Hug and Kisses Emotional contact has a positive effect on one’s health.

Following their breakup sex, three women reveal what happened to them.

Several factors contribute to the feeling of comfort and reassurance that we get from touching, embracing, and kissing the people we care about the most. Here, we will look at how such shows of love may have an effect on your health and well-being in this Spotlight.



When we touch, embrace, or kiss a friend or lover, we are making a symbolic gesture that is rich with significance.

We are looking for love, attempting to create a relationship, or attempting to convey a need.



Touch is used in a variety of ways by different cultures to express compassion or respect, and it is also used by non-human primates to form social connections and construct social hierarchies.

Although physical contact has been more tightly controlled in recent years, some experts have voiced worry that Western societies are entering a period of crisis as people increasingly refrain from engaging in social actions such as embracing.



Physical contact is, of course, not always acceptable or suitable in all situations. It may be considered a violation when it occurs between strangers.

According to the findings of a study paperTrusted Source released last year by researchers from Finland, whether touch has a good or negative impact is largely depending on the environment in which it happens.

“Touch does not always result in pleasant feelings,” the authors say. For example, they point out that “cultural variations may result in contact being perceived as a violation of desired interpersonal distance” in certain situations.



While at the same time, research has shown that people need physical contact in order to communicate emotions and sustain relationships – romantic and otherwise.

During this Spotlight feature, we will discuss the significance and advantages of physical contact with others, such as embracing, and kissing, on a person’s health and well-being


What is it about touch that is so important?

Famous studies have shown that children — as well as the babies of non-human animals — who grow up without receiving emotional contact suffer from significant developmental problems and are unable to form social bonds with their peers.

Putting our hands on or being touched activates certain regions of our brain, affecting our cognitive processes, emotions, and even bodily responses.



Indeed, according to one research, affective contact stimulates the orbitofrontal cortexTrusted Source, a brain area involved with learning and decision-making, as well as emotional and social behaviors.

In addition, certain experiments have suggested that romantic kissing can be an important tool — particularly for women — when it comes to selecting a partner, because the personalized chemical cocktail found in an individual”s saliva conveys important information to the brain about their physiological compatibility. “

Touch may also be comforting and relaxing for someone who is distressed since it can convey an offer of support and empathy to the person who is distressed.



A Swedish research, the results of which were published last year in the journal Research on Language and Social Interaction, discovered that hugging and stroking toddlers in distress had a calming impact on the youngsters who are experiencing discomfort.

For the purpose of this research, the authors explain that when an adult signals that they are available to provide calming touch, the encounter is followed by the child’s acknowledgment of the invitation and good reaction to it.



The engagement and cooperation required in this scenario enable the distressed kid to recover a feeling of comfort and reassurance as a result of the situation.

As a consequence, there are many arguments around the use of touch during therapy, with the primary question being whether the possible advantages exceed the ethical ramifications of such practice.



Scientific research has shown that touch has significant therapeutic potential, and that some individuals may benefit from getting a reassurance pat on the shoulder when they are feeling sad. 

Benefits on a psychological level

In reality, we seek out and offer hugs to someone we care about exactly because they set off a neurological pattern of comfort and affection in our brains and bodies.

According to the findings of a research, women who provided physical contact to their partners as a sign of support had greater activity in the ventral striatum, which is a brain region implicated in the reward system.



When you give someone who is in pain or feeling depressed a comforting embrace, it may really benefit both of you. It can help both of you feel more good emotions and feel more firmly connected to one another.

Furthermore, a series of studies performed by Dutch researchers shown that hugging may help to alleviate emotions of existential dread and self-doubt in those who are experiencing them.



In a study conducted by Sander Koole of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, he found that even brief and apparently insignificant moments of interpersonal contact may help individuals cope more successfully with existential worry.

“Our results demonstrate that even the simple act of caressing an inanimate item — such as a teddy bear — may help to alleviate existential anxieties. As a strong mechanism, interpersonal touch is capable of instilling a feeling of existential importance in individuals even when items that mimic contact by another person are used to do so.”

Sander Koole is a professional photographer.



A variety of studies have shown that participating in nonverbal expressions of love, including physical acts like kissing, may help to mitigate the effects of stress and speed up the healing process.



Advantages in terms of health

The advantages of emotional contact are not limited to physical health indicators, but also include measures of mental health and social relationships.

The stress buffer offered by shared hugs, according to a research published in 2014 in the journal Psychological Science, may potentially have a preventive impact against respiratory infections.



Those who did get sick exhibited fewer severe signs of infection when they got emotional support in the form of affective touches, according to the study.

Other studies have shown that women in romantic relationships where the partners embrace often had lower blood pressure and heart rates, suggesting that this kind of physical contact may be beneficial to the heart in a literal sense as well as figuratively.

According to scientific evidence, romantic kisses may also assist to strengthen the immune system. During a passionate kiss lasting 10 [seconds], experts estimate that we transmit “80 million Trusted Source bacteria,” according to their findings.



Despite the fact that it sounds unpleasant, this microbial exchange is helpful because it works almost like a vaccination, familiarizing the immune system with possible new bacterial threats and increasing its efficacy against a more diverse variety of infections.

Touch may be used as a pain reliever.
Finally, when it comes to alleviating bodily pain, the use of touch is very beneficial. Massage treatments may be very effective for relieving a variety of aches and pains, ranging from headaches to back discomfort.

Having said that, you are not need to visit a massage parlor in order to benefit from the pain-relieving effects of touch.



According to two studies published in two consecutive years, and both of which were reported by Medical News Today, just holding hands with your spouse is sufficient protection.

It was shown in the first research, published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2017, that when two couples contact and one of them suffers moderate discomfort, the touch really helps to reduce the feeling of pain.

After conducting a second study, which was published earlier this year in the journal PNAS, the researchers discovered the similar phenomenon among groups of young couples who were holding hands.



Specifically, the researchers found that hand holding during pain administration increased brain-to-brain coupling in a network that was mostly comprised of the central regions of the pain target as well as the right hemisphere of the pain observer.

Touch is likely to be a significant indicator of love no matter where we come from. According to the renowned English poet John Keats, who lived in the eighteenth century, “Touch has a memory.” Fortunately, scientific evidence has recently shown that this compelling lyrical picture has a scientific basis: it turns out that touch has a memory, after all.



According to a research conducted by neuroscientists at the Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany, our bodies are capable of recalling not just one kind of touch, but also many distinct types of touch at the same time, according to True Source.

As the study’s main researcher explains, “A new contact does not remove the recollection of a prior contact from working memory.”

After a person’s attention has been drawn to the touches, he continues, “both new and old tactile memories may remain independently of one another.”

Although it seems that touch has a more profound effect on our minds and bodies than we may have thought, we must be mindful of how something as basic as a hug might change our own and others’ perceptions of the world in order to avoid being misled.