According to a study conducted at Arizona State University, nonverbal ways to express affection, in particular hugs and touching, can make a positive impact on persons suffering from alexithymia and related emotional disorders. Persons affected by alexithymia tend to be over-focused on external facts and details, are described as detached or aloof by others, and may be limited in their ability for creative expression and imagination. Their capacity for empathic connection, a key way to understand self and other, is blocked. The researchers found that even though alexithymia has a negative impact on the formation of intimacy in relationships, the impact was lessened when they receive higher amounts of affectionate hugging and touching.
Read the entire article here: Hugs Have Positive Effects on Relationships and Emotion Disorders