New study shows how hugs can heal

New study shows how hugs can heal
New research from Carnegie Mellon University finds hugs can help ease the negative impact of personal setbacks like a disagreement with a friend or being turned down for a promotion at work. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA/NBC) - There are some tried and true ways of staying healthy like exercise, good hand washing and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables.

Now you can add "hugs" to the list.

"It'd be good for our culture if we could hug it out a little more," said Dr. Scott Bea with the Cleveland Cinic.

New research from Carnegie Mellon University finds hugs can help ease the negative impact of personal setbacks like a disagreement with a friend or being turned down for a promotion at work.

In the study of 400 adults -- the source of the hug didn't matter as long as someone in their lives reached out.

“There is something effective in reducing conflict or the negative emotion associated with conflict by having contact with one another,” said Bea.

The benefits of human touch begin at birth.

Many studies have shown preemies who have skin-to-skin contact with mom tend to have fewer problems breathing, eating, sleeping and regulating their body temperature.

There's evidence that the physical pressure of a hug can help ease anxiety in people with autism as well as children who have trouble focusing in school.

“It helps kids that have sensory processing issues and kids that just have a hard time sitting in their seats,” said special education teacher Christina Junge.

In the Carnegie Mellon study, both men and women benefited equally from hugs.

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