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Perhaps I feel this way because my wife is affectionately known as "The Happy Hugger." If it’s moving she’ll stop it and hug it, and if it’s not moving she’ll dust it off and sell it!

However, there’s another reason I believe hugging is the answer. According to Greg Risberg of the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, the physiological benefit of hugging includes a reduction of blood pressure and increased oxygen in the blood. He says that we all have a "skin hunger," and we are missing out on a vital part of our health if we’re not getting in on some serious hugging. He maintains that four hugs a day are the minimum required to meet that skin hunger.

From my perspective, I need lots more than four.

Stanley Simon of the University of Massachusetts says that "hugging does more than demonstrate affection. It actually seems to keep people healthy. The skin is the body’s largest ...

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