“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth” – Virginia Satir
The act of hugging works on many different levels in the human mind and body. Scientists have claimed that a single hug can have the equivalent power of multiple drugs and release a significant amount of feel-good chemicals if a person’s receptive channels are open and primed.
Heart Love Project’s Heart-Love Plushies are multipurpose happiness tools that can be used very effectively by children to get the best benefits of `hug therapy’.
# 1: Children Who Receive Hug Therapy Are Less Prone To Stress As An Adult
• An Emory University study found a link between touch and stress relief in the early stages of life in rats. The research concluded that the same is true of human kids, and hugging can establish coping and self-soothing skills from a very young age.
While nothing beats hug therapy from family, parents and loved ones, children benefit greatly from having a Heart Love Pillow that is always there and always ready to hug right back when the need arises!
# 2: Hug Therapy Makes Children More Patient
• Hugging disrupts the flow of a previous thought process, and repeated exposure to the feeling of hugging or being hugged help children tap into their subconscious reservoir of patience. Encouraging a child to cultivate the habit of embracing his/her Heart-Love Plushie when feeling frustrated, upset or angry reduces the heart rate, interrupts the negative flow of thought and arrests emotions from spiraling out of control.
# 3: Hugging A Heart Love Pillow Encourages A Child To Live In The Present
• Too much and too often, our children stay lost in a virtual world of technology-built toys these days. Living the moment, in full awareness of one’s surroundings, is possibly the most valuable spiritual lesson a child can be taught, and practicing hugging therapy with a Heart-Love Plushie is a very effective way to get a child’s physical senses to reconnect with the present by noticing the pillow’s touch, texture, appearance and smell.
# 4: Hugging Therapy Balances The Nervous System
• Hugs have a balancing effect on the nervous system. The skin contains small pressure points called `Pacinian Corpuscles’ that senses touch and transmits that information to the brain. The skin responds to someone receiving or giving a hug by displaying a change in skin conductance, and the moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – a phenomenon known as `Parasympathetic Balance’.
# 5: Hugging The Heart Love Pillow Stimulates Oxytocin
• Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system (the brain’s emotion centre) and promotes deep feelings of happiness and contentment.
Oxytocin is largely responsible for a new mother’s instant love for her baby, even though she had to undergo an excruciatingly painful experience to birth it. Research from the University of California suggests that it tempers male behavior and softens their hearts enough to form long-term relationships.
For children who have been properly introduced and bonded with their Heart-Love Plushie, hugging the soft, fluffy heart acts as an instant stress reliever and mood enhancer. The consequent release of oxytocin from the pituitary gland encourages them to be more calm, content and social.
Encourage your child to reach for the Heart-Love Plushie when they’re feeling sad, depressed, lonely or emotionally disturbed. The simple assurance that comes merely from the act of hugging is such a feel-good thing that soon, the child will be reaching for the Heart-Love Plushie on his/her own.
# 6: Hugging A Heart-Love Plushie Stimulates Dopamine
• Practicing hug therapy with a Heart-Love Plushie enhances the production of dopamine – a neurotransmitter that is a catalyst for a complex suite of feel-good emotions.
Low dopamine levels can spark mood disorders such as depression and encourage procrastination, self-doubt, lack of enthusiasm, and hug therapy is one way to naturally keep presence of dopamine in the body at an optimal level.
MRI and PET scans show that the brain releases dopamine, even in anticipation of the heart-warming act of hugging. As you progress with your child on the heart-love journey, you may notice that the relationship between the child and the Heart-Love Plushie is facilitating quick improvements in mood and levels of happiness.
# 7: Hugging The Plushie Stimulates Seratonin
• Seratonin is deeply connected with promoting confidence and sense of self. One feels sociable, important and included when there is sufficient seratonin present in the body. The act of hugging causes a surge in seratonin levels, allaying feeling of loneliness and depression, and elevating moods significantly in children.