Advice

The Hugging Regimen

teddy bear open hugI often send people I care about a virtual “deep pressure hug” through a text message or on WhatsApp…but that sure doesn’t beat the real thing!

What will lower blood pressure, increas oxytocin levels, decreas stress, and boost immunity?

What will lead to deeper sleep and greater happiness and even a stronger sense of security?

It’s not a drug, a diet, or even an exercise plan.  It’s The Hugging Regimen.The Hugging Regimen says we need at least eight hugs a day.

What?

In a too-busy and touch-deprived world, how many people actually feel able to take the twenty seconds needed to give someone else a heartfelt hug?

I blogged about the benefits of touch. We know that loving touch is important to our well being. And the humble hug is one of the most perfect ways to give your child safe, supportive, physical contact.  The deep-pressure of a hug is soothing and especially satisfying to children who crave sensory input.

You may not be that huggy type or you may simply be too busy to remember to hug. But, hugging provides too many benefits to lose out on.

A regimen of eight hugs a day is recommended for optimal benefits but if making time for eight hugs sounds overwhelming, start with one a day and work your way up from there.

If you or your family is not the mushy-affectionate type (and many people and cultures aren’t), this development might catch your kids by surprise. However, relating to your kids through physical affection may strengthen your relationship.

If you’re uncomfortable about giving an all-out hug, try giving your child (or other family member) deep pressure with your hands from the shoulders down to the fingers

If your child does not like touch, I encourage you to learn more about occupational therapy. OT can promote development of sensory integration and open children up to the experience of touch.  Touch contributes greatly to the physical and emotional health of children, and hugging is one of the simplest and sweetest methods of giving them their daily dose of Vitamin T.

Happy hugging.

 

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