Kissing is pretty much the best thing in the entire world — but probably not for the reasons you think. Sure, a good make-out sesh feels amazing and is the ultimate form of foreplay, but it turns out kissing actually comes with some serious health benefits — as if you really needed another excuse to smooch.

Below, the great reasons you should be kissing someone right now.

1. Burns calories

Sure, kissing may not burn as many calories as, say, running a mile, but it does pump up your metabolism to about twice its usual rate. Most people burn about one calorie a minute at rest, but according to Dr. Sharon Stills, naturopathic physician and author of R.E.D. Alert — Get Real and Heal, kissing burns about 2 to 3 calories per minute. You won’t want to skip Zumba in favor of a makeout session, but next time you’re lounging around on the couch with your spouse, turn up the heat with some calorie-boosting kisses.

2. Boosts bonding

Whether you’re smooching a baby or passionately kissing your spouse, locking lips promotes intimacy and boosts bonding. Dawn Maslar, a biology professor, sums it up like this: “When we kiss, both men and women produce the hormone oxytocin. It’s often called the ‘love hormone’ because it causes us (particularly females) to bond.” The fact is we kiss the ones we love and love the ones we kiss!

3. Spurs arousal and enhances sex

Frequent sex can enhance everything from heart health to your self-esteem, and there’s no better primer for sex than kissing. As Carol Queen, Good Vibrations‘ staff sexologist and founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, points out, “Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay. It helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

4. Fights illness

It may sound counterintuitive, but swapping spit is a great way to fend off viruses — especially if all that kissing leads to sex. Research from the journal Medical Hypotheses in 2009 indicates that women build up immunity against the cytomegalovirus by kissing infected partners. Another study performed at Wilkes University in 2004 found that study participants who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the infection-fighting antibody immunoglobulin A. So if you want to make it through cold season unscathed, it’s time to pucker up!

5. Makes better marriages

Seriously. It’s not just that frequent kissers may have stronger marriages (which is great for mental and emotional health), but kissing can actually help you choose the right partner. When you kiss someone, your body is subconsciously sharing information about your respective immune systems. The technical term is major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Biologically, it’s important for partners to bring different immune system genes to the table so that their offspring will have a better opportunity for survival. So if kissing your crush immediately douses the flames of love, you might be able to chalk it up to biological incompatibility.

6. Increases happiness

Kissing releases endorphins, and to quote Elle Woods from Legally Blond, “Endorphins make you happy.”

7. Lowers cholesterol

According to a 2009 study in the Western Journal of Communication, the authors found that affectionate behavior, including kissing, could have a positive effect on your cholesterol. “We hypothesized that increasing affectionate behavior would effect improvements in physical and psychological conditions known to be exacerbated by stress,” such as cholesterol. After six weeks of tests, the group showed improvements in perceived stress, relationship satisfaction and total serum cholesterol.

8. Lowers stress

How often do you feel frazzled and exhausted at the end of the day? Blame it on your body’s natural response to stress: Dr. Stills points out that “kissing lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is our stress hormone and it has a negative effect on our immune system, endocrine system and brain health, specifically the hippocampus.”

So if you can lower stress and reduce those negative effects by simply stealing a kiss with your partner, do it as often as you can!

9. Improves allergy symptoms

Wait — kissing improves allergy symptoms?! Yep. According to a 2003 Japanese study published in Physiology and Behavior, participants kissed for 30 minutes in a private room while listening to soft music. At the end of it, the participants experienced relief from hives and signs of allergic reaction from Japanese cedar pollen and house dust mites.

10. Turns up the fun

Speaking of fun, kissing is a blast! According to Gina Cloud, women’s health advocate and creator of GinaCology, “There are more than 30 kinds of kisses in the Kama Sutra. Kissing is such an important way of expressing ourselves, and the many different ways we can do it bring it into the realm of creative. With so many ways to kiss and express ourselves through it, fun becomes part of the experience, and fun is a great tool for happiness!”

