By Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD
Married couples who give each other back rubs or touch each other affectionately in other ways for at least 30 minutes three times a week have 34% lower levels of stress. Researchers found that being affectionate releases the hormone oxytocin, which may protect against stress-related illnesses.
Our bodies require touch: it relieves stress; it makes us happier and healthier. However, we often forget the importance of giving and receiving affection through physical touch. Touching promotes a healthy mind, body, and soul. It calms people, it relieves stress, and it allows us to demonstrate our love for one another. A hug, a kiss, an embraces or holding hands can communicate more than 100 words.
Don’t deprive yourself of the very basic need of touch.
Influence of a “Warm Touch” Support Enhancement Intervention Among Married Couples on Ambulatory Blood Pressure, Oxytocin, Alpha Amylase, and Cortisol
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, Wendy A. Birmingham, BS and Kathleen C. Light, PhD
Published online before print October 8, 2008, 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318187aef7
Psychosomatic Medicine 70:976-985 (2008)