From a young age, we’re told kisses are pretty powerful. They turn frogs into princes. They make fireworks erupt in the night sky. Kiss a certain stone in Ireland, and you’ll gain the gift of gab. Kiss and tell, and you’ve betrayed something special.
You kiss hello, goodbye, good morning, and good night. But you know what else you should kiss for? Your health.
Smooching your sweetie comes with a host of healthy perks for your body and mind. So grab your lip balm, it’s time to talk about the benefits of kissing.
1. Kissing helps reduce blood pressure
Making out isn't just good for your emotional heart, it gives your anatomical one a workout, too. "Kissing passionately gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that helps lower your blood pressure," says Demirjian. "It dilates your blood vessels -- blood is flowing in a good, solid fashion and getting to all your vital organs."
2. Smooch for stress relief
Whispering sweet nothings isn’t gonna cut it. Kissing may lower cortisol — aka, the “stress hormone” that helps regulate your body’s fight or flight response. Physical interaction (like kissing and hugging) has been found to significantly lower cortisol levels more than regular social interaction with a partner or spouse.
3. Kissing zaps cramps and headaches
"Kissing is great if you have a headache or menstrual cramps," says Demirjian. You may be inclined to wave away advances when you're curled into an achy ball, but the blood-vessel dilation brought on by a good long smooching session can really help ease your pain. In fact, Demirjian recommends replacing the ol' "Not tonight, dear -- I have a headache" line with, "Honey, I have a headache. Come kiss me!"
4. Swap spit for an immunity boost
Kissing boosts immunity by introducing new germs to your body. One study showed couples who kiss on the reg show similar microbiota in their saliva and on their tongues. Cool/gross.
5. Kissing is a barometer for sexual compatibility
It can be an excellent way to check out a potential partner for sexual compatibility before getting naked and emotionally involved, says Demirjian. But if your very first liplock with a new partner is meh, she recommends giving him or her one more shot.
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