Humans are social creatures and as such we love to be cuddled – although some might not want to admit it out of misunderstood masculinity, toughness and pride. But scientists have found that cuddling is not only a pleasant pastime, but also damn healthy and protects against disease.
Oxytocin, the hugging hormone, performs many important jobs in the body
The reason for this is oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, also known as bonding hormone and which performs many important functions in our body. Among them: strengthen the immune system and promote social skills.
The hormone is formed in the hypothalamus, a region of the diencephalon. Once poured into the body, it provides physical well-being, reduces fear and aggression, and promotes trust in others. It ensures that stress is reduced and reduces the feeling of pain.
Oxytocin, the cuddling hormone, also helps during childbirth
Therefore, the hormone also plays a major role in childbirth. In people who give birth, the hormone causes, among other things, the contraction of the uterus and therefore the onset of labor. The analgesic effect is also useful here. This also explains the name of the hormone, oxytocin comes from ancient Greek and means: rapid birth. The hormone can then also promote milk flow.
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The hormone is released upon contact with the skin, and the release is particularly strong during orgasm. Low levels of oxytocin have been found in autistic children who have major social difficulties. Scientists have observed a direct correlation between oxytocin levels and social skills.
Oxytocin, the cuddling hormone: how it helps the body
However, where oxytocin, the hug hormone, is sufficiently present in the body, it is a real miracle weapon: In addition to interpersonal relationships, it is also good for sleep and also for the immune system. Because the release of this hormone ensures the production of more killer cells. Killer cells are cells of the immune system that recognize and fight cancer cells or cells infected with pathogens. They are usually T cells or NK cells. They repel viruses and bacteria.
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Research has shown that people who enjoy close contact are less likely to catch a cold than people who are less affected. A panacea that replaces modern medicine is not the hug hormone. It can only support the fight against pathogens. This means: feel free to inject as much oxytocin into your body as you can, but if you have serious problems you should see a doctor!