Do you like cuddling? And if you do, how often do you cuddle? Everybody loves cuddling to a certain extent. Some may not need it as much as others do, but in essence, everybody needs it. The fact is that touch is one of the sincerest forms of human interaction.
And as much as touch has been used for and associated with its unhealthy, abusive side, touch has also a nurturing side to it. Cuddling is purely based on touch and it focuses on this nurturing side.
In a world that has become very cold, and where distance is more appreciated than closeness, it would be very hard for someone to imagine cuddling with a total stranger. However, it’s this same distance that we have created to destroy us.
But how would you feel if you went for a cuddle with a cuddling professional? Cuddlist is one of the companies which deal with professional cuddling. They explain that “touch plays an important role in building social connections and most of us don’t get enough touch in our lives.”
What they propose as a solution to our isolation from one another is some cuddling therapy, which can serve for a much greater good than you can imagine. You can compare it to “Free Hugs”, the difference being that professional cuddling comes with a company behind it, certified cuddlists, and an hourly rate of 80$.
The Cuddling Therapy Experience
Business Insider UK’s producer Claudia Romeo went to try cuddling therapy and see how it feels for herself. As she explains, each session starts by setting some ground rules, after which she gets to choose what cuddling position would be most comfortable for her.
“As a first timer, becoming relaxed wasn’t easy,” explains Claudia. “It’s pretty awkward. It gets better with time though.” What they did was entirely up to Claudia. She explains she got to decide whether to move around or just stick to one position.
At the end, her voice was a bit down and she felt very relaxed. “It felt very, very, very short even though it was actually an hour. I genuinely felt it lasted around 20 minutes, which is surprising considering I was hugging a stranger.”
Meet the professionals
Cuddlist has a list of trained and certified cuddlers who will gladly cuddle with you. One such cuddler is Kan Seidel, a NY-based professional cuddler who gives cuddling a whole new dimension.
“Honestly, I don’t even love the word cuddling. If I was going to name the therapy, I would call it alternative touch,” explains Siedel for Elite Daily.
His cuddling sessions are done in an environment he prefers to call a health oasis. He clears the space’s energy by burning sage, he purifies the air with a hospital-grade nanoparticle air purifier, and his cuddle sessions are surrounded by oxygen-bringing plants.
In his cuddle sessions, Kai also incorporates Thai massage, so he doesn’t only work on relaxing the mind and bring a sense of closeness to his cuddle-buddies, but also on relaxing their body.
“I consider so many people my best friends but I’m so many different people’s single, only best friend,” he explains. “Attention is magic in this universe, and it has the power to shape reality.”
“Sending this positive, loving, affectionate attention at someone is going to have supernatural benefits. I mean, it just does. It just works.”
The science behind cuddling
Humans are dependent on closeness and touch. You may not feel a conscious need for it, but the lack of touch could be devastating in the long run. Touch is, as Psychology Today puts it, a fundamental mode of human interaction.
This mode of interaction bears its primary role of stimulating the release of oxytocin, the hormone of love and attachment. It is a very important hormone which affects the way we interact with others.
Psychology Today explains that oxytocin underlies trust and is a great antidote to depressive feelings. It is the hormone which allows people to create attachment and bonding on different levels.
A study done by doctors at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of South Florida notes that oxytocin is “increasingly recognized as an important regulator of human social behaviors, including social decision making, evaluating and responding to social stimuli, mediating social interactions, and forming social memories.”
The study suggests that a disbalance in the oxytocin levels in our bodies may be “a common factor important in multiple psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, mood and anxiety disorders.”
And indeed, oxytocin is a very important hormone that is best stimulated by hugs, kisses, sex, birth, and breastfeeding, and cuddles. Of course, you will get only hugs and cuddles from these certified cuddling professionals, which is something many lack nowadays.
Cuddling is something that can bring a lot of relaxation and calmness in your lives. And while we’re at it, do it more with those you love and feel close to your heart. Give them more hugs, kiss them more often, and don’t be ashamed to show genuine affection and emotion.
Cochran, David et al. “‘The Role of Oxytocin in Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Biological and Therapeutic Research Findings.’” Harvard review of psychiatry 21.5 (2013): 219–247. PMC. Web. 19 Sept. 2017.
Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hgTL92OtxQ