Photo credit: http://michellephan.com

Photo credit: http://michellephan.com

By Ashanti “Accel” Henderson, Staff Writer

Human touch plays a crucial role in human connection, development and healing. If you have ever gotten a massage, you know that the human touch can work wonders. Other forms of human intimacies have their own magic as well.

The simple acts of kissing, hugging and flirting have astounding healing powers. All three forms of affection are proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and just simply make us feel good.

Given the increase in the aforementioned activities during the month of love, these gestures contribute accordingly to choosing a mate and strengthening relationship bonds. However, you may be inclined to avoid these activities given the increased chance of contracting communicable diseases during the cold and flu season. If so, consider this: Some of those germs you are trying to dodge are actually good germs that can help build immunity.

Kissing

Experiencing ailments, such as headaches or cramps? Pucker up! Kissing is the cure. The same kissing-triggered dilation of blood vessels that helps to lower blood pressure acts as a pain reliever as well. Swapping saliva can also help boost immunity and fight cavities through the transfer of non-harmful strands of viruses and the washing away of cavity-causing bacteria.

Another health bonus: Kissing is actually a form of exercise, helping you to burn calories, reduce cholesterol and tone facial muscles.

Hugging

A hug a day keeps the doctor away, literally. Hugging can improve your immune system by stimulating your thymus gland and, thus, balancing your production of white blood cells. According to a study, 10 seconds of hugging each day has several other health benefits as well: lower risk of heart disease, defense against infections and fatigue, and decreased level of depression.

Flirting

Need a self-esteem boost? Give flirting a try. One study suggests the positive energy created by subtle flirting leads to increased discounts and more confidence (and better results) in negotiations for women. Whether you are negotiating a lower down payment on a car or a salary increase, flirting is smart business.

Revealing your flirtatious side in negotiations and showing a little affection to your sweetheart are just what the doctor ordered. While you should definitely heed public health suggestions for washing hands, etc., there is no need to be shy about cuddling or holding hands with your loved one this season because human intimacy is actually great for the health of your body and mind (and your pockets)!