Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.
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Thursday, February 01, 2007
Hugs for Healthier Hearts
Dr. Manny Alvarez, the physician consultant on Fox News, reports in an article today that a hug a day could save your life. How? It seems that studies from Britain and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill show that the physical and emotional contact provided by a hug lowers blood pressure, reduces heart rate, reduces cortisol, and increases oxytocin. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with these last two substances, the former is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress; the latter is known as the “bonding” hormone because it triggers caring responses in both sexes. It has long been understood that high levels of cortisol and low levels of oxytocin are detrimental to heart health, especially in women. So, help your spouse have a healthier heart and do a little huggin' today.