So here we are we've made through what always feels like the longest month of the year....January. Hopefully most of you have survived the January blues but if not I have good news February brings the month of love❤️!
Love comes about in many forms it doesn't have to be between two humans it can also come from the wonderful animals that walk beside us throughout life. One of the most important and influential outcomes of loving others or being loved by others whether it be human or animal form is the benefits of mutual touch between each other! Whether it be a hug, a kiss, holding hands or a reassuring stroke, the contact between you and another has a powerful effect, it releases oxytocin (the feel good hormone) both in you and the person you've shared contact with, this hormone is often referred to as the ❤️love❤️ hormone! There are great benefits to releasing oxytocin within our bodies, it can reduce blood pressure, decrease the stress-related hormone cortisol and increase our pain tolerance.
Sadly this is something we don't do enough of living in a touch-deprived culture, without thinking about it we often go hours, days or even weeks without physical contact in our lives. Sad I know! Adding touch into your day, is a simple way to harness it's health-maximising effects, of less stress, pain management and a greater sense of well-being. Remember touch doesn't only have to be received, the giving of touch is just as effective when maximising on the effects of touch.
Here's some easy ways to incorporate a boost of the ❤️love❤️ hormone oxytocin in your daily routine;
- Cuddle It doesn't have to be deep and meaningful but a cuddle with your partner, child, friend, or pet will do the trick!
- The Hello Hug Greet those you meet throughout your day with a quick embrace to maximise touch in your day.
- Find a fury friend As already discussed touch doesn't have to be from person to person. Spend some time to groom or pat your pet this will get those oxytocin hormones sorring.
- Pat a friend or work collegue on the back A friendly gesture involving touch will give both you and them a boost both maximising on the benefits.
- Hold hands Don't wait for someone to hold your hand, go for it yourself! This simple gesture can bring spark back into a relationship, or show some one you care whilst initiating your daily dose of touch.
-Book in for some bodywork Treat yourself to a treatment that involves receiving theraputic touch from a therapist such as The Bowen Technique which will leave you feeling relaxed, and a greater sense of well-being from that release of oxytocin during the treatment.
So get sharing the ❤️love❤️today in the form of touch, with loved ones, family, friends, work colleagues, our fury friends and even strangers, from a hug to a handshake, to a pat on the back and get that oxytocin flowing, flooding you and others with positive emotions and reap the powerful health benefits of touch.
Enjoy the month of ❤️love❤️x
National Institutes of Health. "The Power of Love," accessed April 4, 2013. newsinhealth.nih.gov
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National Institutes of Health. "Massage Therapy," accessed on April 4, 2013. nccam.nih.gov
Weerapong P, Hume PA, Kolt GS. "The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention," accessed on April 4, 2013. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Uvnas-Moberg K, Petersson M. "Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing ," accessed on April 4, 2013. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Field, Tiffany. "Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review," accessed on April 4, 2013. www.sciencedirect.com