Healing Through Hugs This Valentine’s Day
Remember when you were a small child and got a scrape? You likely ran to Mommy, Daddy, or some other loved one to “kiss it and make it better,” and after the kiss your injury would magically hurt less. There was no “magic” involved; just the hormone Oxytocin.
Oxytocin, aka the love drug, is a hormone made by the brain and released upon physical contact such as hugging or hand holding. Its job is to reduce your levels of anxiety, stress, and fear.
To heal an injury the body needs to repair the damaged cells or create new ones, and doing both requires an enormous amount of resources. Getting eight hours of sleep a night and eating as much fresh and whole foods as possible are wonderful and necessary for complete recovery. However, it is Love that allows those methods to be fully effective and advances the healing process.
When the body feels stressed out; reactions occur that make healing even minor injuries take longer than normal. The body tells the brain, “Hey I am under a lot of pressure down here,” and the brain responds by releasing a number of hormones; including cortisol and epinephrine. Long term release of these hormones can cause poor immunity, low energy levels, depression, high blood pressure, digestive problems (like ulcers), and decreased testosterone. Yikes!
Whenever you feel life or the pain from your injury is unbearable; take a few seconds and give someone a hug. Watch as those anxiety levels or pain levels from that the muscle, joint, bone, etc. instantly drop.
Love is the most underrated healing drug of all.
With that, a challenge for you this Valentine’s Day is to HUG as many people as you can and watch the healing begin.
Karuna & the Turtle Rabbit Team