By Richard (Dick) Innes

I often hug you in my heart.
This time I want you to feel it.

* * * * * * *

A reminder about the value of hugging
from UCLA Medical Center

“Hugging is a miracle medicine that can relieve many physical and emotional problems facing people today,” experts say.

“The type of hugging I recommend is the bear hug,” says Dr. David Bresler, Director of the Pain Control Unit at UCLA. “Use both arms face your partner, and perform a full embrace. I often tell my patients to use hugging as a part of their treatment for pain. To be held is enormously therapeutic.”

Researchers have also found that hugging can help you live longer, protect you against illness, cure depression and stress, strengthen family relationships and even sleep without pills.

“Hugging is an excellent tonic,” declared Dr, Harold Voth, senior psychiatrist at the prestigious Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas, “It has been shown scientifically that people who are mentally run-down and depressed are far more prone to sickness than those who are not. Hugging can lift depression, enabling the body’s immune system to become tuned up. Hugging breathes new life into a tired body and makes you feel younger and more vibrant. In the home, daily hugging will strengthen relationships and significantly reduce friction.”

“Researchers discovered that when a person is touched, the amount of hemoglobin in their blood increases significantly,” said Helen Colton, author of The Joy of Touching. “Hemoglobin is a part of the blood that carries vital supplies of oxygen to all organs of the body— including the heart and the brain. An increase in hemoglobin tones up the whole body, helps prevent diseases, and speeds recovery from illness. My 15 years of research have convinced me that regular hugging can actually prolong life by curing harmful depression and stimulate a stronger will to live.”

“Sometimes I just take out my prescription pad,” Dr. Bresler said, “and then I write out a prescription for four hugs a day—one at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.”


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