Monday, October 18, 2010

A note on hugs

As you all know, I LOVE giving hugs. I am known for my hugs and thoroughly enjoying giving and receiving them. I saw this post on wikipedia and just had to share it. Following the article is my own personal thoughts and techniques on hugging.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A hug is a form of physical intimacy, not necessarily sexual, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around another person or group of persons. The hug is one of the most common human signs of love and affection, along with kissing.[1] Unlike some other forms of physical intimacy, it is practiced publicly and privately without stigma in many countries, religions and cultures, within families, and also across age and gender lines.[citation needed]
Sometimes, hugs are a romantic exchange. Hugs may also be exchanged as a sign of support and comfort. A hug can be a demonstration of affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising out of joy or happiness at meeting someone.

Hugs are mostly short and used to show many levels of affection. It is not particular to human beings alone, as there are many species of animals that engage in similar exchanges of warmth[citation needed].

Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin, and reduce blood pressure.[2]

There are different variations of hugs. Prolonged hugging in a cozy, comfortable position is called cuddling[3]. Spooning is a cuddling position, a kind of hugging when both the hugger and the hugged persons face the same direction, i.e., the front of one person is in contact with the back of the second one. The person whose front is in contact with the other's back is referred to as the "Big Spoon" and the person whose back is in contact with the other's front in referred to as the "Little Spoon". [4]

In May 2009, the New York Times reported that "the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days" in the United States.[5] A number of schools in the United States have issued bans on hugs, which in some cases have resulted in student-led protests against these bans.[6][7][8]

Despite hugging being widespread across human culture, several cultures - such as the Himba in Namibia - do not embrace as a sign of affection or love.

I will now share my hugging techniques. I once shared these secret techniques with Sara Butler via a very authentic communication device called Facebook.

First is the kamikaze hug. You find some one shorter than you and when they're not looking, you sneak up from behind and wrap your arms around them...they usually have no clue what is going on (Brittany Mong is my favorite person for this technique ;)

Then there's the bear hug. Find someone shorter than you that you haven't seen in a while. When you make eye contact and they eagerly approach them for the hug, wrap both your arms around their shoulders (their arms will be around your waist) and squeeze REAL tight. (Kasey VanderTol is a good one to try this on since she's always eager for a hug). This is also called the Over Under hug. When properly performed, it can be an effective way to comfort someone during an incredibly emotional moment. Done incorrectly and, as some one once put it, it's like trying to slow dance in the eigth grade...AWKWARD!!!

Apparently, I have learned, if you’re single and the person you re hugging slaps your back three times when you hug, it's to signify that you are forever locked into the “friend-zone” with no chance of EVER dating. When someone hits your back three times, in your head you should imagine that hand beating out the chorus to the song, “We're just friends.”

I have also witnessed many time the Man Hug, which in reality is the perfect fusion of a handshake and a hug. It opens with a handshake as the huggers lean towards each other. With their free hand they pat each other on the back vigorously, before separating quickly. Men adopt this hug with other men in an effort to retain an air of machismo without leaving the impression that they have settled merely for a handshake. It shows a willingness to share an embrace, but a fear of how people watching the men embrace will interpret it.

The Lift and Spin Hug is for the advanced hugger, not for the beginner or the faint of heart. The hugger lifts the huggee off the ground and spins them around, twirling them in a circle before returning the huggee to the ground.  This hug is only for excited, happy people. People who have been separated for an extended period of time or people who have something fantastic to celebrate. This is also a good one to use on small children or really tiny friends who are light and easy to pick up.

And of course there's the "High Kick". When you see someone just a smidge shorter than you, you approach them for a "normal" hug, but as you embrace, you both proceed to high kick one leg. (Attempt this only with Tanya DeYoung, as she is the only professionally high kick trained person I know)

Finally there is the "Christian Side Hug". Yes, the "Christian Side Hug". It was popularized by a rap song for teenagers to hug from the side because "front hugs be too sinful". Instead of face to face, you go side to side, putting your arm around the person and your hip against their’s. Still having a hard time mastering it? Pretend you’re taking a photo and you’re both looking at the camera together. The side hug, or A frame as it is also called, is safe for the whole family, friendly and above all holy.

And that's it. My free guide to hugs. Go hug some one today. Maybe try a new technique. See how it makes you feel.

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