In a recent feature on this website, Valerie Reiss lists eight health benefits of kissing.
I was especially intrigued to learn about kissing’s power to lift the mood. Demirjian explains that kissing stimulates the feel-good chemicals in the brain, mainly serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
So what are the health benefits of kissing?
Kissing boosts your self-esteem by making you feel loved and connected. A German study even found that men who were kissed by their wives before leaving for work made more money.
Here are the eight benefits of kissing, according to Valerie Reiss:
- Kissing helps reduce blood pressure
- Kissing zaps cramps and headaches
- Kissing fights cavities
- Kissing amps up your happy hormones
- Kissing burns calories
- Kissing boosts self-esteem
- Kissing can give you a facelift (kind of)
- Kissing is a barometer for sexual compatibility
Much of her research is based on Andrea Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures
What About Hugging?
It turns out hugging has its own benefits. A research study at the University of North Carolina has found that hugging can dramatically lower blood pressure and raise levels of oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones stimulated by kissing that helps a person chill out, relax, breastfeed, and orgasm, although not all at the same time. The women in the study that got more hugs from their husbands had much higher levels of oxytocin, and had systolic blood pressure that was 10 mm/Hg lower than women with low oxytocin levels.
So think about that the next time you want a lift in your mood — or your health!
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Feb 2014
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Borchard, T. (2014). 8 Benefits of Kissing. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/02/03/8-benefits-of-kissing/