The diabetic power of touch has a scientific base in oxytocin that is released when you hug. Hugging a loved one gives you a physical boost.
Scientists say the hormone oxytocin is released into the blood stream when you hold a friend close.
This lowers your blood pressure. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
Oxytocin is one of the hormones from your pituitary gland. It was known for increasing bonding and positive social behavior.
Now we know oxytocin
is associated with faster wound healing because it reduces inflammation. This is the diabetic power of touch.
Diabetes is a disease that connects to inflammation. There is some evidence that inflammation can cause type 2 diabetes.
Studies of diabetic obesity show an inflammatory reaction. Some think
obesity causes inflammation, but it is possible that the inflammation came first, leading to obesity and insulin resistance, or prediabetes.
The power of touch in the release of oxytocin is an exciting idea. Touch has been proven to aid healing by reducing the inflammation caused by cell damage.
So hugging can help heal the complications of diabetes. It also lowers stress, which is one of a type 2 diabetic's biggest enemies.
The positive effect of hugging only happens if the people trust each other.
Receiving hugs from strangers or when you don't want to be hugged has the opposite effect.
Oxytocin is not released, and anxiety rises.
When you feel your space being invaded by unwanted closeness, you secrete cortisol. This increases stress.
Cortisol raises your blood sugar and blood pressure because it is the "fight or flight" hormone.
Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler, said this: "Hugging is good, but no matter how long or how often someone hugs, it is trust that’s more important."
Hugging is not only a great way to bond with someone you love. It has powerful physical benefits as well.
Whether you are the giver or the receiver, a hug is the gift that cannot be given without getting something back.
But the oxytocin effect only works if the hug comes from someone you trust. An embrace from someone you barely know increases stress.
The diabetic power of touch goes beyond science, so take all of this with your own grain of common sense.
Remember that you and I need to touch and be touched by those we love. It will make us all better.
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