How Kissing Burns Calories

Kissing someone special is arguably one of the best feelings in the world. The troubles of the world fade away, and you’re in a temporary state of bliss. Besides feeling great, there are also a host of health benefits associated with kissing. Some of which include a boosted immune system, decreased pain and lower stress.

On top of this, kissing has been known to burn calories. And although it won’t equal that of running or full on exercise, it’s definitely advantageous. Here’s how it happens, and how to maximize the calories you burn.

Metabolism Booster

According to Dr. Sharon Stills within the online article “10 real reasons kissing is actually good for you,” a naturopathic physician, kissing burns somewhere around two to three calories per minute, versus an average of approximately one calorie per minute while a person is at rest. So if choosing between kissing and doing nothing at all, kissing doubles, if not triples, your metabolic rate. In the long run, it can help you lose at least a little weight. While this is nowhere near the same as rigorous exercise, it’s safe to say that for most, it is a lot more pleasant than pumping iron or sweating on an exercise machine.

Maximizing the Calories You Burn

If you really want to take advantage of this kissing and calorie-burning phenomenon, there are a few ways to increase the number of burnt calories. For starters, a surprise, stand-up kiss is better than sitting down on the couch and moving in for a smooch. Planting a surprise kiss briefly increases heart rate both participants due to the rush and surprise, speeding up blood flow, and boosting metabolism. Meanwhile, standing up also makes you use your muscles more, burning more calories while the smooching is going on.

Because consuming oxygen plays an integral role in burning calories, getting to the point of heavy breathing also helps you burn more. Regardless of whether it is a quick peck on the lips or a long, passionate kiss, remember to breathe deeply, and slowly. Increasing the oxygen exchange will help you burn calories, lower your heart rate, and make the process more enjoyable by lowering your stress brain waves. Also, being in a warmer environment means that you’ll burn more calories, so, turn up the heat… pun intended!

For this Valentine’s Day, you can kill two birds with one stone by kissing. Not only can you enjoy some passionate on this romantic holiday, but you can also burn some calories at the same time!

5 Scientifically-Proven Ways Kissing Makes You Healthy

Corbis Images

We know kissing as a social pleasantry, the appropriate ending to a date, and a means of connecting with our main squeeze. But the collision of lips and tongues that we often take for granted has a whole lot more bubbling under the surface than what meets the eye. Swine flu scares and mono aside, kissing actually does a body very, very good.

1. Kissing boosts immunity. A recent study reported in the journal Medical Hypotheses says kissing may increase a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus, contracted through mouth to mouth contact, can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy. Otherwise, the bug is relatively harmless in adults. Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and thus strengthen the body’s defenses.

2. Kissing helps you pick the best mate. Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes kissing as a “mate assessment tool.” Much of the cortex is devoted to picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them are picking up the data from around the mouth. It is built to pick up the most sensitive feelings-the most intricate tastes and smells and touch and temperature. And when you’re kissing somebody, you can really hear them and see them and feel them. So kissing is not just kissing. It is a profound advertisement of who you are, what you want and what you can give.

Other researchers note that kissing is biology’s way of determining who in nature you are most genetically compatible with.”At the moment of the kiss, there are hard-wired mechanisms that assess health, reproductive status, and genetic compatibility,” says Gordon G. Gallup Jr., a professor of evolutionary psychology at the State University of New York at Albany who studies reproductive competition and the biology of interpersonal attraction. “Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition.”

3. Kissing burns calories! Depending on different reports, anywhere from 2 to 6 calories a minute. Not quite a jog on the treadmill, but an hour’s worth of smooching may burn off half a handful of M&Ms or half a glass of wine. Hey, it’s something.

4. Kissing keeps facial muscles strong. Sure tight abs or cellulite-free thighs may be first on the Tone Up list, but don’t underestimate the workout your mouth gets during a makeout session. Researchers say you use 30 muscles while kissing and the smooching helps keep your cheeks tight. Nice. We’ll take what we can get.

