Officials are warning that it will be a nasty flu season this year, and have been pushing for everyone to get the flu shot (even though it will be less effective this year) before getting together for holiday gatherings.
There are lots of ways to prevent the flu, from immune system support (colloidal silver!) to running a humidifier, to taking care of yourself (eating, sleeping, etc.).
Here’s a new way that you can fight flu transmission/have a shorter, lighter illness (hint, it amounts to another way to support your immune system): a hug!
How do hugs fight the flu? It’s about immune support!
First, touch. Skin-to-skin contact triggers hormones that do a number of things, including boost your immune system (think: it’s telling your body “hey! someone else’s germs!” and your body responds accordingly). Past studies have shown that massage, which involves a lot of touch as well as physical support, gives a pretty good boost to your immune system.
Next, it’s support. People with social support get sick less often, and a hug a day is enough to reinforce that. And staying positive, even if it’s just from the feelings triggered by hug induced hormones, is a good thing—being depressed or just negative can weaken your immune system if it goes on long enough.
That said, be careful who you hug. It’s also a great opportunity to pass along germs, even if the other person is the super-considerate type who coughs into their elbows. Lots of people on Facebook are proclaiming they have “the crud” which means their breath is a germ-haven (just think about what a kiss carries!). Your best bet if hugging the people you live with, since you’re already sharing germs!
Enjoy a Happy Holiday Hug before flu season hits full blast!