A hug a day to keep the doctor away

jfh

perpetual student
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Location
Texas, USA
I'm all for that. I think the study/trial is kind of weak, but I like the "hug" part.

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Instead of an apple, could a hug-a-day keep the doctor away? According to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, that may not be that far-fetched of an idea.

Led by Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the researchers tested whether hugs act as a form of social support, protecting stressed people from getting sick. Published in Psychological Science, they found that greater social support and more frequent hugs protected people from the increased susceptibility to infection associated with being stressed and resulted in less severe illness symptoms.

Cohen and his team chose to study hugging as an example of social support because hugs are typically a marker of having a more intimate and close relationship with another person.

"We know that people experiencing ongoing conflicts with others are less able to fight off cold viruses. We also know that people who report having social support are partly protected from the effects of stress on psychological states, such as depression and anxiety," said Cohen. "We tested whether perceptions of social support are equally effective in protecting us from stress-induced susceptibility to infection and also whether receiving hugs might partially account for those feelings of support and themselves protect a person against infection."

In 404 healthy adults, perceived support was assessed by a questionnaire, and frequencies of interpersonal conflicts and receiving hugs were derived from telephone interviews conducted on 14 consecutive evenings. Then, the participants were intentionally exposed to a common cold virus and monitored in quarantine to assess infection and signs of illness.

The results showed that perceived social support reduced the risk of infection associated with experiencing conflicts. Hugs were responsible for one-third of the protective effect of social support. Among infected participants, greater perceived social support and more frequent hugs both resulted in less severe illness symptoms whether or not they experienced conflicts.

"This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress," Cohen said. "The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy."

Cohen added, "Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection."

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In addition to Cohen, the research team included Carnegie Mellon's Denise Janicki-Deverts, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center's Ronald B. Turner and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's William J. Doyle.

The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded this research.
 

knightofalbion

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Glastonbury, England
So many people today are so isolated. They have no-one to talk to.

What they need is for someone to put a caring arm round their shoulder, or hug them, and tell them that they're there for them and everything will be okay...

Instead they go to the doctor and he gives them a six week prescription for chemical sedatives!
 

ozzie

Active member
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Location
australia
I would think it would be much nicer to have a hug a day,than an apple,I like apples too, but today they seem to be so hard and tasteless lately,most likely genetically modified,at least you can't genetically modify a hug :)
 

larryz

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
So many people today are so isolated. They have no-one to talk to.

What they need is for someone to put a caring arm round their shoulder, or hug them, and tell them that they're there for them and everything will be okay...

Instead they go to the doctor and he gives them a six week prescription for chemical sedatives!
Yes I agree. Yes. Screw the medical system. It's just based on doctors beholden to the drug industry.
 

Valeria

New member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Exactly! When we are depressed, the immune system is sad(((
Give it something to be happy about, a hug is so little to do, but gives our body an inner push. Just do it))))
 

jaminhealth

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Location
Santa Monica
I see my integrative MD once a year as I do take a couple meds; thyroid (NT) and BP meds..but OPC's are my doctors....pycnogenol and/or grape seed extract. If only everyone knew this, doctors would be begging for customers.
 

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