5. Kissing naturally relaxes you. Scientific reports say kissing increases the levels of oxytocin, the body’s natural calming chemical and also increased endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Swapping spit is also noted to increase dopamine, which aids in feelings of romantic attachment.

By Melissa Noble for YourTango

This article originally appeared as MWAH! 5 Scientifically-Proven Reasons Kissing Makes You Healthier on YourTango

  • By YourTango

A study in the journal Microbiome found that a ten-second French kiss can spread 80 million bacteria between mouths. 80 million may sound scary but these bacteria may actually benefit your body.

Scientific Research in the Netherlands got 21 couples visiting a zoo in the Netherlands to participate in a study on French kissing. Their tongues were swabbed and saliva collected before and after a timed ten-second French kiss.

What was interesting is that they found the bacteria on the tongues of couples were more similar than of two strangers. “Apparently, being with somebody for an extended amount of time and having a relationship leads to a similar collection of bacteria on the tongue.” – Professor Remco Kort, lead researcher, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.

To find see how similar the shared bacteria were, the researchers did one more test. One person in the couple drank a probiotic yogurt drink containing bacteria called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria and wait a bit and couple shared a 10-second, French kiss. Then they took a sample of the bacteria in the mouth of the partner who hadn’t drunk the yogurt. What the researchers found was that the volume of bacteria transferred to the other partner was on average 80 million bacteria!

Dry kisses are not so healthy.

Quantity and Quality of Kisses Make a Difference

The research team also found out through questionnaires that the more often a couple kisses, the more bacteria they share. Dry, prudent kiss only transfers 1,000 bacteria and a French kiss will give millions of bacteria!

Even though bacteria in the saliva changed quickly after a kiss, the bug populations on the tongue remained more stable.

“French kissing is a great example of exposure to a gigantic number of bacteria in a short time. While 80 million bacteria being transferred in just one kiss sounds scary, it is in fact probably a good thing, acting as a form of immunisation and building resistance from exposure to different microorganisms.” says Professor Remco Kort.

“If you look at it from this point of view, kissing is very healthy,” added Prof Kort.

Would you like to know how much bacteria you and your partner are sharing? There is a “Kiss-o-meter” set up in Amsterdam based on this research that will rate your kisses: Micropia. They will give you a read out of the microorganisms you’ve exchanged.

Not Enough Kisses In Your Life?

Maybe you and your partner need a little help with healthy food aphrodisiacs like honey, almonds or chocolate. Learn how to make chocolate treats without the sugar at the Healthy Chocolate Project.

If there is no one for you to be kissing… not to worry. There are many ways to get probiotics and prebiotics into your diet and boost your immune system in general.
Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber so provide a health bacterial environment in your digestive tract. Ghee is particularly good at feeding healthy bacteria and your immune system.

Check out my Free Health Webinar on how to keep your immune system strong in the winter.

Here is a great immune recipe: Immune Booster Fruit Salad

Learn about the fun Benefits Of Kissing

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© warrengoldswain, iStock /Getty Images Plus 10 Scientific Benefits of Kissing

Kissing may be the most primal way we express affection with other humans. We kiss babies on their adorable chubby faces, friends on the cheeks, and lovers on the lips to demonstrate of our feelings and desire for closeness. Kissing may be one of the earliest evolutionary mechanisms for social bonding. While there are plenty of obvious pleasures of smooching, there are also some remarkable health benefits, backed by science.

1. Kissing releases feel-good hormones.

Kissing activates the brain’s reward system, releasing neurotransmitters like oxytocin, “the love hormone,” and vasopressin, which bonds mothers with babies and romantic partners to each other. It also releases endogenous opioids, dopamine, and other helpful neurohormones to keep our moods balanced.

2. Those feel-good hormones have healing abilities.

According to a 2005 study in Neuroendocrinology Letters, “ove, pleasure, and lust have a stress-reducing and health-promoting potential, since they carry the ability to heal or facilitate beneficial motivation and behavior.” In other words, by reducing your stress hormones, your body can better focus on healing any physiological processes that are exacerbated by stress, and help contribute to more positive mental health and behavior.

