29 July 2007

the science of hugs

This is my last full weekend in the Greater Cincinnati area before I shove off to Los Angeles for grad school. As such, I have been busy with a whirlwind of activity, including my last day at work, three going-away parties, and....lots of hugging.

There's just something about a good hug. I am admittedly a big hugger.....I'll hug nearly anyone, and last night at the end of my last party, I think I hugged several people five or six times (in between choking back tears). So that got me thinking....what's in a hug? I thought about all of the general stress I've been under, and the anxiety I've been experiencing due to intense feelings of being overwhelmed, and I wonder if the hundreds of hugs I've given and received in the past couple of days haven't helped me physiologically in some way. This article in the NY Times may be nearly seven years old but it seems to validate this theory, in lab rats anyway. And this article on the Web site for a Dutch organization called Humaniversity delves not only into the "art" of hugging, but into proper technique as well! As the Dutch are quite smart, I am inclined to follow their instructions on the matter.

If you live in the south-western half of the United States, look for me to be hugging along a route near you next week....

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