The smooch, the peck, the passionate kiss . . . they all have a place in our relationship and there is much more to kissing than meets the eye. We use kisses in many ways from greeting a loved one to showing our passion and love to our partners but what are kissing health benefits?

We know how much you love to kiss and not that you needed more reasons to want to kiss but we thought we would share anyway. So pucker up, grab your honey and enjoy these 10 health benefits of kissing.

Kissing Health Benefits

Boosts Bonding

First on our list of kissing health benefits is probably one of the most important. Regardless of the type of kiss, from kissing a baby to making out with your partner, kissing promotes intimacy and boosts bonding. The reason for this is the hormone which is produced when we kiss. Dawn Maslar, a biology professor and award-winning author states “When we kiss, both men and women produce the hormone oxytocin. It’s often called the ‘love hormone’ because it causes us (particularly females) to bond.” Kiss the ones we love, and love the ones we kiss.

Starts Arousal and Improves Sex

We know there are many health benefits to sex, and there is no better primer for it than kissing. Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, points out, “Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay; it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

Boosts Immune System

No one likes to be sick and while it may sound counterintuitive, kissing helps fend off viruses, especially when the kissing leads to sex. Research from the journal Medical Hypotheses indicates that women build up immunity against the cytomegalovirus by kissing infected partners. Another study performed at Wilkes University found that study participants who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the infection-fighting antibody immunoglobulin A. If you are ready to beat cold and flu season, pucker up and start kissing.

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Improves Marriages

Kissing improves marriages even before either person is thinking about marriage. It’s common knowledge that married couples who frequently kiss have stronger marriages as it’s great for mental and emotional health, but did you know kissing can help you choose the right partner?

This happens subconsciously because when you are in the act of kissing, you are sharing information about your respective immune systems. The technical term is a major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Biologically, partners need to bring different immune system genes to the table so that their offspring will have a better opportunity for survival.

Increased Happiness

Kissing releases endorphins, and to quote Elle Woods from Legally Blond, “Endorphins make you happy.” Since depression affects an estimated 17.5 million Americans and costs approximately $30 billion each year, why not give yourself a free happiness boost with a little kissing?

Decreases Pain

When you are in the midst of a passionate, heated kiss, your body releases adrenaline which can reduce and in some cases eliminate feelings of pain. When your kissing leads to intimacy you have now doubled-up on your pain-reducing hormones as endorphins are released as well. So as it turns out, kissing and sex may be a good cure for that headache instead of the reason why you’re not being intimate.

Alleviates Stress

How often do you feel frazzled and exhausted at the end of the day? Blame it on your body’s natural response to stress: cortisol. Dr. Sharon Stills, naturopathic physician and author of R.E.D. Alert — Get Real and Heal, points out that “kissing lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is our stress hormone and it harms our immune system, endocrine system and brain health, specifically the hippocampus.” Lower your stress levels by kissing your spouse or partner as often as you can.

Burns Calories

We are not saying kissing can substitute for physical exercise, but it does increase your metabolism to about twice its usual rate. Most people burn about 1 calorie a minute at rest, but according to Dr. Stills, kissing burns about 2 to 3 calories per minute. As we said, it’s not going to help you hit your exercise goals, but if you’re sitting on the couch with your honey, during those commercial breaks heat things up with a little calorie-boosting kissing.

Anti-Aging Benefits

One of the weirder kissing health benefits is that it’s a workout for your face because it burns calories. If you fear your jowls are starting to sag, try tightening things up with some regular, vigorous kissing. It’s the perfect non-surgical prescription to enhance your youthful appearance: safe, free and fun.

Kissing is Fun

Speaking of fun, kissing is a blast! According to Gina Cloud, women’s health advocate and creator of GinaCology, “There are more than 30 kinds of kisses in the Kama Sutra. Kissing is such an important way of expressing ourselves, and the many different ways we can do it bring it into the realm of creativity. With so many ways to kiss and express ourselves through it, fun becomes part of the experience, and fun is a great tool for happiness!”

As always we appreciate all your emails and comments. Don’t forget to share this information with your friends so they too can experience the health benefits of kissing.