3. Kissing makes you more alert.

Kissing often stimulates the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Not only do these chemicals make you feel excited by increasing your heart rate, they make you more alert, as your body prepares for action … of any kind.

4. Kissing can reduce your stress levels.

According to affection exchange theory, as mentioned in a 2009 study in the Western Journal of Communication , physical exchanges of affection, including kissing, “buffer the individual against the physiological effects of stress.” The researchers found that expressed affection, of which kissing is a prime example, was directly related to lowering the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day.

5. Reducing your stress could lower your cholesterol levels.

The same study authors theorize that if affectionate behavior reduces stress, “then it is logical to predict that it will also effect improvements on physiological parameters that are exacerbated by stress” such as cholesterol. Cholesterol has a number of essential physiological functions, they write, “including maintaining membrane fluidity, producing bile, and contributing to the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins.” It’s also “largely responsible” for the production of steroid hormones, such as cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, the estrogens, and testosterone.

6. Kissing can reduce your allergy symptoms.

Allergic responses can be aggravated by stress. Since kissing reduces stress by sending those feel-good hormones mentioned earlier to the brain, as well as alleviating cortisol, a 2003 Japanese study in Physiology and Behavior explored the relationship between the stress-lowering activity of kissing on allergic reactions. 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, whom the authors noted “do not kiss habitually,” kissed for 30 minutes with their partner in a private room while listening to soft music. They found that at the end of their smooch sessions, 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. In 2015, this study won an Ig Nobel prize.

7. Kissing might boost your immunity.

When you kiss someone on the lips you exchange bacteria. This can either make you sick, or it can help boost your immunity by exposing you to new germs that strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight these bacteria. A 2014 study in the journal Microbiome found that couples who kissed frequently were more likely to share the same microbiota in their saliva and on the surface of the tongue. How frequently? At least nine times per day.

8. A kiss a day might keep the dentist away.

The act of kissing stimulates your salivary glands to produce saliva, the fluid that moistens the mouth to make swallowing easier. Saliva also helps remove cavity-causing particles that stick in your teeth after eating. So while it might be a stretch to say kissing prevents cavities, it can’t hurt.

9. Kissing might help your determine the compatibility of your mate.

Perhaps the way you know you’ve found the one has nothing to do with their eyes, kind words, or the way they romance you, but very subtle cues you pick up through kissing. According to a 2013 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, kissing “might facilitate the subconscious appraisal of a potential mate by utilizing pheromonal cues to assess genetic … compatibility, general health, underlying genetic fitness or menstrual cycle phase and fertility.” (Note the “might” here—we still haven’t found evidence of human pheromones.) In fact, the authors write, in a handful of societies where mouth-to-mouth partner contact is unknown or frowned upon, such as the Mehinaku of Brazil (in fact, only 46 percent of cultures are known to kiss romantically), romantic partners still engage in “kissing traditions of close face-to-face contact involving sniffing, licking or rubbing.”

10. Kissing might improve your relationship satisfaction.

The same study authors suggest that romantic kissing, as well as other forms of physical contact, can strengthen feelings of attachment to the person you’re kissing, increasing the feeling of relationship satisfaction between romantic partners. And a 2013 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that more frequent kissing was linked to couples’ perceived feelings about the quality of a relationship—namely, the more kissing, the happier they were—which was not the case for more s*x.

This story originally ran in 2017.

What’s in a kiss?

What happens when we kiss?
A kiss is a compelling combination of anatomy, sensation, and emotion. It begins with a tilt of the head, usually to the right. Facial muscles, with lovely names like orbicularis oris and zygomaticus, coordinate a sequence of intricate motions between lips, cheeks and, if you choose, the jaw and the tongue. A rush of hormones and sensory messages flood the body and brain, and the heartbeat flutters faster.

