Our bodies were designed to interpret heat, cold, pain and pleasure based on physical contact with externals. But beyond this, they also serve to interpret feelings of gratitude, disgust, joy, sadness and love.
A good way we use our bodies to serve us and our loved ones is through hugs. A hug given, is a hug received. Doctors say that hugging is so important to human health and stability that we need to give and receive hugs daily.
In fact, renowned family therapist, Virginia Satir says, ‘We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.’
And this isn’t just for children, adults too need hugs. We need hug for reassurance, to feel loved or accepted by the people we love. Hugs can also be an effective way to deal with stress.
Hugs also communicate relational peace between people. Certain cultural and religious groups use hugs to express harmony among members. Jews for instance, greet with hugs…the French, the Spaniards and the Italians too, stemming from the influences of the Catholics as far back as the 1st Century.
Hugs on the whole, communicate love; the warmth of an embrace, coupled with a shared kiss is the universal serenade for the soul.
Hugs make the world around us a little smaller, closing up the spaces that exist between us. They make us kin and in the end, leave us more open, vulnerable and interdependent on each other.
A hug is the ultimate expression of our shared existence.
Give me a hug!