Albert wrote in:
My name is Albert Thien from Ntv7 The Breakfast Show. I’m interested to do a topic about Hugging on the 30th April. Since MMR did a short forum about Hugging, I’m just wondering if Malaysia has a hug specialist or a hug expert to talk about the benefit of hugging.
Gosh Albert, that is an 8 year old post, prompted by something the current PM said in the press, back in the days when he was not yet a PM. Maybe it is an Asian thing where culturally we don’t readily engage in social body contact especially in public, and as for religious concerns, this comment in that post sums it up.
But I think few would disagree that the human touch is important. Hugging when appropriate is a healthy act, and indeed even therapeutic. From The Therapeutic Value of a Hug
In his book Touching: The Human Significance of Skin, Dr. Ashley Montagu examines the importance of touch on all aspects of human development. Through an analysis of the study of mammal, monkey, ape and human behaviors, he concludes that just as breathing is a basic physical need for these species, touch is a basic behavioral need and when this need remains unsatisfied, abnormal behavior is a likely outcome. He writes:
“Both the hugger and the person being hugged benefit because they have the immediate positive outcome of feeling good. Hugs are heartwarming and can have the effect of leaving one energized and rejuvenated. A caregiver’s hug accurately expresses to a child feelings of love, acceptance, comfort and a desire for closeness.”
“Hugging is health-enhancing because it reduces tension and stress, aids the immune system, helps with sleep, assists in building self-esteem and best of all has no negative side effects. When we open our hearts and arms to others, we inspire them to do likewise.”
So going back to your question. Is there a “hug specialist”? No, not in the medical sense. But if you are considering a guest for your NTV show, it sounds like a job for this guy.
As final note, free hugs anyone?