A study carried out by the Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina showed that frequent hugs between spouses/partners are associated with lower blood pressure.
The trial studied 59 women (aged 20 – 49 years old). The women were monitored during a range of experiences from contact periods with partner (talking, watching a video etc.) to stressful events such being recorded speaking about an event that angered them. The contact period with partners ended with a 20 second hug.
The researchers monitored blood pressure and heart rate. They also used blood tests to measure oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone linked to physical and emotional warmth.Women with higher levels of oxytocin had lower blood pressure and heart rates during the stressful tasks.
This shows how important emotional and physical support can be to our wellbeing.