Mental Help Net
Wellness and Personal Development
Basic InformationLatest NewsBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Weight Loss
Emotional Resilience

Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Hugging is Good Medicine

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 16th 2012


huggingI remember hearing a story a while back of a doctor that used to give hugs often to his patients and this provided a strong source of healing. Born in a remote coastal village in southern India, a woman named Amma now travels around the world giving spiritually uplifting hugs and has embraced over 32 million people at this point. What is it about hugging and do we need more of it?

There’s a picture I came across recently that speaks the health benefits of hugging.


A genuine hug is transference of energy. A good hug gives a feeling of safety, security and belonging. These are all things that we need at the core of our being, they breathe of acceptance.

In an intimate relationship, it’s always a good idea to give a hug rather than a kiss when first seeing one another. There are more points of contact in a hug, so more points of connection. If you hug until both bodies relax, then you are connecting at a biological level and are more likely to have a evening where you feel more attuned to one another.

Think about this, what would the world be like if more people gave and received genuine hugs? Would it be worse off or better off?

At the end of the day, this is up to each of us to test out.

Let’s experiment with it starting today.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.  


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Hugs - Michelle Selby - May 28th 2013

Yes, Doc you are still getting the benefits of the hug.  The energy is transferred both by hugee and hugger. You reep the benefits.  Either physically or mentally, but who really cares.


hugs - dr. Ivon Septriyana - Jul 16th 2012
Definitely true! :) I love hugs because I know how powerful it is but people don't hug me back when I'm hugging them, they feel little bit weird of hugging first but I know they love being hugged too :) . I live in Indonesia and asians don't really hug much. When I'm hugging people, and they don't hug me back, (they don't hug me like the way I hug them), does it still mean I get a hug?

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net