2012-02-14

All about kissing

Today, many people in the Western world will participate in various traditions related to Valentine's Day [Wikipedia]. Civilizations have transformed the traditions and history of the festival since antiquity. (More on that metamorphosis tomorrow.) However, there is something which hasn't changed in its ties to traditions of fellowship: the kiss.

Kissing has been a human expression for as long as there have been humans to express it. A kiss can embody the beginning of an agreement (e.g. contracts, significant settlements, marriage, etc.) and sometimes even the end of a fellowship (e.g. the kiss of death, a kiss goodbye, etc.). The kiss is an act which stimulates a physiological response, it engages the senses into an acute awareness and the body into a singular focus on what is happening. ["Kiss" - Wikipedia]

When kissing, our bodies use roughly 150 muscles to coördinate the action. Our bodies release a flood of hormones, such as endorphin and adrenaline, into our bloodstream; our brain senses this and we feel a "rush" and "butterflies in our stomachs". As a result, our perception of stress and anxiety decreases, our memory is more detailed, and our body goes into a state of excitement (e.g. increased heart rate, dilated pupils, increased oxygen intake). Basically, kissing triggers our bodies into a natural high.

It's fascinating to consider the magnificence of the human body. For many people who choose to recognize the traditions of what is now Valentine's Day, the holiday can be about paying attention to the people held dear to us in our daily lives. Over eons of evolution, humans have developed the ability to give one of the greatest gift to show our affection: the kiss.


URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJbiJVVMFcM
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