Evening Standard: The Health Benefits of Hugging

Expert Advice from Isabel Leming, Senior TMS Technician at the clinic Smart TMS

Evening Standard looked at the surprising health benefits of hugging. 

The article says

“Research has previously shown that hugging does in fact have many physiological benefits that can positively impact your health and mood whether you’re the giver or the receiver.”

Isabel Leming, Senior TMS Technician at Smart TMS, was invited to give her expert advice.

Isabel explains the science behind hugging. Numerous physical and chemical changes in the body that are triggered by a simple hug – which in turn can provide a range of physical, mental, social and emotional health benefits.

Increase in Oxytocin

“Primarily, hugs can provide an instant surge in oxytocin (also known as the “love hormone”) levels, which has benefits for a number of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.”

Emotional Benefits

“Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, trust, intimacy and bonding.”

Reduction in Cortisol

“Oxytocin also causes us to feel more relaxed, decreasing tension and levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

“Cortisol is responsible for high blood pressure and heart disease. As hugs decrease these levels, it is suggested that regular hugs could eventually protect against heart disease.”

Increase in Dopamine

“Hugging also increase levels of dopamine, responsible for regulating our emotional response and reward circuit in the brain, which evidence reveals is low in people with mood disorders such as depression.”

Increase in Serotonin

“Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood which has also been linked to depression also increases when we hug someone meaning your mood can instantly be improved just by the physical act of it.”

How Hugging Reduces Stress

“The boost of hormones such as Oxytocin, Cortisol and Serotonin ultimately make us feel better which can really help if you’re feeling stressed out.

“By taking the time to hug someone, even just for a minute, it allows you time to calm down and know that you are supported by someone.”

View Article

Read the full article on the Evening Standard website:  https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/health/health-benefits-of-hugging-a3745616.html

isabel lemingIsabel Leming, Senior TMS Technician

Isabel is a member of the Smart TMS team of technicians. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology and Sport and a Research Masters in Brain Sciences. She has worked in a number of roles in psychology including NHS, behavioural and education services before joining the team at Smart TMS. 

TMS for Depression

Find out about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – a medication-free for treating severe depression:

Smart TMS Clinics

Smart TMS was established in 2015, providing TMS treatment at their original South Kensington/Brompton Cross centre in London. The company opened a second clinic in Birmingham in September 2017 and also has an established base in Northampton.  The first Irish clinic was opened in Dublin in October 2017.  Smart TMS is planning further locations for Manchester and Bristol in 2018.


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