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The importance of hugs

We all need 4 hugs a day for survival

We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance

We need 12 hugs a day for growth

Virginia Satir

All of us need to be hugged for our wellbeing. Children especially need physical touch and affection. In 19th-century orphanages more than half of the infants died in their first year from ‘marasmus’, a Greek word meaning ‘wasting away’. In the 19290s Dr Henry Chapin hired women to hold babies that had previously been in sterile wards but had seldom been picked up. Mortality rates dropped dramatically. Studies have shown that the toddlers with the most physical contact with their parents learn to walk and talk earlier. So get hugging!


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