Type into any credible search engine the words ‘professional hugger’, ‘ethical touch therapist’ or ‘professional cuddle therapist’, there are a growing number of therapists in the UK and worldwide offering this kind of service making a legitimate living out of this, the service can include but not exhaustive to hand holding in public as well as in the room, hugging in a variety of positions.
It is claimed this has a number of health and social benefits for their customers such as with anxiety, depression and happiness.
They say there are a couple of key scientific benefits such as 1. Oxytocin 2. Cortisol 3. Dopamine.
Therapists have strict boundaries of what is and is not acceptable, at the start of the session you have to sign an agreement before the service commences which is in like with any other professional service you may wish to access such as counselling or massage.
You may have heard of the https://freehugsproject.comwhere some of these videos have gone viral with millions of people watching these videos where hugs are offered in some of the most difficult of settings so they are worth a watch how powerful they are.
I attended for a period of time a Spiritualist Church, one of the practices that they did at the start of meetings instead of shaking hands, which is quite common in other churches especially around sharing of the peace they turned around and gave someone a hug.
With these thoughts in mind, this made me think whether in all church settings regardless of denomination whether at the start of a service all adults should hug one another but for FREE not to have to pay someone to hug you, people do hug in church but it depends how well you know someone, same or opposite sex.
The bible speaks so much about love in the scriptures, we do not know everything about a persons circumstances when they walk through the church doors, what kind of week they have had or will have but the power of embracing someone can make a huge difference to what they are going through the highs and lows of life’s circumstances.
Should hugging be more and more acceptable in church for adults?
Should church leaders as standard or when the peace is being offered suggest to the congregation they hug more in church, if you do not feel comfortable shake their hand?
Here are a few quotes you may wish to think about:
Ann Hood “I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words”.
Bill Keane “Hugging is like a boomerang, it comes back to you straight away”.
Unknown “No matter how strong a person is, they have a week point and sometimes all they need is a hug”.
Word Form “Hugging is a silent way of saying you matter to me”.
Unknown “Sometimes in life we need a hug, no words, no advice, just a hug to make you feel better”.
Unknown “Sometimes when I say ‘I am okay’ I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tight and say ‘I know you’re not”.
Terri Guillemets 'A hug is a smile with arms, a laugh with a stronger grip.'
Kathleen Keating 'A hug makes you feel good all day.'
Lord, I pray that your church maybe more embracing, if people are going through a difficult time your people will offer someone a hug, if they are delighted to see others they will hug people or if they do not know others they will learn more and more that showing your love can mean giving a hug, if people have not done this they may learning to take steps to doing this more and more by spreading your love through this simple but powerful gesture in your church, Amen.