Cuddling becomes a real medicine for babies and older children fighting against the deleterious effects of stress.
Cuddling is good for the health of both adults and children and even toddlers. The world day dedicated to this gesture of affection is a good opportunity to remember.
In the neonatology department, the hug becomes a real treatment. The small "shrimps" put into incubator for long weeks could benefit very soon after childbirth.
Skin to skin
And this hug has a special name: skin-to-skin, also called "kangaroo method". As the name implies, this hug consists of wearing the newborn on the torso of the mother or father, right on his skin. Scientists have evaluated the real benefits of this warm contact. In a study published in the journal Pediatricsthey showed that premature children with "skin-to-skin" were twice as likely to reach their 20th birthday as those who received only standard care. Moreover, in adulthood, they were less aggressive, impulsive, hyperactive or stressed than their comrades; they also had a larger brain volume than others, a sign of good brain development.
In fact, hugotherapy, a recent phenomenon and very fashionable, does not rely solely on the intuition that receiving tenderness from others has a positive impact on mental and physical health. It is a scientific fact.
The friendship of the rats
A study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology shows that male friendships and the manifestations of these (generosity, affection ...) help to fight against stress and counteract its physiological effects.
The experiment was conducted on two male rodents exposed to moderate stress, isolated and locked up for several hours. Once together, after suffering this distressing situation, the two friends had a tendency to socialize strongly, to share their meal and to show affectionate gestures similar to hugs.
Their oxytocin levels were noted during the experiment. This chemical compound, commonly known as the pleasure hormone, is associated with many social behaviors such as empathy or social recognition. When the rats were together after their detention, the rate increased. A virtuous circle seemed to set in: social interactions lowered their level of stress, which in turn fostered social interaction.
Cuddling against trauma
If in the literature, the effectiveness of the hug in the treatment of stress is still poorly documented, in the field, this gentle method seems to prove itself, thanks to the animals that many humans like to cuddle. They are also involved with hyperactive children, patients and the elderly, they improve health with pampering, caresses and big hugs.