These days, most of my pals need extra hugs. The world is kinda splody right now, and lots of people are living at the corner of Freaked Out and Pissed Off. And right now they need lots of hugs.
I’m not here to judge…if a pal has that “Please Hug Me” look, I’m going to reach out and get all squeezy on them. That’s just my way. But it made me more curious about the nature of hugs.
Early in my blog research, I came across a place called the Huggery. I’ve always thought about this place, which no longer exists. You could pay a flat rate for hugs and cuddling. You could choose horizontal or vertical and choose the amount of time.
When I looked up the Huggery on Google, a few people stood out in the results.
Samantha Hess started CuddleUpToMe.com in 2012 and now runs a business with other certified cuddlers, platonically hugging people. They charge $1 per minute for sessions that last from 15 minutes to 5 hours.
Here’s more about Samantha.
Los Angeles therapist, Steve Maher, charges people $120 for one hour of platonic hugging and cuddling.
There is also a “free hugger” named Amma who pops up all over the internet. Amma is short for Mata Amritanandamayi, and throughout her life she has hugged and comforted tens of millions of people. She takes only donations (although she also sells merchandise) and people wait in line for hours to hug her.
I could watch her hug people for hours – she rocks at it.
What happens in a hug that makes us all feel better?
TONS of physiological benefits. Hugs literally balance our nervous system and lower our stress levels (and our heart rates). They make you release Oxytocin and Seratonin. They enhance our immune system. You can read all about the physical effects here.
Apparently most hugs follow a set pattern (there’s steps to this, people!) so if you’re not an adept hugger, here are the four steps:
The Approach – One or both people indicate the impending hug, typically with one or two arms thrown wide. Eye contact is established and the face will show smiling and pleasure.
The Embrace – The main part of the hug, may be one-or two-armed. It may be from the front, the side or at a slight angle.
The Interaction – Within and around the embrace there may be a variety of other actions and interactions, such as back-slapping, back-rubbing, arm-squeezing, hand-holding, cheek-touching, cheek-kissing, head-holding, spoken words and so on.
Disengaging – A point comes when the huggers have to let go and back off.
Easy-peasy, right? Wrong!
There are dozens of types of hugs. I knew about the bear hug, the group hug and the man hug. But I didn’t know about the Bomb, the A-frame, the Head Envelope, or the Dancefloor Hold. I didn’t know how much hugs could say.
p.s. If you need a hug and can’t find one, here’s the site for Certified Cuddlers.
So, are you in need of extra hugs these days? Are you typically a hugger or a non-hugger? Would you wait in line to hug someone like Amma? Pay for a professional cuddle from a pro like Samantha? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!
Happy Monday…I’m sending you a virtual hug!