Not only is it a beautiful concept that loving affection can improve our health, but there is also a great deal of truth and science behind it.
When we feel love our pituitary gland releases a chemical called oxytocin, best known as the hormone women produce when they give birth. However, oxytocin is also produced by touch and affection, when we cuddle our partners, when we orgasm and even when we stroke our pets. It is produced at higher rates during the early stages of a relationship creating attachment and a bond between partners.
Known as the hormone of peace and love, oxytocin naturally creates feelings of optimism and trust. The wonderful thing about this hormone is that it’s produced via a feedback mechanism, meaning the more love and affection you receive, and the more loving you are to others, the more oxytocin your body will create.
Oxytocin has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve digestion and gastro motility and support cardiovascular health by widening our blood vessels.
Quicker wound healing can also be attributed to oxytocin’s role in angiogenesis which is important for the growth of new blood vessels.
With all these benefits from something as simple as a hug, it would seem like the perfect way to improve your health and happiness.