Researchers from different research institutions in the United States reported recently that they found that physical contact such as massage, hugging and holding hands can not only make people happy, but also help reduce blood pressure, ease heart rate and relieve pain, which is beneficial to health.
Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in the United States asked a group of healthy adults to receive a 45 minute Swedish massage – massaging muscles with essential oil, focusing on the face. The results showed that the number of white blood cells including T cells in the blood of members of the massage group was relatively higher than that of the control group who did not receive massage, which helped the body resist viruses and other pathogens.
Coincidentally, a study by the University of North Carolina showed that hugging can make the human body secrete more oxytocin. As a hormone produced by the brain, oxytocin is found in both women and men. This hormone can make people feel safe, enhance trust, reduce cortisol level and reduce stress. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison found that hugs from other close people had a similar effect in addition to partners.
Holding hands can make people “numb” to pain, which is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Virginia. James Cohen, an associate professor of psychology at the University, and his colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging to observe the brain activities of 16 married women. If they hold hands with their husbands, the number of active brain regions will change “essentially” and they will no longer respond to dangerous information. At the same time, these women’s cortisol levels will drop, which will improve their tolerance for pain.