Can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
Lift one's serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
Strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
Relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
Balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system - parasympathetic