Come on Board the Cuddle Train

Cutest Cuddlers
Photo Credit-http://www.care2.com

Cutest Cuddlers Photo Credit-http://www.care2.com

Grace Kim, Photojournalist

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A man suffering from the loss of his wife, a woman struggling against depression, a shy college student unable to adjust to his/her new surroundings; these are all potential patients that could receive a new form of psychiatric treatment called cuddle therapy. Professional cuddling is a nonsexual alternative treatment where the hug therapist uses human touch to help and heal the mental wounds of their patient. This new phenomenon actually began in the home of an ordinary individual,Travis Sigley, at San Francisco. According to Travis, “[he] started in order to fill a gap that [he] saw in many people’s lives .They weren’t experiencing any closeness or connection with people; they felt isolated or alone” (www.huffingtonpost.com). In the beginning, therapy sessions were for his family and friends; now, the cuddle train has been making its way through the U.S. industry. In fact, cuddle sessions quickly grew to fame in Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco, and is slowly making its way through the U.S. Professional cuddlers would hold hands, have a conversation, hug, and in some cases just be a presence for their patients. They go to the patient’s house for a one hour session and get paid $60 dollars an hour. The cuddle train seems to have no stop stations and will forever be a presence in the health industry.

The benefits of intimacy is infinite. Cuddling or any other physical contact produces a hormone called Oxytocin that relieves pain and boost your immune system. Not only physical conditions, but intimacy has been proven to reduce stress and elevate your emotions. With this in mind, those who have constant contact are more likely to be less stressed and tense. In addition, physical contact is used to communicate feelings of happiness, love, anger, and sadness. Clearly, cuddling is beneficial to the future health of our generation.

So why is the idea of cuddle therapy frowned upon by today’s audience? When referred to the idea of “cuddling,” modern society has evolved to relate anything involving physical contact to sex. However, Cuddliest.com’s slogan is the exact opposite, “we’re sex obsessed but touch deprived.” Not only as humans, but as living beings, we grow and thrive through affection. Delaney Pietsch (10) agrees that cuddle therapy would be a nice alternative “because they need love and affection which heal the heart and mind.” On the other hand, Kyle Kvenvik (10) believes cuddle therapy “is a temporary solution”. Either way, cuddle therapy is a rising sensations that many are intrigued with.

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