Hugging is a fundamental support network for improving mental and physical health, and improves the immune system, which benefits substantially.
This was stated by the medical director of Hospiten Santo Domingo, Dr. Milagros Alcántara, on January 21, World Hug Day, and Hospiten wanted to remind people of the benefits that “this gesture reduces stress and improves people’s mental, emotional and physical health”.
Likewise, Yesenia Durán, clinical psychologist at Hospiten Santo Domingo explains that with a hug “we are able to release oxytocin – the so-called happiness hormone -, eliminate anxiety and improve our mood”.
For this reason, the Hospiten Group stresses that hugs are the best natural remedy to take care of emotional and physical health, which has been proven by different scientific studies that support these effects and that, in addition, indicate that the right dose of hugs is between four and twelve a day.
Dr. Alcántara, an internist, informed that the immune system is a complex set of organs, cells and molecules that protects against infections, which may be at the base of some diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.
To improve it, he recommends “early exposure to certain microorganisms so that it can train, develop and mature properly. Through socialization, it is possible to have a healthy microbiota that is necessary for the digestive system, heart health and also for the immune system”.
According to the specialist, “the abuse of antibiotics, the proliferation of disinfectants and antibacterial products in the domestic environment or the reduction of exposure to animals and various plants could favor an immature and poorly regulated immune system, incapable of clearly distinguishing its objectives”.
From there, he explained that immunity ends up attacking the body’s own cells, reacting to proteins in food, leading to states of chronic inflammation or triggering exaggerated immune responses that are the basis of many severe allergies.
“The immune system benefits from socialization, which is the best way to enrich a healthy and necessary microbiota, not only for the digestive system, but also for the immune system,” said Alcántara.
Yesenia Durán also recommends giving and receiving hugs whenever possible, since a hug contributes to the wellbeing of a healthier society.
For Hospiten, World Hug Day is commemorated in a special way because this gesture is the symbol of the health institution, since its logo represents the abstraction of a hug.
About the Hospiten Group
The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network committed to providing the highest quality service, with more than 50 years’ experience, with 20 private medical-hospital centers in Spain, DR, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, and more than 100 outpatient medical centers, under the Clinic Assist brand. Founded by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella, it annually attends more than two million patients from all over the world, and has a staff of more than 5,000 people.