What Happens To Your Brain When You Cuddle
Everyone loves to cuddle. Although many men are too masculine to admit it, it feels great to lay down and wrap your arms around someone. Whether you like being the big spoon or little spoon or cuddling on the couch, it feels safe, secure and incredible. Cuddling is such an amazing feeling for so many people that there are some people who have become professional cuddlers.
That’s right. There are people who have taken cuddling to the next level, and they charge for their services. It all started with one woman who thought it’d be a great idea when she was going through a hard time and realized how much cuddling made her feel better. She began cuddling complete strangers for an hourly rate, and it didn’t take long for her to make six figures a year. Now, there are others who are doing the same.
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But why is cuddling such a great feeling? Well, there’s some science behind it. Cuddling releases oxytocin also known as “the love hormone” for its feel-good properties—which then flows through your body.Your brain actually enjoys the act of cuddling, and there are different reactions happening in your body to give you this great sensation. Some people love the smooth touch of another person during a good cuddle session or massage, but research has shown that this may be an illusion that the mind creates. The University College of London has findings that show this is an illusion your brain creates to keep you interested in cuddling.
The Science of Touching:
Aikaterini Fotopoulou is a researcher who conducted a variety of experiments with her colleagues to understand why love touching feels so nice even when the surface of someone’s skin isn’t all that smooth. One of the first things they noticed was that this illusion was only present when a person touched hairy skin at a slow speed in a stroking motion. This is due to cell sensory, and both people receive pleasure from the action. The cells give the person a happy feeling, and the person doing the gentle touch is receiving a similar pleasure from giving it away.
Fotopoulou aimed to discover why the human brain did this. Sure, touching and cuddling feels great, but humans evolved for a reason. Everything that makes us human has typically come to be due to the need to survive. The researcher and her colleagues ran experiments on those who were experiencing pain, and they found that touching like holding hands, hugging and cuddling helps reduce pain, lowers the heart rate and boosts the immune system as well.
The Stigma Around Physical Contact:
The touching of people from other countries often surprises Americans. Around the world, people are much more physically connected with one another. They hug more often, and they may even give a kiss on each cheek. Americans often finds this type of behavior taboo. Fotopoulou hopes to help people overcome this stigma with her research to encourage people to have love contact on a more regular basis due to the incredible effects it has on the brain.
Now that you know about how beneficial cuddling and touching can be, what are your thoughts? Are you going to cuddle your significant other a little more? Will you be less shy when someone comes in for a hug knowing that it stimulates your brain? Let us know your thoughts.