JESSICA O’Neill’s work is basically a labor of love — she’s a qualified cuddler.
A Gold Coast mom of three works her personal hug small business, providing caring embraces to individuals that desire for $80 an hour ($150 for two hours, as well as a cup of coffee).
Ms O’Neill, 34, had been doing work being a massage physical therapist and holistic counsellor any time the lady learned regarding “cuddle therapies” 4 years back.
“I cherished the concept although everybody else believed it absolutely was outrageous, ” she explained.
“I began seeking in to study concerning cuddling and touching, and even observed that lots of medical reports have found concrete health and wellbeing positive aspects, varying through lowered blood pressure as well as relieve stress levels in order to improved release of the happy hormone serotonin. ”
Ms O’Neil found hug treatment method was a ‘bona fide career option’ along with after finishing a particular on the web diploma or degree, she and companion Jason, build a small business known as The Connection Cure.
She mentioned she expected nearly all of her customers will be “middle-aged men”, however women from 18 to 85 and people who are disabled, mentally ill or just lonely are calling in for a cuddle.
“Occasionally, first-timers tend to be nervous, yet as soon as we hug, they loosen up, ” she stated.
“And those which are sceptical immediately realise that what’s going on is pretty strong. ”
When she tells people she’s a paid cuddler, Ms O’Neill said “many do a double-take”.
“Yet I notice cuddling as instant mind-calming exercise … to ease tension, discomfort and emotional stress along with a way to create people really feel cared for, ” she stated.
Gold Coast psycho therapist and honorary fellow of the Australian Psychological Society Dr Bob Montgomery mentioned human contact in relationships was essential and powerful, and should start early in life.
“In the event that you acquire sufficient … you go into life feeling assured regarding relationships, ” he stated.
However he elevated worries about physical contact in therapy, stating people should think twice prior to they participate with a cuddle physical therapist.
“You’ll locate the rules of ethics — certainly for psychologists, and … regarding most additional health occupations — say you should not be getting physical contact simply because it can be misinterpreted, ” he said.