Today is National Hug Day and it’s reminder that Touch is so important in our lives.
Our skin is the biggest organ on our body. It keeps everything inside in place and protects us against anything outside. However, there’s an emotional part of the skin that not many people know exists.
When the skin is touched by something pleasant, like a hug by someone you care about, or the fur of an animal, a natural chemical called Oxytocin is released in the brain. According to MedicalNewsToday.com, Oxytocin Is called the “hug hormone” or the “cuddle chemical.”
Personal Note: The main purpose for it is the high during reproduction, but it’s also the touch hormone.
Like all natural chemicals, it causes a little bit of a high in the brain, which can be associated with a certain group of people. When you see your best friend, usually you’re happy, correct? This is also part of Oxytocin, which also reacts to social interactions.
Touch is mandatory for development. Newborns absolutely need touch from both their parents to grow and thrive. Touch in newborns helps to:
- Balance their hormones
- Increase the development of their Immune system (allowing them to be less susceptable to illnesses)
- Allow for human contact to be a good thing, with the help of Oxytocin
- Regulate their body temperature
- Develop skills socially and emotionally
Without touch, children can actually die or become absent with their emotions. Orphanages have a lot of cases of aloof or sick children because of their lack of touch as infants.
“But what about in Adults?”
Even those who don’t like touch sometimes need it. A lot of people who are alone have pets to keep some form of living touch in their lives.
It’s essential to have some form of gentle touch to help the body relax and be in a happier state.
As a Massage Therapist, this should be our mission: to always give gentle touch in association with bodywork. Without gentle touch, we literally cannot do our jobs and help those who really need it. Even those with Cancer can be greatly helped by gentle touch.
So, today, on National Hug Day, go out and ask someone if they need a hug. You never know, you might make someone’s day!