18 Jan 2016
The act of hugging is a common form of greeting in many parts of the world. Depending on the culture, context and the relationship, a hug indicates familiarity, affection, love or friendship.
A person can hug another as a sign of support or comfort. In some cultures and for some people, especially among strangers, a hug can feel like an invasion of personal space. This is why many studies have been conducted on the benefits of receiving a hug.
When hugging not only is oxytocin released, but the hug also activates seratonin and dopamine in the brain, making it easy to understand why we experience such a great feeling of well-being, sedation, harmony and plenitude when receiving a hug. It returns motivation, happiness, good mood and is accompanied by a smile.
Hugs among the elderly can reduce dementia and boost life expectancy. The positive energy created between people who are hugged has a psychological basis in the body.
For those with chronic pain it is often recommended that they have someone who touches them in the painful area for about half an hour daily. This stimulates the nerve endings and increases blood flow to the surrounding tissues. Hugging reduces the levels of stress related to the person’s vulnerability to feel stress linked to their conditions.
The benefits of hug therapy are::
·Favours effective communication with the team and among themselves.
·Boost levels of oxytocin, which help reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, anger and isolation.
·Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
·Strengthen the immune system.
·Relax the muscles thus releasing the body’s tension. It can even erradicate and calm pain.
·Balances the nervious system.
·Teaches us to give and receive, shows us how love flows in both directions.
·They are similar to meditation and laughing. It shows us to let go and be present in the moment. It lets us flow with the energy of life and connects us with our heart, emotions and breathing.
“We need four hugs a day to survive, eight to maintain ourselves and tuelve to grow” – Virginia Satir (American family psychotherapist)
In Cugat Residencial we implement this therapy with the goal of offering the best quality of life for the elderly.
We offer two Hug Therapy sessions a week with our residents, and the changes are visible from the first day.