Kissing can be many things, from sweet and loving, to awkward, intense or even disappointing. But can it be healthy?
With Mardi Gras just around the corner, Medibank is bringing back it’s #BetterwithaKiss campaign to celebrate the simple, powerful act of sharing a kiss. Here are seven of the most surprising ways that kissing can be good for your health and why you should do it more.
Kissing could be good for your pearly whites
It turns out there’s another important step when it comes to your daily teeth care routine - brushing, flossing and… passionate kissing! Kissing increases the flow of saliva, which contains substances that keeps teeth and gums healthy. It may sound a bit gross but the added fluid helps to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. Somehow, we think your lover will be happy to help out!
Kissing could ward off colds
Kissing tends to get a bad rap, especially around the cold-and flu season. But before you throw the blame at your lover or casual fling, did you know that some studies suggest kissing can actually give your immune system a boost? A Dutch study found that a 10 second pash will transfer around 80 million helpful bacteria, which can improve our resistance to illness. But don’t forget, if one of you has a virus like a cold, it can be transmitted through kissing. So it’s best to avoid it if one of you is sick.
Kissing may make us more zen
It’s not only meditation that can get you zenned out. Studies suggest that romantic attachment has the ability to bring you some serious zen-like benefits. Just like meditation, kissing releases calming brain chemicals, including oxytocin, also known as the “love” hormone. Oxytocin has been shown to be important in things like maternal care, pair bonding, sexual behaviour and trust. It also decreases stress responses, including anxiety. So if you haven’t mastered the art of meditation, stress no more, because there are other options available - healthy ones too!
Kissing may help with allergic reactions
Strange but true. One small study by Japanese Dr Hajime Kitmata suggests that kissing could reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Dr Kitmata studied 30 patients without allergies and 30 with pollen and dustmite allergies. Participants were instructed to kiss freely with their partner in a room alone, undertaking pollen and dustmite skin prick tests before and after. By comparing blood samples, Kitmata found after kissing, the participants with allergies’ bodies were not producing as much IgE, which is the body’s way of reacting to an allergen. A lot more research is needed to confirm his theory, but what better excuse to go practice some “science”?
Kissing is practically exercise
It’s not exactly a mountain climb, but kissing does burn calories and it’s a more fun way of getting hot and bothered, frankly. The more passionate the kiss, the greater the metabolic boost.
Kissing relieves physical pain
You may be inclined to wave away advances when you're curled up in an achy ball, but a smooching session could be exactly the type of medicine you need. That’s because kissing releases a wave of neurotransmitters, namely endorphins, which have been linked to an increased pain threshold.
Beat the blues with a kiss
Affection is known to be one of the most fundamental human needs. Studies suggest that the odd token of affection -- be it a kiss, cuddle or even a hand stroke -- has the ability to elevate one’s mood, relationship satisfaction and all round mental health.
Turns out, every kiss does make us better. So, what are you waiting for - put down this article and pucker up! Your mind and body will thank you.