Why does a kiss feel so good?
With all of the body parts involved, our lips are at the heart of the kissing pleasure principle. Gray’s Anatomy (the essential anatomy text, not the nighttime soap opera) calls them “two fleshy folds,” but they’re more than that. They’re flexible, receptive, and oh-so-sensitive.

The very thin layer of skin that forms the outside of the lips is continuous with the inside lining of the mouth, containing mucous membranes, tiny muscles, and the many nerves that can help to make a kiss feel sublime. Kissing also releases endorphins, the same hormone that triggers a “runner’s high” and acts as the body’s natural painkiller.

Why do we kiss?
When we pucker up, we are part of the estimated 90% of humankind that kisses in some way, shape, or form. Most of us are doing it, but why we’re all smooching is still not too clear.

Some theorize that the origins of modern kissing are maternal. It’s thought that human mothers may have once fed their babies like birds do, by chewing food first and then passing it from their mouth into the mouth of their infant. This mouth-to-mouth contact may have evolved to be a comfort when food was scarce and eventually to just plain comforting. That characteristic right-sided head tilt before a kiss could even be linked to the way that most infants turn to the right to nurse while breast-feeding.

To try to get at the reasons why we kiss, research published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology examined the kissing attitudes and behaviours of over 1,000 college students. What researchers discovered was that men and women tend to use kisses for different purposes. Women more often kissed as a way to check in on the status of a relationship and to size up the viability of a mate, while men saw kisses as more of a means to an end – that end being arousal and sexual intercourse.

What are the consequences of a kiss?
Kisses can have contagious and occasionally deadly consequences. Mononucleosis, the so-called “kissing disease,” can be spread by swapping spit with a kissing partner. Extreme fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever can linger for weeks longer than the brief bliss of that kiss.

Some sexually transmitted infections may be spread by kissing, like the mouth sores that are caused by herpes. HIV cannot be spread through casual contact, like dry kissing, but the risk may increase if mouth sores were present and if kisses were very wet.

Parents and caregivers who kiss their babies and children may pass along bacteria that could cause tooth decay or the virus that can lead to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common infection that can turn serious in some infants.

There have been a few rare cases of what some would call the “the kiss of death.” A young teenager with a serious peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend, who had earlier in the day eaten something containing nuts. In another case, a woman’s shellfish allergy and her mate’s meal of shrimp combined to create an almost lethal kiss.

Another rare but notable case of kiss-with-caution is “the kiss of deaf,” in which an especially powerful kiss can actually affect a person’s eardrum and lead to temporary hearing loss. In these cases, it’s not a loud kiss that causes the ear damage – it’s the suction.

What are the benefits of a kiss?
Don’t be frightened away by stories of fatal kisses. Most kisses are safe, and they usually range from mildly sweet and pleasurable to downright knee-buckling and earth-shattering. A kiss can relax us or arouse us and make us feel more connected. A kiss can also tell us about our relationships, sometimes saying more than words can convey.

Kissing may be just the thing for your allergies, too. Japanese researchers found that kissing may cause the body to slow down its production of the histamines that trigger allergy symptoms.

Amy Toffelmire

International Kissing Day 2018: 7 reasons kissing is good for you

Whether we were 10 or 20, we all remember our first kisses. And a first kiss with anyone new is always – or at least it should be – exciting, with sparks flying and a feeling of fizzy potential.

But as relationships progress and the honeymoon period passes, it’s all too common for couples to kiss less than they used to.

Kissing, however, whether a snog or a peck, actually has lots of benefits both for your personal health and the health of your relationship.

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“Kissing is an intimate gesture and helps deepen the love and connection between two people,” dating coach and relationship expert Madeleine Mason tells The Independent.

“This is because the hormones dopamine and oxytocin get released when we kiss, especially kissing in a sensual way – think French kiss (some research suggests for at least 15 minutes at a time).

“Together these hormones make us feel good, as they decrease stress levels and increase relationship satisfaction. Collectively it makes kissing a pretty healthy thing to do.”

