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Stress

Women Need Hugs

7 months ago

4275  0
Posted on Feb 25, 2018, 5 p.m.

University of North Carolina has conducted a study suggesting that women need more hugs.

The study included 38 pairs and/or couples and investigated that effects of hugging. The study showed that hugging increased levels of oxytocin which is a bonding hormone, reduced blood pressure, and lowered the risks of heart disease.  Women were observed to show greater reductions in blood pressure than men showed after hugging.

 

Before the study began both men and women had blood pressure and levels of oxytocin measured while in rooms separated from each other. When the couples were reunited they were asked to sit together and talk about a time when they were especially happy, after which they watched 5 minutes of a romantic film, and then were left to talk to each other for an additional 10 minutes, after which the couples were then asked to hug for 20 seconds.

 

Both men and women were observed to have increased levels of oxytocin after hugging. People that were in loving relationships were found to have even higher levels of the oxytocin hormone. Additionally all of the women were found to have had reduced levels of cortisol following the hugging, as well as the blood pressure benefits, reported reduced anxiety and increased bond strengthening. The importance of increased oxytocin and its cardioprotective effects are greater for women.

 

This study reinforces that hugs from a loved one can have beneficial effects on heart health. Adding to the links previously demonstrated in other studies between positive emotional states and lower levels of cortisol the stress hormone.  The study also adds to and highlights the growing body of research to the importance of social support for everyone, not just those in relationships.

 

Materials provided by:

BBC News

 Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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