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Angela
26-12-14, 18:46
Apropos in terms of some of our recent discussions...

See the article here:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141217101316.htm


"This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress," Cohen said. "The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy."

Cohen added, "Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection."

I'm normally a little leery of "social science" experiments because there are so many variables, and it's difficult to control for them. Plus, much of the data relies on self reporting by the subjects. In this case, at least, they actually exposed people to the cold virus, and monitored their physical reactions. It's also important to note that the results do fit with recent studies about how "kissing the boo-boo" helps with pain perception, and studies on how health improves in isolated elderly people if they get pets.

I do think they're off track in implying that it's an either/or situation in terms of the effect; the touch alone being therapeutic, or touch as a symbol for social support. I think it's probably both. Based on studies done in the past in orphanages that show that lack of physical contact in the early months and years seems to impact how much infants thrive even just physically and cognitively, I would think that touch itself is important, and the need for it is hard-wired.

Aberdeen
26-12-14, 19:02
I do think there's something to the notion of touch deprivation, but I also think the phrase "by a trusted person" is quite important. I suspect that people who lack sufficient physical contact with others also lack trusted persons in their lives. In the example of orphanages, for example, I suspect the children don't much trust or feel kinship with those who are paid to look after them, and not only don't have much physical contact with others (except for unwanted types of physical contact) but probably also don't get the kind of constant emotional attention and mentoring that a child generally receives from their parents. So I think that while touch itself is important, lack of positive touch often goes hand in hand with other forms of deprivation. Which perhaps is what you meant by the reference to touch as a symbol for social support.

Angela
26-12-14, 19:30
I do think there's something to the notion of touch deprivation, but I also think the phrase "by a trusted person" is quite important. I suspect that people who lack sufficient physical contact with others also lack trusted persons in their lives. In the example of orphanages, for example, I suspect the children don't much trust or feel kinship with those who are paid to look after them, and not only don't have much physical contact with others (except for unwanted types of physical contact) but probably also don't get the kind of constant emotional attention and mentoring that a child generally receives from their parents. So I think that while touch itself is important, lack of positive touch often goes hand in hand with other forms of deprivation. Which perhaps is what you meant by the reference to touch as a symbol for social support.


Yes, I think we agree here...I just meant that it's not an either/or situation, but rather that both are at play. In terms of touch deprivation, the studies I remember looked at infants in large orphanages who were left alone in cots most of the time, being picked up only for very short periods of feeding and changing, and contrasting their physical and cognitive development in the first three years compared to children who were adopted out when they were very young. The differences were quite astounding in terms of weight gain and developmental milestones, more than could reasonably be explained away by individual genetic differences or differences in diet.

I do also think that there are probably genetic differences in how much certain people need human "touch" and how much they suffer from the lack of it, and in how comfortable they are in bestowing it. I also don't think one can totally generalize based on ethnicities, because I notice differences even within individual families.

Shannon1122
23-02-15, 13:55
A beautiful inspirational article you made here.

danielmorris
16-03-15, 12:31
Wow! It is really that hugs helps protection against stress and disease? Now only I’m hearing this type of tips to get relief from stress.

RobertColumbia
23-07-15, 04:35
Wow! It is really that hugs helps protection against stress and disease? Now only I’m hearing this type of tips to get relief from stress.

I think this is something that has been suspected for a long time but now has a solid research base behind it. A surprising amount of medical research is like that - taking traditional knowledge and doing scientifically rigorous experiments to determine if that traditional knowledge holds up.

Ike
23-07-15, 09:21
Wow! It is really that hugs helps protection against stress and disease? Now only I’m hearing this type of tips to get relief from stress.

Just try it out and see if it works for you :)

PatM87
31-07-15, 12:05
It comes down to the simple background that humans, for all our superiority, are still descended from prey animals and have a prey animal's mind. It's the sheep mindset - go to a parking lot, despite it being empty in 3 corners most people will park in one tiny area because of the herding/prey mindset [despite the fact that doing so increases the chances of their vehicles being damaged & broken into ... people don't pay attention to crowded areas and others messing around but a car standing off on its own would attract more attention if someone is breaking in because it is far more obvious]. Or FB, twitter, etc - I always have a good laugh at people with 200+ "friends", 80% of which they probably have little to any face to face interaction with and 50% of which they probably couldn't ID on the subway if their lives depended on it. As it is, the study is laughable. Such things are due more to genes & health/eating than anything. Such information which can't be readily tested. I mean my great-grandmother [mother's side] who was not a social person lived to be 102 years old - she was rarely sick and unlike a vast majority of seniors the ONLY medicine she took was tylenol. Mum's mother, likewise not overly social, at 98 only started taking medicine for diabetes in her later 80s. My father is rarely sick and has, as per a number of different doctors because we moved a bit, blood pressure and LDL/HDL of somone 20 years younger than his biological age, however, he is not a social person... he is, as he says himself an island onto himself... and he hardly eats healthy. I myself, like my father someone who is not overly social, haven't being sick since I was 12 years old and that sickness was due to the doctor's ignorance [he knocked off the beginnings of pneumonia as the flu]. The aspect of not highly social itself, with my family, doesn't come from bad households, etc. but rather family background. Dad's family is descended from old nobility and act it, and mum's side has connections to both old & new high class.

LeBrok
02-08-15, 01:25
It comes down to the simple background that humans, for all our superiority, are still descended from prey animals and have a prey animal's mind. Sure, we are a product of millions of years of evolution. We were and still are predators.


It's the sheep mindset - go to a parking lot, despite it being empty in 3 corners most people will park in one tiny area because of the herding/prey mindset We are social animals, sheep are too. There are some similarities in behavior. Although if it comes to parking lot, most people park closest to the entrance. It is more of convenience and opportunistic than "social" parking. I park far away and run to the store. That all the jogging exercise I can get, lol.


I mean my great-grandmother [mother's side] who was not a social person lived to be 102 years old - she was rarely sick and unlike a vast majority of seniors the ONLY medicine she took was tylenol. Mum's mother, likewise not overly social, at 98 only started taking medicine for diabetes in her later 80s. My father is rarely sick and has, as per a number of different doctors because we moved a bit, blood pressure and LDL/HDL of somone 20 years younger than his biological age, however, he is not a social person... he is, as he says himself an island onto himself... and he hardly eats healthy. Congratulation on getting the centenarian genes. I'm not that lucky, I need to really take care of myself to live healthy.



I myself, like my father someone who is not overly social, haven't being sick since I was 12 years old and that sickness was due to the doctor's ignorance [he knocked off the beginnings of pneumonia as the flu]. The aspect of not highly social itself, with my family, doesn't come from bad households, etc. but rather family background. Dad's family is descended from old nobility and act it, and mum's side has connections to both old & new high class. Now we know were you get your asocial genes from (neighbors are too close, and surrounded by idiots). I believe that our character and personality is genetic and has little to do with upbringing. To be honest I don't keep high standards for ordinary Joe, though I have some compassion for them and make an effort to accommodate and help. If I was a god I would create everyone smart, honest, good, beautiful and healthy. Unfortunately, by the way of Universe, I'm not the one.