On this International Kissing Day, here are seven reasons why kissing is good for you:

1. It boosts your immune system

Although you may think the sharing of saliva through kissing may be unsanitary – we share about 80 million bacteria during a passionate 10 second kiss – we’re actually more likely to become ill by shaking hands than kissing.

In fact, a study has found that kissing increases a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus, which, if she is pregnant, can cause birth defects.

2. It reduces anxiety

Kissing can be effective at calming you down, reducing anxiety and making you feel less stressed because it decreases cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain.

In fact, some people even claim kissing has similar benefits to meditation, helping us feel calmer.

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3. It lowers blood pressure

Our lips contain blood vessels which dilate when we kiss, and according to Ryan Neinstein, M.D., a plastic surgeon in New York City, “the blood is then directed toward the face and away from the rest of the body, so the demand on the heart goes down, resulting in lower blood pressure.”

What’s more, as your heart races from the excitement of a passionate kiss, our blood flow increases which also contributes to reducing high blood pressure.

4. It’s a workout for the face muscles

We use up to 30 muscles while kissing which tones the facial muscles. So while you may hit the gym to build your biceps, all you may need is some passionate snogging to tone up your face.

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5. It’s good for your dental hygiene

Swapping saliva with someone else increases the flow of your own saliva, which helps keep the mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

What’s more, having more saliva in your mouth helps you get rid of bits of food in your teeth.

6. It helps you find the right partner

Kissing with tongues comes from an evolutionary urge to find a genetically compatible mate. “Kissing – like touching and smelling – is an emotion-driven act that allows us to identify the most compatible and ‘evolutionary advantageous’ partner,” says Fulvio D’Acquisto, professor of immunology at Roehampton University.

“Humans don’t have strong olfactory skills and kissing allows you to smell and taste a person and see if you have different immune responses as we tend to feel more attracted to someone with a different immune response,” adds Dr Sarah Johns, an expert in human reproduction and evolutionary psychology at the University of Kent.

There’s also the fact that kissing will allow you to tell whether the spark is there in the early stages of seeing someone.

7. It strengthens your relationship

A good kiss releases the hormone oxytocin – AKA the “love hormone” – which studies have shown keeps monogamous people faithful and makes them more trusting towards one another.

Kissing also releases dopamine, which strengthens feelings of romantic attachment: “Kissing is very important for the relationship, it keeps the intimacy and romance going, dating expert Jo Barnet tells The Independent.

“If physical contact is one of someone’s main love languages it will make them feel loved and valued.”

The Independent’s Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.​

The prospect of cooties didn’t bother me in kindergarten when I pinned down my crush at recess and laid one on him (though I was a little disappointed that he cried and stormed off toward the water fountain). Fortunately my kissing abilities and understanding of consent have both improved since then, and it turns out that even if cooties are real, they might actually be good for your health. Seriously—making out has some very real, science-backed benefits that you can read about below.

1. Kissing is good for your teeth—as long as the two of you are fairly hygienic

According to Sivan Finkel, a cosmetic dentist in New York City, kissing leads to increased saliva production, which helps our teeth rid themselves of harmful bacteria. “The extra saliva helps remineralize teeth and protect them from acid attacks,” he says.

Even better, some experts believe that saliva’s mineral ions can promote the repair of small lesions in tooth enamel—but again, oral hygiene is key. “Before you swap , check their breath, and if they pass the sniff test, then kiss away,” Dr. Finkel says.

2. Kissing can give your immune system a boost

More than 700 types of bacteria have been found in the human mouth, but no two people have the exact same makeup of oral germs, so exchanging saliva with someone can introduce new “foreign” bacteria into your body, which isn’t a bad thing.

“Trillions of microorganisms live on or inside us, and collectively they’re known as the microbiome,” says Shilpa Ravella, M.D., a gastroenterologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Ravella points to a recent Dutch study that found that when we kiss for more than 10 seconds, about 80 million bacteria are transferred between us and our partner, which can introduce new and sometimes helpful bacteria into our mouths. “Many studies have shown that having a variety of bacterial species correlates with good health. A diverse microbiome can help regulate the immune system and protect against harmful germs.”

