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We need to take the hug's therapy
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massages  manWe need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth,...

You may laugh off the predilection of the psychiatry community in the USA for coining names such as dance or walk therapies, which are based, on pure common sense or on practices that have always been around in various cultures.

But then you may feel like giving them a hug. For by calling it a therapy, giving it a name, and ardently promoting it, they often manage to create awareness about a healthy and wholesome habit that is endangered by the bustle of modern life. Hug therapy is a typical example.


Big deal, you say, when you hear the term for the first time. But try to recollect the last time you hugged somebody or somebody hugged you. In all likelihood, it was too long ago. Worse, the answer may be 'never' if you are the kind who Abrazadosflinches from physical contact.

Truly, urban India is becoming more of a hands-off culture. "It is unfortunate because Indians were never averse to touch," laments Dr Achal Bhagat, a Delhi-based psychiatrist, "particularly when sharing grief or joy."

The hugging or pecking on the cheek you see nowadays at parties is very superficial, adds Delhi socialite Pommi Malhotra. She has a name for it: social hugging. And its practitioners obviously do not belong to the circle of healing huggers.

So what are we missing out on?
Reaching out and touching someone, and holding him tight—is a way of saying you care. Its effects are immediate: for both, the hugger and the person being hugged, feel good.

"Touch is an important component of attachment as it creates bonds between two individuals," says Dr Bhagat. For Malhotra, who describes herself as a friendly, warm, affectionate and demonstrative person, hugging is simply a natural expression of showing that you love and care.


He states that it should not be forgotten that your skin is also a sense organ. Every centimeter of it—from the head to the tips of the toes—is sensitive to touch. In the mother's womb, each part of the fetus' body is touched by the amniotic fluid, says Malkani, which may be the origin of the yearning for touch all our lives.

"Cuddling and caressing make the growing child feel secure and is known to aid in self-esteem," agrees Dr Bhagat. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. Malkani points out cultural variations pertaining to hugging: in the West, hugging a friend of the opposite sex is common, while in India you see more physical contact between friends

AbrazadosR. Chandran, a reiki master based in Mumbai, India, says that hugging is a tool of transformation. "Hugging brings people closer to each other. If your relationship with somebody is not working, try hugging him 20 times a day and there will be a significant difference," he guarantees. Comparing hugging to reiki, the currently popular touch therapy based on the transfer of energy, he says the area of touch is much larger in the case of hugging and the contact is much more intimate, so the effects are subtler.

Chandran's reiki initiates remember the tight, prolonged embraces he gives them on meeting! Or parting. "My intention in the act is also to transfer energy. The effect is so distinct that people feel the difference," he says.

Opinion by Peter Panthy

Reading this note I was aware of how long ago that nobody hugs me, what it feels nice to be embraced, how many people need to be embraced at this time.
And yet, ask us to the embrace, it costs us, ... When long ago that one does not see someone, the first thing you want to do is hold him, when someone suffers want console with a hug, if you celebrate something we embrace, if a baby cries, embrace it immediately.
But there are so many small moments not so extreme, not so visible ... and yet as compelling as these other examples, ...
Tomorrow I will ask for a hug to a friend, because I need it a lot , and lack embrace !,... 

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