You already know that kissing is fun but did you know that it’s good for you? Kissing is a uniquely human trait that’s said to have emerged as a way to pass germs from one person to another but that’s not very romantic, is it? While it seems plausible that kissing would have underlying biological functions, there’s also no denying it’s role in bonding or overall health.
Not only does kissing feel good, it’s also good for you. A passionate, heartfelt kiss will get the blood pumping. This help relieve stress and release epinephrine into your blood making it pump faster, which may result in the reduction of LDL cholesterol. Kissing is also a way to receive certain hormones like testosterone. Mucous membranes inside the mouth are permeable to hormones such as testosterone. Through open mouth kissing, these hormones are absorbed and thus arousal is increased.
Here are some other health benefits of kissings.
Reduce blood pressure, relieve cramps and headaches: Kissing helps dilate your blood vessels, which may help lower your blood pressure. The blood vessel dilation effect also helps relieve pain, particularly from a headache or menstrual cramps.
Fight cavities: Could kissing mean fewer trips to the dentist? When you kiss, saliva production increases in your mouth. This helps wash away plaque on your teeth which might lead to cavities. That being said, cavity causing bacteria can also be transmitted via a kiss, especially if the person you’re kissing has poor oral habits.
Releases happy hormones: Kissing prompts your brains to release a feel good elixir of chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. This is good for your happiness and may also help strengthen your relationship. “’This [oxytocin] is the hormone of love, and the better the oxytocin levels, the more capacity for love,’ explains psychotherapist Arthur Janov, Ph.D., author of ‘The Biology of Love’ and the director of the Primal Center in Santa Monica, Calif. ‘We have found that those who cannot commit in a love relationship are low in oxytocin.’”
Your lips are also packed with sensory neurons, when kissing they are stimulated and prompt the release of sebum, which is thought to play a role in bonding.
Burn calories: It won’t replace a good workout session at the gym but a vigorous kiss may burn about 8 to 16 calories. That’s not too bad, right?
Boost your self-esteem: A West German magazine, Selecta, published research conducted by several dozen physicians and psychologists over a two year period saying that a husband who kissed his wife every morning before he left for work enjoyed a better health life, lived longer, and made more money. Leading German companies cooperated and provided actuarial data with the help of Dr. Arthur Szabo, professor of psychology at the University of Kiel, who collated the data. He summarized that men who kiss their wives every morning live five year longer than those who don’t. They were also expected to hold jobs that pay between 20-35% more and use up less sick time. A sampling of Germany’s top 100 industrial managers show that 87% never left home without kissing their wives and as a result saw an increase in pay and held their management careers.
Tone your facial muscles: Kiss your partner and get a facelift? When you kiss, you use up to 30 muscles in your face and neck, and as a result, a long makeout session can help tone your face and neck muscles. It’ll also leave a female looking radiant.
The average person spends more than 20,000 minutes of their life kissing and for good reason. In additions to the benefits stated above, kissing has been shown to boost your immune system and reduce allergic responses in people with skin or nasal allergies.
Kissing is also the prelude to a great sex session. As reported by Psychology Today: “Women use the intensity and frequency of kissing to evaluate a man’s suitability for short-term relationships as well as judging the potential of a short-term relationship evolving into a long-term relationship. Men use kissing, especially in short-term relationships, to increase the likelihood of having sex.”
Whether it be sex, kissing or even hugging, these forms of affection have primal, biological roots that impact our bodies, in a beneficial way. All factors combined provide for a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life.