The healing power of a hug


Touch is not only nice.  It’s needed.  Research supports the theory that touch is necessary for our physical and emotional well being.

Therapeutic touch is recognised as an essential tool for healing; to help relieve pain, depression and anxiety, to bolster patients’ will to live and to help babies grow and thrive.

One special form of touch is the hug.  

A hug…

  • Eases tension
  • Dispels loneliness – promotes a sense of belonging
  • Provides comfort and shows you care when you can’t find the right words
  • Can help you open up and express your feelings
  • Builds self esteem – “Wow! This person wants to hug ME?”
  • Helps curb appetite – when we feel nourished by hugs we tend to eat less
  • Huggers stay younger
  • Helps boost your energy
  • Keeps arm and shoulder muscles in condition.
  • Is portable and requires no special equipment. Does not upset the environment
  • Makes you feel good all day.  A hug keeps on giving benefits even after the hug is released.
  • Makes impossible days more possible, but hugs aren’t only for when you feel lonely or hurt.  A hug can also make a happy day happier!
  • Has many meanings – I’m sorry, congratulations, I’m so happy, I appreciate you, I care about you, I’ll miss you, thank you…


One important thing to remember is to be certain you have permission, a hug is not only given, it must also be accepted.  Remember the purpose of the hug is to provide comfort and support, and for some people touch is difficult and uncomfortable.  When in doubt, ask for permission whether you are the giver or the receiver of the hug, or use a modified hug such as a non-threatening, gentle touch on the shoulder or knee.

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