It’s no secret that with my family and some of my friends I can be a very demanding person. Well, not really, but I love hugs. Whenever I feel upset, tired, worn out, happy, or energized I tackle whatever person is nearest. In all seriousness, I’m a sloth. I could hug a tree, or a loved one until I’m hungry.
Which is why when a classmate in my American Government class, at my city’s local college, posted a discussion about how post-quarantine greeting will be – it grabbed my attention immediately. The article my classmate posted was by the New York Times, it offers ideas of how we may all greet each other after quarantine. Most likely, it’s not going to be our usual hugs or European kisses. Instead it might be a fist bump, a foot five, or compassionate words like “I appreciate seeing you” or “I’m glad to see you”. Often in today’s society we leave a lot of words unsaid, at least I know I did for a while. Some of you, like me, have already learned that there is no promise of tomorrow – the world we live in today is already a lesson in that. So, it’s becoming more and more important to express our love and appreciation for one another.
As humans we’re wired for physical touch, it’s our greatest desire as a species. This probable lack of human contact can be detrimental to our physiological and psychological well-being. Hugging induces oxytocin, also known as the “bonding hormone”. Oxytocin is the hormonal chemical that reduces stress and increases trust and security. Physical touch strengthens the immune system. When hugging another, the physical pressure on the sternum activates the Solar Plexus Chakra which stimulates the thymus gland – balancing the body’s production of white blood cells to keep you healthy and disease free which seems to be pretty crucial right now. It’s said we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth – so make sure to get your daily dose of hugs. To see ‘Why you need 8 hugs a day‘, click the linked text.
Today, we all have been deprived of physical contact by social distancing orders which is why I have listed some alternative ways to stimulate your nerves to help keep you healthy.
- Hug the people you are allowed to see, that you are quarantined with. Hug them daily and tell them how much they mean to you.
- The first recommendation for skin stimulation is using a dry brush. Dry brushing is used before you take a shower as it increases drainage of lymphatic fluids, which flushes toxins from the body. As well as it stimulates good blood circulation and exfoliates your skin. Make sure you use a brush that’s specifically for dry brushing, so you have the correct type of bristles to use on your skin. When you dry brush, you want to start on the left sole of your foot and brush upwards. Do not brush downwards, bit-by-bit brush upwards towards your abdomen – don’t forget behind your ankles and knees. Do the same to your right side. Then brush your abdomen starting at your hips and brushing upward. Then brush towards your heart space on your lower, center and upper back. Next, brush you’re your abdomen starting at our hips and brushing upward. Then brush your left arm, from your palm to your shoulder, brush strokes moving towards your heart – and repeat on the right. Finally, you gently brush from your shoulders toward your chest, all towards the heart – be careful because the skin here is sensitive, especially for girls.
- The next recommendation is to get a body exfoliator to put on in the shower. This helps again, to stimulate and exfoliate our skin – plus it smells good.
- Try following a Qigong video. Qigong is a Chinese medicine technique credited to the legendary Yellow Emperor (2696-2958 BCE). Here’s a Qigong video that you can follow. Qigong promotes the movement of energy through the body by opening certain gates, allowing negative energy that usually gets stuck and builds up in the body to release. Tapping is the Qigong technique that not only stimulates the nerves but also stimulates the lymphatic nervous system by performing the tapping gestures on acupressure points of the body.
- Try an acupuncture mat, this is one of my favorite things to use when I feel disconnected with my body. It helps stimulate nerves and your awareness of your different body parts.
I hope you enjoyed this blog, to all my friends reading this I cannot wait to hug and see all of you again. Share this with a loved one to educate them on alternatives for skin stimulation to help increase their mental and physical health. Stay healthy and safe.
With Care and Love,