The 7 health benefits of cuddling

Andrew Worrall for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Ladies, if you’ve been waiting years for an article to wave in your man’s face the next time you want to cuddle and he groans (sorry guys), you’ve finally got it.
Cuddling does more than just keep one person warm (and suffocate the other with a wad of hair), it releases powerful chemicals in the brain that keep us happy, healthy and sexually active–a byproduct of a deep, loving relationship, which cuddling helps foster.
(But you can just say “sexually active” if you think it’ll help. I’m pretty sure it will.)
Anyways, here are a few more ways that cuddling can benefit your health. Even if it does make your arm go numb*.
*Editor’s Note: There’s actually a solution to that, now. Read the author bio at the end.
1. Cuddling makes you feel good in the same way that eating chocolate does.
When we cuddle and touch, our bodies release dopamine and serotonin, two hormones that enhance our feelings of happiness and lower feelings of depression. Cuddling increases our sense of well-being and happiness, allowing us to feel the same kind of joy we feel when we eat a piece of chocolate or have a good workout.
2. Cuddling boosts your immune system.
When we cuddle, our bodies release a “feel-good” hormone called oxytocin, as well as other hormones that help to boost our immune system. When our bodies and minds feel great, we are less susceptible to sickness and feelings of depression.
3. Cuddling relieves lethargy and pain.
Cuddling aids in muscle relaxation – when we cuddle our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone that helps our muscles relax more quickly and reduce muscle pain. Cuddling also makes us less anxious, allowing us to get better sleep at night and wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the day!
4. Cuddling helps deepen your relationships.
Cuddling and other displays of affection and touch release the hormone dopamine, which can increase feelings of pleasure and sexual desire between you and your partner. In fact, couples who cuddle together while sleeping are more likely to be happy in their relationships than couples who sleep on opposite sides of the bed, according to a recent survey from researchers at the University of Hertfordshire.
Additionally, cuddling also allows us to release oxytocin, a hormone that allows for the bond between a mother and her newborn baby. Cuddle for an extra 20 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning to deepen your relationships with the important people in your life!
5. Cuddling reduces stress and blood pressure.
Cuddling gives us a sense of security and safety, causing our bodies to release less of a stress hormone called cortisol. As our bodies release less of this hormone, we experience reduced stress and subsequently, a more moderate blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease. Cuddling not only has emotional benefits, but tangible health benefits too!
6. Cuddling allows you to communicate better.
Communication between partners is critical in a relationship. Sometimes, non-verbal communication such as cuddling between partners is the best way to express understanding and empathy for one another. It allows partners to express their love and acceptance in a way that words can’t express.
7. Cuddling reduces social anxiety.
When we cuddle, the release of oxytocin gives us a more positive outlook on forming meaningful relationships with others and allows us to have trust in others. Oxytocin also helps us build our self-esteem; with these feelings of optimism and self-confidence, our social anxieties are lessened and we are more apt to form significant relationships with others.
Andrew Worrall is the vice president of marketing and development for the EzCuddle Pillow, which provides the perfect cuddle with its unique contour design. The patented Arm Bridge provides an arch under the pillow which allows for cuddling without cutting off blood flow in the arm, avoiding painful pins and needles from the arm falling asleep. It also allows the person cuddling in the back to remove their arm without disturbing the other person.
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