Sometimes You Just Need a Hug

Photo from Pixabay

Photo from Pixabay

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.

Genius, right?

When I looked up the Huggery on Google, a few people stood out in the results.

Samantha Hess started 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!
~ Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
This entry was posted in Health, Inspiration and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Sometimes You Just Need a Hug

  1. MichaelEdits says:

    Thank you. Some of us need a post-Super Bowl hug.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. markbialczak says:

    Mutual hugs are spirit-lifting, Jenny. One-sided hugs, not so much. And in this day in age, there’s so much do I or don’t I? Shake hands only? Go for the gusto?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. CrizGazr says:

    Ha ha, yeah. I engage in verbal hugging of the curmudgeonly variety:
    This is an interaction I had with a black woman in a Southern Starbucks, the week after the election.
    My smile, smirk and nod returned.
    “I don’t hate you.” I said, looking at her hopefully, “Do you hate me?”
    “No, I don’t hate you,” she said… “This is all…”
    “Bullshit?” I offered.
    “Yeah, bullshit.” she agreed.
    We returned to monitoring the barista. She got her drink… yeah, I was there first, LOL.
    “Bye,” said she.
    “Bye.” Said I, feeling better.
    I call this a Boston cuddle. I do get hugs. Once, I forced my husband to hug me three times each day for 90 seconds, I giggled and he chortled for each one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. amyshojai says:

    Thanks, I needed this.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can always use a hug.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jess Witkins says:

    I will totally take a virtual hug as I have been one super stressed sistah. Hugs are the best and I don’t think we get them enough. I remember talking to my biology teacher in high school about this actually. The “feel good” senses that go off when we are given kind touches like a hug, an arm around the shoulder, hand holding. A lack of those in a person’s life can actually make them feel lonely and lead to depression.

    One of my sister in laws is an incredible hugger and she sent me a link a while ago about the length of a hug. Those that hug longer release more of the good chemicals too. I always told her she’s the best hugger, and she said it’s because she doesn’t let go right away. She actually holds people. I think that’s true. And it is a comfort.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      She sounds like an outrageously fine hugger. And yes, some people just know how to pour the Oxytocin (bonding hormone) all over us and get our own happy seratonin and dopamine centers rocking. Hugs are genius and I love ’em. 🙂


  7. My goodness – the things I never knew I never knew. Hugging should just be spontaneous, not thought out or choreographed. If it’s awkward then practice. Good grief.

    No, I would not wait int line or pay someone for a hug. Wait. Correction. There are a few male actors I might wait in line for. Maybe even give them a buck or two. Oh, who am I kidding, I’d pay a large sum of money to hug Thor or Tom Selleck or . . . well, never mind.

    Thanks for the interesting food for thought. From now on I shall forever analyze my hugs. Thanks for that.

    I wish we lived closer – I’d come over right now and give ya a squeeze.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’d wait in line for Thor. Totally. In fact, I’d do it for most of the Avengers, including Scarlett. Also for Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time. That man has sex appeal.

      I don’t think I’ve had an awkward hug since my teens or twenties. It’s just a marvelous squeezy fest and everyone walks away happy. Prepare to be squeezed repeatedly when I see you live. Especially if you let me in your kitchen. 🙂


  8. I’m another who needs a post superbowl hug. Dang it, Falcons!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. karenmcfarland says:

    Great post Jenny. You know, before marrying into the McFarland Clan, I was not much of a hugger. I was not raised by a hugger. Unfortunately, my parents were not the touchy-feely kind of parents. My mother viewed it as spoiling. Yeah, I know. (Narcissist) So when I started hanging around with my hubby’s parents and family, I, of course, loved the “Hug.” Who knew? I was Hug starved, but just didn’t know it. From then on I became a great believer in the Hug. My poor sons could not get away from their Hug-lovin mother! lol! Better to be a hugger than a non-hugging mother. So here’s a long distance hug from me. Make that three, for you, Steve and the Bean! ((Hugs)) 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      And look at you now, so warm and huggy and loving! You always impress me. And you know I want to flick your mama in the head when I hear that. Like you can spoil a kid with hugging. Geesh.


  10. Kelly Byrne says:

    I almost went to a cuddle party once a few years ago. Luckily, I’ve found a brilliant hugger in Tony, so all my huggy needs are met on a daily basis, but I love how hugs can actually change your mood and your physiology. I’m a big hugger, I hug ERRBODY, so for me they’re essential. 🙂 I shall consider myself hugged by you today, Jenny. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. MichaelEdits says:

    I once read a blog somewhere by an autistic guy who said that if you hug him, he “won’t go all Temple Grandin on you.” That was a classic line. Most of us need more hugs. It’s just that simple.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s an awesome quote, Michael! And it’s amazing to me that an autistic man would have enough presence of mind to reference Temple Grandin’s squeeze box. 🙂 And yes, I live for hugs. Thankfully, I get a lot of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. davidprosser says: All the reasons a Hug is good for you and a site where you’re welcome to them.
    xxx Mammoth Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. K.B. Owen says:

    I’m a hugger, especially with my boys (who aren’t “boys” anymore). No matter how old they get, we haven’t stopped. I think that’s part of the secret behind raising warm, affectionate guys. Lots of mom-hugs. It’s a great comfort to me, too! And hubby? He gives the best hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I created a website called Word HUGS, so I’m liking the theme of your essay. I didn’t know there were people out there making a living hugging strangers (I prefer to call them unfamiliars; just because you don’t know someone doesn’t make them strange), but I’m happy to learn it’s a lucrative business endeavor. (hugs!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Sandra! And I like the idea of that website. I’m gonna have to go check that out. It seems like the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota are the hug capitals if you live near there. What a great sideline, right? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.