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A Hug: the Miracle Drug

A Hug: the Miracle Drug

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Published by TahoeTessie
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” —Virginia Satir, family therapist

This 9-page report outlines the physical, mental, and emotional value of hugging. It explores the cultural aspects of hugging, the “right” way to hug, some interesting facts, a powerful story, and a collection of quotes about hugging.

The author also offers an information product about recovery from childhood emotional abuse for sale. This information product is an 80-page e-book available at http://helpineedahug.com.


“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” —Virginia Satir, family therapist

This 9-page report outlines the physical, mental, and emotional value of hugging. It explores the cultural aspects of hugging, the “right” way to hug, some interesting facts, a powerful story, and a collection of quotes about hugging.

The author also offers an information product about recovery from childhood emotional abuse for sale. This information product is an 80-page e-book available at http://helpineedahug.com.


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Published by: TahoeTessie on Jun 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/05/2013

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Lisa J. Lehr ©2009www.HelpINeedaHug.com 
1
A Hug
…the miracle drug
 
by Lisa J. Lehr 
 
The importance of hugs
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”—Virginia Satir, family therapistWhen you were a child, and you were hurt, lonely, anxious, or scared, what didyou do?
curl up and hug yourself…
hug your teddy bear, dog, or cat…
ask Mommy or Daddy to pick you up?If you ever did any of these, you know how important hugs are to your emotionalwellbeing.
Hugging: it’s a no-brainer 
The fact that children crave hugs should be no surprise. For the first nine monthsof our existence, we’re in a snug place, surrounded by warm fluid. We hear our mother’s heartbeat; her movement and the sounds of her daily activities sootheus.After birth, a baby uses touch before any of the other senses. Baby cries, andwhen someone comes to pick up him or her, Baby feels safe. Because of thedesign of our brains, all higher animals (humans, mammals, and birds) have aninstinct for emotional and social bonding, a natural tendency to nurture their children. (Not so with reptiles, fish, and amphibians: lizard parents are as likely toeat their children as to simply ignore them.)Infants deprived of love, physical contact, and nurturing often suffer irreversiblemental and emotional damage—even death. People caring for infants in NICUsknow this. Whereas babies born prematurely or with other health problemstraditionally have been considered too fragile to touch, studies are being done toexamine the healing effects of touch, handling, and even massage on thesebabies.
 
Lisa J. Lehr ©2009www.HelpINeedaHug.com 
2
Kids in orphanages (especially in third-world countries, and
 particularly 
thosewith special needs), where there simply isn’t enough adult attention to go around,often grow up emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and physically impaired.Back in the 1950s, many American pediatricians advised parents to let their babies “cry it out”; in other words, not to respond to the baby’s needs. Theunfortunate result was many children growing up insecure and distrustful of aworld that does not respond to their needs. The taboo against touch was brokenin the 1960s and ‘70s by the hippie-culture “love-ins”; some therapists began toaccept the practice of touch and then use it in “encounter groups.”
Hugging is good for your health!
Your skin is a sense organ. Hugging boosts your body’s production of endorphins, the “feel good” chemical. It strengthens your body’s immune system,reduces stress, helps ease depression, and induces sleep. It’s also energizing.Hugging is free, can be enjoyed by anyone, and has no negative side effects.Hugging truly can be called a miracle drug.
Kids need hugs
Hugging helps to develop kids’ self-esteem and overall wellbeing. It makes themfeel better about themselves and their environment; makes them moreaffectionate and communicative; relieves loneliness, frustration, anxiety, andother negative emotions; and opens the door to feelings that children may needto share, reducing the likelihood of acting-out behavior.Children who aren’t regularly hugged by their parents usually grow up to havedifficulty bonding with other people. Child experts have begun to use huggingand other types of touch therapy to treat abused children.
Grownups need hugs too
Hugging is therapeutic for not only children, but adults as well. It fulfills the deepphysical and emotional need for touch that all humans have.Following scientific discoveries that it has physiological benefits, hugging is evenbeing used to help treat some physical illnesses. For example, touch stimulatesnerve endings, thereby helping relieve pain.One study showed that pet ownership improves the survival of heart patients.How? Pets love to be hugged, and we love to hug them. The cuddling of pets has
 
Lisa J. Lehr ©2009www.HelpINeedaHug.com 
3
a soothing effect that lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress levels inheart attack victims.Hugging also has social benefits. People who hug other people are less likely todo nervous self-touching, like touching their hands and hair and biting their nails.
Hugging makes you smarter 
Research has even found that hugging stimulates brain cells. “According tointelligence researcher Jay Gordon, MD, co-author of 
Brighter Baby 
, new studiesshow that children who get some
sustained 
form of touching, such as a
long hug every day 
, are
smarter 
. ‘The more physical contact a little one gets, the more thebrain cells are stimulated, creating stronger, faster brain synapses and boostingIQ.’” (Jenn Hollowell, eHow Editor, in “What Is Hug Day?”)
Types of hugs
There are several types of hugs; the situation and the relationship between thehuggers determine which type is used.
The A-frame hug. The huggers touch only from the shoulders up; brief; usedwhere formality is called for.
The full-body hug. The two huggers stand facing each other, wrapping armsaround each other’s shoulders and waists, heads together; firm, yet gentle;can be shared by good friends, relatives, or lovers.
The side (or one-arm) hug. Standing side by side, one hugger (usually thetaller one) puts his or her arm around the other hugger’s shoulder, while thesecond hugger puts his or her arm around the other’s waist; more casual, or used between people who aren’t comfortable with a full hug.
The cheek hug. This is a tender, gentle hug; can be experienced comfortablysitting down, standing up, or with one hugger sitting and the other standing; atasteful way to greet someone who is seated.
The “guy” hug (or “shug”—a combination of “shake” and “hug”). The two guysshake, and with hands still clasped, lean in for a hug with the free arm; thegoal is to create a barrier between the two huggers so as not to appear toointimate.
The bear hug. This is like the full-body hug, but much more forceful; usedbetween people of either gender or mixed gender who are completelycomfortable with the full-body hug and are relatively sturdy; not advised for 

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