We’ll take that over a booster shot any day.

3. Kissing can lower anxiety

From a chemical standpoint, one of the primary health benefits of kissing is its ability to release the hormone oxytocin (known as the love hormone), according to Stephanie Hartselle, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University, who cites its ability to induce a sense of calm, relaxation, and bonding in humans. The hormone, which is also released during foreplay and orgasm, “has been shown to be as powerful as meditation and many antianxiety medications in producing a feeling of peace and contentment,” Dr. Hartselle says.

Research has also shown that kissing reduces the chemical cortisol, which is associated with stress.

4. Kissing can help lessen allergic reactions

Bet you never knew making out could help ease itchy symptoms that come with nasal or skin allergies.

Stay with us on this one: In 2006 allergist Hajime Kimata studied 24 patients with two types of allergies—mild atopic eczema (a skin allergy) and mild allergic rhinitis (a nasal allergy)—before and after they had kissed lovers or spouses for 30 minutes while listening to soft music.

“Usually, when you have an allergy, your body overreacts by producing IgE, an antibody to a specific allergen,” says Srini Pillay, M.D., a Harvard psychiatrist. “But in these groups, after kissing, this antibody was decreased, thereby decreasing the allergic reaction and symptoms.”

5. Kissing can help lower blood pressure

According to Ryan Neinstein, M.D., a plastic surgeon in New York City, our lips are made up of blood vessels, which become dilated during kissing. “The blood is then directed toward the face and away from the rest of the body,” he says, “so the demand on the heart goes down, resulting in lower blood pressure.”

10 Scientific Benefits of Kissing

Kissing may be the most primal way we express affection with other humans. We kiss babies on their adorable chubby faces, friends on the cheeks, and lovers on the lips to demonstrate of our feelings and desire for closeness. Kissing may be one of the earliest evolutionary mechanisms for social bonding. While there are plenty of obvious pleasures of smooching, there are also some remarkable health benefits, backed by science.

mindbodygreen

I’ll admit it, I have a beautiful professionally framed copy of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt hanging in my home. I was fortunate to travel a lot while growing up, and I spent a lot of time in museums. For some reason, I became fascinated with seeing paintings of people kissing.

Was it something that people did everywhere?

I began to notice how open to PDA people were country to country in their kissing. I couldn’t stop watching.

By junior high, I remember asking my friends how often they saw their parents kissing and was surprised many said never. See, I loved seeing my parents kiss each other: It made them seem more real to me. I didn’t realize at the time, but there are actual Kiss Scientists who study kissing. They are called Philematologists and they have discovered a wide range of benefits of kissing such as:

1. Kissing lowers stress.

It decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain. Kissing has also been measured to lower anxiety and has similar benefits to meditation.

2. Kissing makes us happier.

It improves our mood by increasing endorphins, which are our feel-good hormones.

“Happiness is like a kiss – it feels best when you give it to someone else.” ~Author Unknown

3. Kissing keeps us healthy.

It improves our immunity by releasing antibodies that kill bacteria. And kissing helps us prevent cavities by increasing saliva that washes our teeth. It has also been shown that our saliva secretes natural antibiotics when we kiss.

“Never a lip is curved with pain?That can’t be kissed into smile again.”? ~Brete Harte

4. Kissing calms us down and promotes pleasure.

It increases levels of oxytocin otherwise known as the “love hormone” which calms us. Kissing also reduces pain through our saliva which contains a kind of anesthetic and increases pleasure by releasing dopamine.

“Your hugs and kisses are like the stars that light up my life when things get dark.” – Author Unknown

5. Kissing strengthens our relationships.

It promotes togetherness and couples who kiss regularly live five years longer than those who don’t.

“A kiss seals two souls for a moment in time.” ~Levende Waters

Top 10 Reasons To Kiss List:

Kissing is good for you

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