Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

March 7, 2014

03/09/2014 — Lee Ward: Thinking about a new career as a cuddle therapist

ASHLAND — Sometimes you just need a hug. Apparently, not everyone can get a hug easily. That must be why some people are making money from cuddle therapy, a technique to provide those in need of human touch some platonic, one-on-one affection. It’s also the name of a company based in Florida that provides cuddle therapy. Yes, they have employees who cuddle with clients. That’s their job.

There is no doubt that people need to touch other people.

Mindbodygreen.com claims hugging — and laughter — can help heal physical illness as well as loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.

It also says hugging:

‰builds trust and a sense of safety, which promotes communication.

‰boosts oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger.

‰increases serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

‰strengthen the immune system.

‰boosts self-esteem.

‰relaxes muscles.

‰balances the nervous system.

‰teaches how to give and receive and how to be in the present.

‰and encourages empathy and understanding.

A piece on a television news program talked about hugging, too. It showed these statistics: In a day, Colombians hug nine times; Americans twice and Brits zero. That’s sad for us and our English friends.

I like to hug. I am a believer in the idea that people need physical affection and I think I could be a great cuddle therapist.

I have met a few people who genuinely don’t want hugs. Maybe it’s OK from their close family members, but they don’t like it with just anybody.

I’ve meet people I wouldn’t want to cuddle; people who don’t appear clean and those who smell bad are at the top of that list, but I also don’t want to cuddle someone who is hateful or arrogant. Those people don’t deserve my affection. Perhaps those are the people who have to pay a therapist for hugs. Perhaps they need a hug the most.

There are some people who just don’t want to be touched and, apparently, there are some people who can’t locate a hug readily.

Those are the ones I feel sorry for.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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