that actually shows an anatomical change in the brain, which really provides validation for the very large body of early childhood development literature that had been highlighting the importance of early parenting and nurturing.
Having a hippocampus that’s almost 10 percent larger just provides concrete evidence of nurturing’s powerful effect.”
Hugs are not much different than Reiki or any other contact healing technique. It’s all the same. It’s all energy. Healing is energy. Healing is frequency. The nature of the harmonic is to create balance and raise frequency. Energy exchanges create an electromagnetic flow that can temporarily heal or at least bring someone into greater understanding about getting help. Without healing the emotional body though, all will revert back, or find another outlet of expression in physical reality.
Modern medicine often works wonders, but an Australian Mom now knows first hand the true miracle that can come from a mother’s touch.
Kate Ogg was told her newborn son Jamie had died after efforts to resuscitate the premature infant had failed shortly after his birth. But when Kate was given the chance to say goodbye to the apparently lifeless baby, she and her husband, David, found they were instead saying hello to the newest member of their family.
Kate Ogg told TODAY’s Ann Curry that she knew her babies were in danger when she gave birth just 27 weeks into her pregnancy. Daughter Emily survived the premature birth, but son Jamie languished — and after 20 minutes of trying to get him to breathe, doctors pronounced him dead.
After Kate was told Jamie didn’t make it, nurses placed the baby across Kate’s bare chest so Kate and David could reconcile themselves to his death.
“I wanted to meet him and to hold him and for him to know us,” Kate Ogg told Curry. “If he was on his way out of the world, we wanted for him to know who his parents were and to know that we loved him before he died.”
But a strange thing happened on their way to farewell. After five minutes, Jamie began displaying short, startled movements. As Kate and David looked on, his movements became more pronounced.
Still, the baby’s doctor told the parents any movements were purely reflex, and their son was not alive.
But no one was more surprised than David and Kate when their seemingly dead son opened his eyes.
“What’s important is the warmth that the mother provides and the stimulation that the baby may have received from hearing the mother’s heartbeat,” Eiland said. “So those are all things that may have helped the baby in terms of going down the path to living as opposed to the path of death.”
To be most effective at optimizing the flow of the chemicals oxytocin and serotonin—which boost mood and promote bonding—hold a hug for at least six seconds. If a hug were a pharmaceutical product, it would be a blockbuster. Touch would be its active ingredient, its role to stimulate the release of oxytocin, which acts on the brain, the heart and the reproductive system. It reduces stress, facilitates romantic pair bonding and makes people trust strangers.
Studies show that hugs can lower stress and blood pressure levels. And, thanks to more modern psychological and medical thinking, long-standing theory suggests that the quality of a mother’s interaction with her baby is important for the child’s becoming a resilient and healthy adult.
We should never underestimate the power of touch. To be touched in a healthy manner is one of the most fundamental needs known to mankind, yet much of our society bristles as the thought of physical touch because of the negative impressions that have been associated with it.
Every child is born with a deep need to be tenderly held and touched in a meaningful way. Study after study has shown that children who are deprived of wholesome touch are more prone to sickness and death than children who are hugged and cuddled often. The research proves what we already know intuitively: there is healing and health in the warmth and security of a loving touch, a hug, a cuddle, a kiss, a pat on the back, or even a high-five.
But, it’s so much easier to express anger than love. The minute you see your child doing something out of line, you don’t hesitate before telling him to stop in a firm voice, or before losing your temper. Most of us are able to shell out feelings of frustration and indignation at the drop of a hat but when it comes to looking at our loved ones and telling them how deeply we care, we draw a blank.
Wholesome touch and affection are crucial to the wellbeing of healthy children and strong families. How sad is it that this is unfamiliar territory for so many of us! Often the problem is the culture in which we were raised. In some cultures, affection is frowned upon and considered unnecessary. Other times, the problem is the home in which we grew up.
If we weren’t kissed and cuddled often as children, we may feel uncomfortable displaying affection toward our own kids.
However, we can’t use our backgrounds as an excuse, however. Since God created us with a need for touch, it’s imperative that we push through the barriers of culture and upbringing and reach out and touch somebody.
We think we act because of the way we feel , but often, we feel because of the way we act
Hugging is a physical acknowledgment of the presence of another with the intention of expressing affection. Sometimes hugging is meant to also express reunion after separation and in that case it represents “affection beyond words.” Over the years though, hugging has assumed many uncomfortable forms.
Though humans are inherently social, we shy away from physical contact in this country. Compared to other cultures, we tend to be hyper aware of personal space, offering a handshake instead of a kiss on the cheek and keeping a certain amount of distance between us and those we converse with.
Unfortunately, the lack of touch in our lives is detrimental to our well-being. We need physical contact to feel connected to something other than ourselves and to feel a little less alone, especially in times of need. But when we’re stressed out or sad, we turn to a number of other coping mechanisms instead, like eating comfort food, getting a drink at the bar, and tuning out in front of the TV.
To many souls reality is a lonely, painful experience with nowhere to turn. A hug is a way to share both good and bad times with others.
A hug can create a connection that one cannot express in words. Even a small hug generally makes everyone feel good. A hug can make one feel safe and secure. It can lift our spirits and make us smile. Some people are not comfortable with the physical embrace, yet a quick hug can go a long way.
The hug is perceived as a means to reconnect with our ‘true’ human selves and form solidarity with each other. Hugs are designed to make us feel good and special by protecting us from negative thoughts and feelings. But they can also be about the reinforcement of a repressive sense of belonging and inwardness.
The hug! There’s just no doubt about it, We scarcely could survive without it. A hug delights and warms and charms, It must be why God gave us arms…
Hugs are great for fathers and mothers, Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers. And chances are some favorite aunts. Love them more than potted plants.
Several therapies have been developed around the healing properties of touch and embraces. Healing Touch International, Inc. is a non-profit that claims to treat maladies like stress, depression, and physical pain through practitioners placing their hands above or lightly on patients as they lie on a table. A man named Steve Maher came up with a practice called the Ecstatic Embrace, which involves ninety-minute hugging sessions and is supposed to increase self-esteem and happiness.
Psychologist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” I don’t know about you, but according to her, I’m severely deficient.
Many of us invest plenty of time and energy in eating right, exercising, and taking care of ourselves, but in terms of getting our daily doses of physical touch, I bet almost as many are slacking.
We all need to be needed. It is one of the most fundamental needs of human beings. Unless one is cared for, one starts dying. Unless one feels that one is significant to somebody, at least to somebody, one’s whole life becomes insignificant. Hence love is the greatest therapy there is.
The world needs therapy because the world is missing love. In a loving world no therapy would be needed at all; love would be enough, more than enough. Hugging is only a gesture of love, of warmth, of caring. The very feel of the warmth flowing from the other person melts many illnesses in you, melts the ice-like, cold ego. And, makes you again a child.
A hug is meant for everyone. It only takes a hug, a heartfelt and warm embrace, to change the lives of others.
Everyone talks about eating an apple a day for optimum wellness, but maybe we should think about reaching out for a hug a day instead. It just might be the most economical health and mood booster out there—it doesn’t cost a thing and the benefits, like a brighter day and a stronger heart, are priceless.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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