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The Love Cure

It’s that time of year again, the flu in sixteen varieties is floating around seemingly everywhere. This is just a reminder that in addition to some robust multi-vitamins, herbal teas and throat lozenges, please consider the power of love to heal. Love and intimacy are some of life’s all-time best cures for just about anything that ails you.

If you don’t believe me, I refer you to Dean Ornish’s 1999 bestseller Love and Survival: Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy. The book cites many longitudinal studies that demonstrate the power of being loved. For example, women who reported feeling “lonely and isolated” were three and half times as likely to die of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer. Both men and women who reported the lowest levels of social contact died at the rate of three times those who reported the highest levels of social contact. That scientific studies verify this deeply intuitive truth should not really surprise us and yet what I find most surprising is that even knowing this, the rates of loneliness and isolation that we experience seem to be continuously increasing.

Getting back to the flu though… It isn’t just long-term illnesses that respond to love and intimacy. Add a little fire to your routine and watch your immune system kick in. Crazy that when you are least in the mood, creating one can have so much benefit- but hey who can argue with science. Feeling loved and experiencing physical touch will create more well-being than most over the counter medications. Too bad there aren’t late night ads for this love cure, we would all be feeling so much better in the morning.