Could cuddling be an alternative option for therapy?

1,924 Views Updated: 29 Sep 2016
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Could cuddling be an alternative option for therapy?

Cuddling is the physical expression of love and affection which is not associated with sexual intimacy. Cuddling has been scientifically proven, to improve mental health. With the release of feel-good hormones, cuddling has proved to be effective in relieving stress and anxiety. This form of physical association helps establish social bonds and strengthens communication between people. Knowing of the beneficial impacts of cuddling on our well-being, this has now been introduced as a form of modern therapy.

Practicing professionals are hired to cuddle with people to make them feel better or be good companions and confidantes. Cuddling could be considered to be inappropriate to many, but an opportunity to rent a friend who would add some value to a distressed life and be a constant emotional support could help overcome situations of dire crisis in life. Cuddling as a profession may be looked upon as an act of desperation, however, it serves to satisfy various emotional needs that suffocate people undergoing physical abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder. To people who complain of social isolation and loneliness, this form of therapy could be promising. Cuddling better known as paid companionship in professional terms provides the advantage of having a friend or companion for shopping, movie, and lunch.

In our modern lives, emotional bonds are not built on digital technology or social networking. At the end of the day, most of us seek real friendship and emotional associations through physical interactions, which is a problem that cuddling helps overcome. Another clause of this therapy which draws the attention of many is the knowledge that this form of human touch with a stranger as professional help is not weighed down by judgment or emotional reciprocity linked with family and friends. Attending to people belonging to diverse age groups, these professional helpers could be approached by both men and women, willing to speak about their deepest fears, insecurities, and weaknesses. Studies show that many of these professionals have also been reached out by business travelers who may be extremely worked up mentally and tired of visiting unknown cities frequently surrounded completely by strangers. Another group of promising customers suggested could be the people who may have recently moved to new cities and may not feel comfortable in a surrounding they may be so unaware of.

Most of the time, these services go beyond companionship and have therapeutic benefits. Cuddling is a form of physical contact which increases the levels of the bonding hormone, oxytocin, which controls stress and anxiety considerably. The biochemical reactions taking place in our body as a response to these hormones help regulate blood pressure levels and reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. Cuddling thus forms the basis of secured emotional ties and helps improve communication issues. This form of therapy has been seen to benefit victims of palsy or physical disability who show related behavioral deficits. Conditions of addiction or circumstantial crisis such as dealing with the psychological challenges of losing a job or being bankrupt or dealing with the demands of undergoing treatment for life-threatening diseases have the potential of being combated with cuddling therapy.

According to research, the most common group of people seeking cuddle therapy, are men aged between 40 and 50, undergoing emotional turmoil, whether married or single. Some of the men in their 20s are also victims of emotional shaming due to boundaries of physical touch that may be forced on them by conservative religious orders. Studies have thus proved, that women are more likely to meet their emotional needs through physical touch with their friends, which appears to be relatively socially unacceptable with males. The reason why cuddle therapists draw the attention of victims of social isolation, depression, and agony, is also largely for their ability to relate to their suffering and connect with them over the sessions. Most of these therapists having been victims of similar mental setbacks in life volunteer to come in contact with their own problems and try to deal with them better.

The job of a cuddler may be uplifting and rejuvenating, however, it is equally emotionally demanding. Sometimes, a therapist may also find it challenging to listen and react accordingly to the various insecurities and obstacles that their clients encounter. Therefore, they seek that constant strength and support from their family to be good at their responsibilities. As some of these professionals have stated, although, they may be at the receiving end of a lot of affection, they are subjected to a great deal of criticism as well. 

These negative feedbacks are generally, received from people who associate this form of therapy with prostitution and consider the concept of engaging in any form of physical touch outside marriage as unethical. On similar grounds, these therapists have to be extremely cautious about their own safety and maintain a track of the responses of their customers, to identify their moves, if associated with any form of a sexual advance. They have the right to cancel sessions with their patients in case of any situation which might cause discomfort to them.

Most of these service providers have charge rates based on the hours they devote to providing this therapy and the number of allotted sessions for each client. Some of them may do it not in exchange for money, but in finding a place as a companion to the victim to an event which they might never be able to attend otherwise. The concept of having a friend in need not associated with the baggage of judgment or superficial affection through social media draws the attention of many. Professional cuddlers through their unique form of therapy, therefore, could help improve mental health and release anxiety and stress.

Posted by: dattaswarna07 Posts: (24) Opinions: (1120) Points: 8,196 Rank: 8

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