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