Things would be better if we could just hug

Things would be better if we could just hug

Ironic, isn’t it?

In a time when people are enduring stress, fear and uncertainty, the perfect treatment for these ailments is something not readily available.

We’re talking about hugs.

Science is pretty clear about this.

Hugs elicit hormonal and neurological responses. They release oxytocin, the so-called ‘love’ hormone. Hugs and other methods of touching can lower blood pressure, and ease physical pain. They just make people feel better.

One study, referenced in an October 2019 article in Psychology Today, suggests that regular hugging bolsters the immune system and may favourably influence the rate of infection from a cold, as well as its symptoms.

Ironic, isn’t it?

It ought to be noted not everyone is a fan of the hug.

One of my dearest friends abhors them.

He’s been social distancing since infancy and somewhere on that body I’m sure there’s a tattoo that says: ‘No hugs please, we’re British.’

Come to think of it, he’s been positively chipper these past few weeks.

Because he’s an anti-hugger, he’s usually the first person I want to squeeze whenever we get together in a group.

Part of that is born from the inexplicable satisfaction it gives me to rub others the wrong way.

But mostly it’s because, knowing that he’d rather chew on tin foil than stand there with his arms around me, it makes that hug more special. That’s love, and a super rush of oxytocin.

Mr. DeMeer’s hugs are adequate.

I usually have to ask for them though, and he has this annoying habit of patting my back, like he’s trying to burp me.

Beggars cannot be choosers, but more than once since this pandemic began I have looked around the house at husband and sons, desperate for a hug and thinking, “Are there no other options?”

My father died a month ago, in a care home in Ontario. Under provincial orders there could be no funeral, no visitation and no hugs.

Even before corona virus, hugs were going out of fashion.

Despite the clear benefits of a hug — and it is unfortunately understandable — doctors, teachers and others who might dispense a comforting touch are discouraged or prohibited to do so.

Today there are ‘professional cuddlers’ who sell hugs and non-sexual touching. (Those businesses probably aren’t open right now.)

You can buy a hugging vest, a chair that hugs and hugging pillows that will communicate with your smartphone.

A hug, a caress, skin-to-skin contact, a massage — all these things are proven important to mental and physical health, and human development.

Take as many hugs as you can get, where you can get them, safely.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read