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Hospiten reminds us that hugging can benefit the immune system

Posted on 22-01-2024

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, January 22, 2024. Hugs are part of a vital support network for better mental and physical health. In addition, they can substantially benefit the immune system.     

In the context of International Hugging Day, celebrated every January 21st, the Hospiten Group wanted to remind us of the benefits this gesture can provide in reducing stress and improving people’s mental, emotional and physical health. Specifically, the Head of the Sarcomas and Hereditary Cancer Medical Oncology Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid, Dr. Ricardo Cubedo, (author of “The Transparent Organ”, published by Larousse), affirms that a hug helps us release oxytocin – the feel-good hormone – reducing stress and improving our mood. 

The immune system is a complex set of organs, cells and molecules which protect us from infections, but which can also be at the source of diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. To help improve its function, Dr. Ricardo Cubedo recommends, “Prompt exposure to certain microorganism which can train it to develop and mature correctly. Through socialisation, we can obtain a healthy microbiota which is essential for the digestive and immune systems and cardiovascular health”.    

According to the specialist, “the abuse of antibiotics, the proliferation of disinfectants and antibacterial products in the home, together with reduced exposure to varied animals and plants can lead to an immature and irregular immune system, unable to clearly distinguish its objectives. In this way our natural immunity ends up attacking the body’s own cells, reacting against the proteins in foods, producing chronic inflammation or triggering exaggerated immune responses which can be the cause of many serious allergies”.

In this way, socialisation provides essential benefits and constitutes the best way to enrich the healthy microbiota necessary for both the digestive and immune systems.  

For these reasons, at Hospiten we emphasise that hugging can be the best natural remedy when caring for our emotional and physical health. In fact, there are a number of scientific studies that endorse these effects, actually going on to indicate an appropriate dose of between four and twelve hugs per day.   

As a result, the Hospiten Group recommends giving and receiving hugs whenever possible, because with a simple hug we are contributing to the wellbeing of a healthier society.  

At Hospiten Group, the celebration of International Hugging Day takes on a special meaning given that this gesture is the symbol of our healthcare institution - as our logo design is an abstract image of a hug.   


About the Hospiten Group

The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network committed to providing the highest quality service, with over 50 years’ experience and 20 private hospitals based in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, as well as more than 100 outpatient clinics, under the Clinic Assist brand. Originally founded by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella, it now attends over two million patients every year with a staff of more than 5,000 people.