5 Benefits of Kissing

5 Benefits of Kissing

As the entire globe struggles with the COVID-19 stay at home protocol, obviously touch is significantly limited. This is a particular struggle for those living alone. However, during this isolated time or when we are able to connect again, you may want to kiss someone. Whether it is a sweet peck on a baby’s forehead or some deep romantic smooching, these 5 benefits of kissing show how such an intimate act can actually be advantageous to your and others health in several ways.

Brain Reward

Kissing stimulates a whole system of hormonal functions that ends up rewarding your brain. In studying partner intimacy, researchers found that oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin (sometimes called the ‘feel good hormones’) release during kissing and touching. 

The British Council reported that, 

“During a kiss, this lip sensitivity causes our brain to create a chemical cocktail that can give us a natural high. This cocktail is made up of three chemicals, all designed to make us feel good and crave more: dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Like any cocktail, this one has an array of side-effects. The combination of these three chemicals work by lighting up the ‘pleasure centres’ in our brain.”

Other studies show this hormone trio being released through appropriate touch with positive intent, such as a hug.

Lowers Cortisol

Kissing in any capacity triggers your brain to not only release ‘feel good’ hormones but it is also able to reduce stress and help your body heal itself. Web Psychology reported,

“When we are stressed, our bodies release cortisol, which is one of the main drivers behind the body’s “fight or flight” response in reaction to stress. Studies have shown that kissing can reduce the body’s cortisol levels. [] When the cortisol level in the body is reduced, the body is returned to its baseline status, which results in a reduction of feelings associated with stress.”

This stress relieving reaction can also be liked to holding hands, hugging, and kissing on the cheek.

Reduces Allergy Symptoms

Some people may tell you that when they are kissing their allergy symptoms disappear. Mental Floss cites a 2003 Japanese study published in Physiology and Behavior which researched the stress-lowering activity of kissing on allergic reactions. It stated that, 

“Ninety participants were evenly divided into three groups: 30 with atopic dermatitis, 30 with allergic rhinitis, and 30 in a control group. In the study, the subjects, [] kissed for 30 minutes []. They found that [] the participants experienced significant relief from skin wheals (hives) and plasma neurotrophin levels (a sign of allergic reaction) associated with Japanese cedar pollen and house dust mites.”

This study won the 2015 Ig Nobel prize which is described as to “honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”

9X Per Day Keeps the Doctor Away

When couples share an open-mouth kiss they share upwards of 80 million bacteria. As unsanitary as this may seem, it could be a good thing. People that live together on a regular basis may pass new germs through kissing that helps strengthen their immune system. 

The study, ‘Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing’ published in the journal Microbiome found that intimate kissing nine times per day allowed for a healthy exchange of microbiota that lead to a healthier immune system. 

Kiss Away Fat

The act of kissing can also assist in losing weight. Known as ‘philematology’ which is the science of kissing, there are several kissing levels that have shown to burn a certain amount of calories. According to a report by MBGHealth 

  • Casual kissing – A casual kiss involving little more than lip action will burn only 2 to 3 calories per minute, according to a 2013 report on philematology by American cardiologist Joseph S. Alpert, M.D., published in the American Journal of Medicine. 
  • Passionate kissing- According to Alpert, one minute of passionate kissing can burn between 5 and 26 calories, the latter being the equivalent of one Hershey’s chocolate kiss, per minute
  • Full-body kissing session – If your kissing looks like it does in the movies—dramatically picking each other up, pressing each other against walls, etc —you might find yourself getting a decent workout in the process by burning about 6 calories per minute. To compare: Both ballroom dancing and wrestling burn about 6 calories a minute.

Add kissing to your weight loss regiment. It’s a fun and exciting way to burn fat!

These 5 benefits of kissing prove that human touch is essential. If you are young, kissing is essential to finding the right mate but if you are older and not kissing much these days, touching through the lips can flip on deep switches that have been off for years. Any chance you get, find a kiss to keep you going. It is a connection that makes everyone a little (or a lot) happier.