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Can You Kiss and Hug Your Way to Better Health?

Here’s some news that’s worth cuddling up to — science shows that kissing, hugging, snuggling, and holding hands produce more than just magical moments. They can actually boost overall health, helping you lose weight, lower blood pressure, fight off illness, and more. If you don’t have a human cuddle buddy, there’s more reason to get yourself a pet. Snuggling with pets has been shown to produce similar results as snuggling with the people you love most. What’s the science behind this theory? It has to do with a hormone called oxytocin — sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone.” It’s produced by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland when we’re physically affectionate. That, in turn, produces what some describe as “warm fuzzies” — feelings of connection, bonding and trust. Oxytocin levels are often higher in women than in mean, which plays a role in the maternal instinct. For all of its perks, physical affection’s most enduring benefit is probably the one it’s best known for — making you feel all-around great – and not just temporarily.