Need a hug? Join the club
OVERWORKED, underpaid, unfulfilled, unhappy? Sounds like you need a hug.
Self-described hug advocate Nicola Neal is so passionate about the benefits of the practice that she is starting a club dedicated to it.
Inspired by her fiance Keith Oades - officially a non-huggy person - Ms Neal started a Facebook page about a month ago and has already attracted 160 of her friends to join.
She hopes for a strong showing when the Hug Club meets for the first time on November 21 - a Monday.
"There must be others around in the same situation as me … those who crave and need, for whatever reason, a good old fashioned, heartfelt hug that makes you feel instantly better," Ms Neal said.
"I think in today's society people are becoming more insular - which is a real shame. The medical benefits of a good hug are well documented."
The club's main objective will be friendship, rather than dating, with Ms Neal aiming to demonstrate the importance of social physical contact.
"When you hug someone, or accept a hug from another, you are letting them into your personal space for physical contact," she said.
"Respectfully given, hugs make you feel relaxed, happy, rejuvinated, loved, accepted, reconnected, grounded and have the ability to open the heart to expressing exactly what needs to be said.
"These can be things that have been built up over a long time or just the after effects of a stressful day."
Meetings will be held monthly at the Wray Organic store on the corner of Moffatt St and Warwick Rd, Ipswich.
The first meeting on November 21 will begin at 3pm and conclude at 5pm.