Section I use of English英语完形填空Could a hug a day keep the doctor away? The answer may be a resounding “yes!” Besides helping you feel close and connected to people you care about, it turns out that hugs can bring a host of health benefits to your body and mind。Believe it or not, a warm embrace might even help you avoid getting sick this winter。

In a recent study involving over 400 healthy adults, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in pennsylvania examined the effects of perceived social support and the receipt of hugs on the participants‘ susceptibility to developing the common cold after being exposed to the virus。People who perceived greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold, and the researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained about32 percent of that beneficial effect。Even among those who got a cold, the ones who felt greater social support and received more frequent hugs had less severe symptoms。

“Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds that‘s usually associated with stress,” notes study lead author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania。Hugging “is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity。

”Some experts attribute the stress-reducing, health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin, often called “the bonding hormone” because it promotes attachment in relationships, including between mothers and their newborn babies。Oxytocin is made primarily in the hypothalamus in the brain, and some of it is released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland。But some of it remains in the brain, where it influences mood, behavior and physiology。

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