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Jornal da Franca – A study revealed that hugs and affection reduce pain, depression, and anxiety

Jornal da Franca – A study revealed that hugs and affection reduce pain, depression, and anxiety

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A strong hug, a loving cup of coffee, or the caress of a soft blanket—all of these touches can contribute to our well-being.

A study proves the benefits of physical touch for our physical and mental health – Freepik image

In times of increasing interconnectedness but limited physical touch, science offers us a valuable gift: revalidating the power of human touch for our physical and mental well-being.

A large-scale review of 212 studies, published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, proves that touch, in its various forms, can be a powerful ally in the fight against pain, anxiety, and depression.

The research, conducted by scientists at University Hospital Essen (Germany), delves into a world of studies exploring the effects of touch on different populations, from newborns to adults.

One key finding is that touch, especially human touch, is able to regulate levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and promote feelings of calm and well-being.

While touching objects, such as weighted blankets or social robots, also demonstrates physical health benefits, the study highlights that the positive impact on mental health is much greater when it comes to human touch.

Hugs, cuddles, and even comfort with a favorite blanket can bring comfort to the mind and body, especially during times of fragility and stress.

Contrary to what one might think, the type and duration of touch do not significantly affect the results.

In other words, whether it's a tight hug, a loving cup of coffee, or the caress of a soft blanket, all of these touches can contribute to our well-being.

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An interesting point revealed by the research is that touching the head, especially the forehead and scalp area, appears to have a more positive effect on health than touching other parts of the body.

This discovery opens space for new research into the therapeutic potential of techniques such as head massage and acupuncture.

Scientific literature has already proven the power of hugs on mental health. For example, a study from Ruhr University Bochum shows that hugs reduce the effects of cortisol, while a project from Carnegie Mellon University reveals that hugs can even affect the level of immunity, reducing the chance of getting sick.

In a context where in-person social interactions are becoming increasingly rare, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, the study reinforces the importance of human touch for our physical and mental well-being.

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