Each one of us is unique, on our own path and we have different personal reasons why we are interested in cuddling. Some of these may include:
Loss of a loved one or friend
Mental or Physical trauma from health issues or abuse
Stressful situations at work or home
Feeling depressed or out of touch
My hope is that everyone has or can find someone to help with challenging times and share the ups and downs of life. Sometimes we don't have someone readily available or don't want to reach out to our busy friends for whatever reason. When you need someone to listen and/or hold you in a comforting, accepting embrace, I am here for you.
Science of Cuddling
Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies and is how we feel the world around us, complementing our other senses. I find myself routinely reaching out to feel what my eyes are looking at to see how soft or harsh a substance is. I then find myself smelling my fingers if my nose is picking up a smell of some sort. Touch is one of the first senses to develop and the last to diminish. Starting as babies and throughout our whole life we are constantly sampling the environment around us to build a database of what we’re drawn to and what repels us. There is a documentary discussing the impact of tactile sensation on our other senses by filmmaker Kun Chang called “Touch-The Forgotten Sense” .
On an intuitive level, we understand that positive consensual touch feels good but what is going on physiologically? Physical touch releases hormones in our bodies which help with social bonding, reducing fear and anxiety,
Sometimes called the “cuddle hormone”, oxytocin has been linked to an increase in a general sense of well-being, trust, contentment, self-esteem and social bonding. It has also been shown to reduce stress levels, depression, anxiety and cravings for addictive substances.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. It helps us to regulate mood, appetite and sleep as well as having some cognitive functions, including memory and learning
Known as the “stress hormone”, cortisol levels increase during stressful fight or flight situations. Though it is a necessary part of body function, increased or prolonged periods of stress can have detrimental effects including impaired cognitive performance, sleep disruption, slow wound healing, blood sugar imbalances and lowered immune function.
There are many studies and articles that go into greater detail about these subjects which can be found online by using your preferred search engine. Samantha Hess has written a book called “Touch: The Power of Human Connection” which talks about some of the benefits of touch as well as providing insight on communication techniques around touch and showing some cuddle poses you can try.