Snuggling produces oxytocin, which can help fend wound infection.

Hormones play an integral role in the speed at which your tissue regenerates and how effectively it fends off wound infection. One of the most powerful hormones happens to be one often overlooked: oxytocin.

This hormone, which is secreted when we hug, kiss or otherwise embrace a loved one, is known best for its functions in childbirth and lactation – it is the reason women remember labor as a time of job and creates bonding experience out of breastfeeding. That’s because it’s a neurotransmitter that stimulates parts of the brain associated with bonding, helping create a feeling of trust between humans. However, it plays many other roles. For instance, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, discovered in June 2014 that it helps rejuvenate worn-down muscle.

In a similar way, the hormone can improve the wound healing process. Along with being a pain reliever, the neurotransmitter activates the immune system’s regulatory cells, helping defend against infection and, in effect promoting faster, more efficient recovery, as an October 2013 study published in PLOS ONE revealed.

If snuggling and cuddling isn’t your preferred way to enhance healing, there are other options. Synthetic forms are available as injectables (such medication is often used to induce labor), but clinicians may also suggest this substance as a solution for poor immune function and better wound healing.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.