I know for sure, for a fact that Hugs are very healing. They are very comforting to both or more than two parties involved. There is no better way it seems, to feel better yourself and to make someone else feel better at the same time. It is definitely a win-win situation for all. While I was browsing through the web of my mind I remembered a experience around 8 years back which actually kind of brought it into my awareness how important can it really be for a person, cos I had kind of taken it for granted meeting people, hugging friends so it had been a regular part of my routine not realizing what it was probably doing or why do I feel like hugging people.
So going back to this incident with a coworker, in the office I was employed at that time. We had our cubicles side by side and on my right side I had an elderly colleague a pleasant lady and we used to interact once in a while just over the regular day to day stuff in office. One day we were having a chat and she started sharing how she and her husband has been undergoing a tough time and he had been diagnosed with prostrate or colon cancer (I don’t remember what it was for sure) but he was supposed to undergo surgery. I could feel she was pretty strong through all of this and other things that she would have undergone in her life that reflected on her face. But there was something still there which actually made me reach out to her instinctively and give her a hug. I surprised myself by doing that and I am sure she would have been surprised too but she was pretty open to that. I felt a nice motherly love embrace me and then actually I forgot all about it. But a couple of days later I received an email from her which was something on these lines. Jagjeet I am not sure how to thank you but the HUG that you gave me actually gave me the strength to carry through this difficult time and she mentioned she was able to take care of all things around with this strength that she found (fortunately the surgery was also a success). And she also mentioned something about us being strangers from different lands she being a Dutch Lady and I an Indian and how that gap was bridged by a simple HUG. I was pretty surprised with the response that I got cos I hadn’t thought that a simple act like this could be so healing for someone.
A HUG is by far the most simplest of healing tools that everyone has access to, no techniques, nothing to learn,nothing to practice just a warm HUG and it is a balanced energy exchange for all involved so the give and take happens right there and then. Sometimes it brings tears to your eyes, sometimes it bring smiles ,sometimes they are uplifting or it could have none of these, could be just a simple embrace, a silent loving communication but they are definitely healing. And self hugs work too and hugging trees is also great!
How do they work – the science behind it! And some personal thoughts too J
I feel that as soon as you HUG someone it creates a heart to heart connection and aligns you in some manner to your higher self or whatever you might want to call that energy which embraces (HUGS) us all.
As far the scientific aspect is concerned it definitely increases your Oxytocin levels according to scientific studies.
And What is this Oxytocin?
This is a hormone which is sometimes called the Love hormone and it evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness. Oxytocin also functions to protect against stress, reducing fear, creating more trust, bonding people together and the list probably goes on and on.
Even without the science behind it hugs open up communication between people, help to improve relationships, lift the moods and lift the entire atmosphere around. The children are pretty instinctive and open about this as they would invariably come in after a little bit in their daily routine and ask you for a hug or they would sit in your laps for extended periods of time putting your hands around them. They actually demand it and my 11 year old still does it as he would come up to either of us and ask for a hug, if I think about it my much year older than 11 ;-) i.e my wife still does it too as she would come over and say I have to hold you for a while. So that was with the kids and that brings me to another experience that I had recently.
I have a good friend who I have known thru my interactions with him by virtue of him being a Chiropractor. I was in an office waiting for him as he had to get his daughter tested for an allergy. As soon as they walked in and I saw his 5 year old daughter I asked her “You know me, right” and she gave me a big nod with a smile and sparkling eyes (of course we had never seen each other before this, at least in this lifetime but I could feel a connection) and then I asked her for a hug and she gave me a big warm hug and it was quite a healing experience for me, very uplifting and I do thank that little healer for that. It actually still lifts my spirits thinking about it and all the interactions that I specifically have with children. And it is worth mentioning another little lady of 3.5 yrs, another friend’s daughter who insists me to carry her around in my arms as soon as she sees me anywhere and gives me hugs all the time. I am sure these little angels are working on me thru all these interactions and lovely little hugs.
So that is about the Hugs and I do want to thank the family, for whom I have been guided with big knocks on my head, to actually recommend hugging each other more than often as part of the healing protocol that I am following. This blog post in parts is brought into being by this recent experience.
The science says that at least 20 seconds hugs work the best for you and release Oxytocin, so I presume longer the better but please don’t let that be a deterrent to actually give shorter hugs if you don’t have time for 20 second ones J.
And here is a Video clip to actually feel how a hug can transform a person, a situation. It is from an Indian movie, I couldn’t find a clip with English subtitles. But it is more about seeing and feeling The Magical Hug (Jadu Ki Jhappi – as it is called in Hindi in this movie) so I am sure language will not be a barrier. The situation is about a cleaning man in a hospital who is pretty pissed off, angry about the fact that no one cares for what he has been doing for over 20 years and people walking around just keep coming in messing up the work that he does. So the lead actor in the movie comes in and the rest I will let you watch and feel.
With Loving HUGS to All
Jagjeet Singh Ahluwalia