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Let’s Hug – Here’s Why!

Only too often couples come into therapy because their sex lives have dwindled or stopped completely. With the lack of intimacy many can hold any fears around the loss of the physical but the anxiety builds when the emotional connection has gone. Many think it must mean there is no love, their partner wants someone else, or the relationship/marriage has come to an end. On discussion all forms of touch are near non-existent as one assumes if they hug, sex is expected and the act of sex as many perceive sex to be feels too much and unobtainable.

Research shows someone who does not receive hugs are at a higher risk of loneliness, depression, stress, attachment issues, poor sleep, physical pain, need I go on?

In truth we need human touch, a consensual hug feels warm and welcoming, a signal of friendliness and care. A hug with a partner helps us bond. Why does it feel so good?

The answer ‘the love hormone’ (oxytocin). It activates the pleasure centre in our brain. Read that sentence again ‘pleasure’, hugging makes us feel good, it can improve communication, connection and closeness.

You may say Michelle, just hug? There are different approaches one may recommend when working in Couples Therapy or when I deliver Intimacy Retreats and/or Discovery Days. Hugging can include breathwork, tension release exercises, eye gazing, tantra but below I have listed a simply effective exercise – Hugging until relaxed. I would love to hear you are all hugging more, go try it, let me know!


Hugging until relaxed exercise

  • Stand on your own two feet. *it can be performed seated or lying.

  • Put your arms around your partner.

  • Focus on yourself.

  • Quiet yourself down--way down. Stay till you feel yourself relaxed. Say nothing!

  • Notice how you feel, notice how your partner feels.

  • Smile at each other and continue your day.