Benefits of Kissing What's truly in a kiss? I mean, beyond the good (passionate, gentle, etc.) and the bad (face-consuming, sloppy). What's the physiological effect of locking lips? Turns out, there's an entire branch of science (called philematology) that's devoted to kissing. And it's super fascinating. According to the lab-coat-clad kissing brainiacs, smooching has some major health benefits.
It boosts immunity <ul><li>Anytime you lock lips, you're not just swapping spit, you're also swapping germs. A majority of the bacteria in your saliva is common to everyone, but around 20 percent are unique to the individual. So, the process of kissing triggers your body to produce antibodies to fight the foreign bacteria. It's like a vaccination, minus the hour in the waiting room and sore arm. (Of course, this positive side effect is only relevant if you're smooching a healthy person—you wouldn't want a "vaccination" from, say, the dude at the bar with a mysterious blister and runny nose). </li></ul>
It busts stress <ul><li>recent Lafayette College study found that when you're kissing someone, your body releases oxytocin, a calming chemical; endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals; and dopamine, which promotes bonding. Aim for a 20-second smooch to get mood-boosting benefits. </li></ul>
How to Destress <ul><li>Looking for more ways to de-stress? Some studies show that regular meditation reduces the recurrence of depression as effectively as medication. Start with baby steps by focusing on your breath. If your mind wanders, let your thoughts go and refocus on inhaling and exhaling. Aim to do this for a couple of minutes a few times a day—or anytime you feel like your head is ready to explode. </li></ul>
It may ease allergies <ul><li>A study in Japan found that 30 minutes of kissing (time to revert back to middle school make-out days!) can slow histamine production, providing some relief from sneezing and running nose symptoms associated with hay fever. </li></ul>
<ul><li>If allergies make you miserable, there's also a tasty snack that can ease a stuffy nose and watery eyes with no pills, drops or inhalers involved: yogurt! One study found that the bacteria in yogurt help desensitize the immune system to pollen. Patients who ate yogurt daily had 90 percent fewer allergy symptoms. Remember, though, that frozen doesn't count; fro-yo is often missing those powerful cultures. </li></ul>
It's good for your teeth <ul><li>Even during non-sloppy exchanges, kissing produces bonus saliva. This helps neutralize acids which can cause decay, and washes away food particles and cavity-inducing plaque that's beginning to form. Some experts even think that the mineral salts in saliva may help bolster enamel, giving you stronger chompers. </li></ul>
It counts as a (light) workout <ul><li>It's estimated that kissing can burn up to 6 calories a minute and that you enlist approximately 30 facial muscles. May not exactly erase cellulite or give you flat abs, but you can feel slightly less guilty about having another glass of wine or ordering post-date dessert. </li></ul>