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Hugs For Pain Relief

Hugs over prescription opiods

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Original post can be found here.

I just love hugging my newborn granddaughter and look forward to the day she hugs me in return. Something happens to me, something transformative. Honestly, it feels like an I.V. morphine-love drip releasing into my veins. Who needs opioids?

Indeed, research shows me that the love drip is called oxytocin. Some experts say that there are some health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin, often called “the bonding hormone” because it promotes attachment in relationships, including mothers and their newborn babies. Oxytocin is made primarily in the hypothalamus in the brain, and some of it is released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland. But some of it remains in the brain, where it influences mood, behavior and physiology.

In a U.S. News article “The Benefits of Hugging” written by Stacy Colino, she states that a hug a day, just might keep the doctor away and that besides helping you feel close and connected to people you care about, it turns out that hugs can bring a host of health benefits to your body and mind.

Colino referred to psychologist Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine who explained how hugging fits in: “When you’re hugging or cuddling with someone, [he or she is] stimulating pressure receptors under your skin in a way that leads to a cascade of events including an increase in vagal activity, which puts you in a relaxed state.”

The hugging and oxytocin release that comes with it can then have trickle-down effects throughout the body, causing a decrease in heart rate and a drop in the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine.

There’s also some evidence that oxytocin can improve immune function and pain tolerance — pain that many have turned to opioids for relief. With regard to moods oxytocin is known to increase levels of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which may be why it has calming effects. “It reduces depression and anxiety, and it may have an effect on attentional disorders,” Field says. Again, these are symptoms that many have turned to opioids for relief.

In 1982 Ruth Harris started the “Hugs Not Drugs” project and was ultimately sponsored by Nancy Reagan in 1991 whose own slogan was “Just Say No” as part of the campaign on America’s war on drugs.

All of this is not to say opioids don’t have their place, but today there’s an even bigger drug epidemic and an even bigger war on opioids. Imagine where we’d be today if we’d practiced a little more hugging. “Like diet and exercise, you need a steady daily dose of hugging,” Field says. But the quality of the hugging counts, too. “If you get a flimsy hug, that’s not going to do it,” Field says. “You need a firm hug” to stimulate oxytocin release. 

So starting today, why not reach out and hug someone; what’s it going to hurt? But first, try wrapping your arms around yourself and giving a gentle but firm squeeze. You’ll be ready to go out and peddle some “Hugs Not Opioids.”

I’m headed over now to cuddle my granddaughter. I might even change a diaper!

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I Needed You To Believe In Me But Now I Believe In Myself (M)

Picture of Confident Boxman

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Before I needed approval. Mom, dad, siblings, friends. I needed social acceptance, I longed for connection from friends and a loving companion, and I found it.

Now I look for approval and acceptance in myself.

It is a long journey to get here and I’m still traveling, but very relieved that I started.

Where did it all stem from? Family pressure? Sociatal influence? Being pulled passed the tipping point only to survive and have time to reflect back? Seeing the greatness deserved slipped and taken away because of lack of confidence? Paa-lleeaassee.

Think about all the times you’ve stood out for doing what you were suppose to do or doing the right thing. Especially the times where there wasn’t an award or incentive, you just did it because you just wanted to do well.

I rememeber my sixth grade english class. I remember the class became so rowdy one day my teacher put me outside for 15 minutes because I was the only one reading my book. I’ve always think back about this moment, one because of all those bad ass kids would make anyone insane. But also as a reference point that I was doing what I was suppose to do. You know prize goes to the victor. That has always been a reminder that I just need to believe in myself and that in the face of every distraction that we all have the power to focus on what we want.

Positive Inspirational Quote From Fortune Cookie
Credit: Cassandra Rae

Dating. Knowing that you are special, first you need to believe in yourself. We rely on validation from the people we are attracted to. I am still working on this. Love to me is the most powerful emotions produced in humans. It can make you feel like on top of the world or it make you go crazy. 

Seeking approval or wanting people to like what we do is ingrained in us. But you need not their approval to achieve your goals. What happens when your don’t receive the support you were hoping for?

Through the journey of starting my own organization, navigating through the minefield of relationships, seeing family go through illness, and trying to maintain a sense of identity I’ve learned a few things, golden insight.

In actuality we have more of a support system than we think. My point in this article is believe in yourself first. The support from others will come… or maybe won’t. Either way, go out there and fuck it up.

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Things You Learn As a Ride-Share Driver In LA

Uber Driving Experience Lyft Ride Sharing Driver

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So I decided to join two ride sharing companies who shall remain nameless for the sake of “privacy” as driver to earn side income and relieve some of the stress of running a my practice.

I live a very interesting life, muhaHAHAa! No really, I do.

You learn a couple of things:

“I’ve already gathered 30 million in investments.”

“Hey why wait for some guy when there are 20,000 dicks around?”  (Trrying to recieve advice with a past lady friend)

“Man it’s crazy I have blood on my shirt.”

“Bro, where are my buttons? The buttons on my shirt are missing.”

“Cool.”

“I’m on my way to a threesome.”

“Man, things have changed”

“I Remember when downtown used to be a shit hole.”

“My good friend died two days ago.”

“L.A. is the place to be.”

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My First Pair Of Cool Shoes

Image for Stories about shoes

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I don’t remember it being a specific day, or year for that matter, that I deviated from the mainstream. Not that I am saying that I don’t watch the news, or that I don’t enjoy a good hit song when it becomes a craze, but sometimes I ask myself when did I unplug out?

Maybe it was when I had my first pair of Nikes worth $90 – $100 in the 2nd grade? Air Jordans to be exact even though I don’t remember the series. I never received so many “are those the new…” and “look at that guy’s shoes!” I think it lasted for about a week. My mother had worked hard to provide this type of lifestyle for my siblings and I, coming to the US from Haiti. She took on the brunt of providing for the family, working everyday to taking care of the bills and the household. When we were doing well financially around 1988 we were able to get acquire many things such as an Atari, a Nintendo, and even more cool toys.

But then the recession hit, and the money dried up, and the cool stuff stopped coming.

Somehow I became fatter during this time but that’s a story for a later date.

So as time passed I began wearing non-major branded shoes which to this day still I do. Did I feel less empowered when I wore less expensive shoes growing up? Not at all. I guess being a bit mature for my age I decided that I didn’t need expensive pairs of shoes to get by. I was happy with a $20 pair of van knockoffs. It made mom happy because she could save on school clothes. Also the money saved could by shoes for other people who couldn’t afford shoes all around the world. Was it wrong for my to think in this manner?

Maybe my personal views changed as I realized that growing up we’re taught more to “fit in” than to be fiscally responsible and invest our money. Maybe seeing families over the years struggling to survive financially and emotionally helped me to realize what counts?

Do I own an expensive pair of shoes? Dress shoes that cost more than $20? Yes I do. But for the quality and craftsmanship the price is worth paying.

But I can always recollect back to being the kid with the “cool shoes”.

If you would like to support brands made in the US try New Balance.

Photo Credit: “MG 1995++ copie” by FaguoOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.