Albert Einstein said that “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” Forget about disease transmission, for a kiss is truly a pleasurable thing and Einstein has to say that it is special. But it is more than that; kissing has several benefits, especially to the health and well-being of a person. Here are ten benefits of kissing (specifically a kiss between lovers):
1. Kissing burns calories. Not that kissing is the ultimate fat-burning activity! But kissing can burn as much as 2 to 6 calories a minute. It may not be much, but two hours of continuous kissing can burn calories equivalent to one pound steak. It can also double your metabolic rate. Research claims that three passionate kisses a day (at least lasting 20 seconds each) will cause you to lose an entire extra pound! It’s time to start that kissing diet!
2. Kissing tones the face and strengthens facial muscles. You use 30 muscles while kissing and the smooching helps keep the checks tight, preventing them from being baggy and loose. A torrid French kiss exercises all the underlying muscles of the face. The tension in the muscles caused by a passionate kiss helps smooth the skin and increases the circulation.
3. Kissing is a known stress-reliever. Passionate kissing relieves tension, reduces negative energy and produces a sense of well being, lowering your cortisol “stress” hormone. Kissing is also like meditation. “Kissing is an exciting excursion into the sensual,” says psychologist and clinical sexologist Joy Davidson. “If we happen to be connecting with someone we care about, it produces a sense of well-being and a kind of full-bodied pleasure.” Hence, a kiss can suppress anxiety and produce physiological changes that meditation can do.
4. Kissing is also good for the heart, as it creates an adrenaline which causes your heart to pump more blood around your body. Frequent kissing has scientifically been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activity, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.
5. Kissing is relaxing. According to scientists, kissing can increase the oxytocin and endorphin levels. Oxytocin is the body’s natural calming chemical while endorphin is the fell-good chemical. The endorphins produced by kissing are 200 times more powerful than morphine. Swapping spit is also noted to increase dopamine, which aids in feelings of romantic attachment.
6. Kissing helps flush out bacteria. During kissing, the extra saliva washes bacteria off the teeth, consequently helping break down oral plaque. This means kissing can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. During a kiss, natural antibiotics are also secreted in the saliva. Furthermore, the saliva contains a type of anesthetic that helps relieve pain.
7. Kissing boosts immunity. All that swapping spit exchanges germs, too, which forces your body to produce antibodies to prevent you from getting sick. It’s like getting a vaccination, so keep the kisses coming in order to keep you healthy.
According to the study by the journal Medical Hypotheses, kissing can increase women’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus. This virus is transmitted through mouth to mouth contract and can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy. However, it is relatively harmless for adults. Thus, kissing can be a way to pass along bugs, thereby strengthening the body’s defenses.
8. Kissing is a “mate assessment tool” as described by anthropologist Helen Fisher. The most sensitive feelings can be picked up by the lips, cheeks, tongue and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them are picking up information from around the mouth. Thus, you can really hear, see and feel the person you are kissing. Kissing is not anymore just a “kissing” activity, but more of an expression of who you are, what you want and what you can give.
Moreover, kissing has been viewed by many researchers as biology’s way of determining which people are most compatible with genetically. “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. “Therefore, what happens during that first kiss can be a make-or-break proposition.”
9. Kissing can relieve allergies. In a research conducted in Japan, it has been shown that kissing can lower down the body’s allergic reaction to pollen. “What they did was study the blood levels of IgE, an allergy antibody before and after 30 minutes of kissing their partner,” Dr. Lynda Kabbash of Harvard Vanguard said.
Researchers say kissing also helped relieve symptoms in patients with dermatitis, a skin condition triggered by allergies.
10. Kissing keeps you younger. This is an after effect of exercising your facial muscles and toning them through kissing. The relaxing effect of kissing can also help fight out stress and you will remain happy and younger-looking. Likewise, kissing improves self-esteem. It makes you feel appreciated and helps your state of mind.