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The Benefits of Kissing
by Kristi Sandlin

If eyes are the portals to the soul, then lips are the corridor to the mind. We react to thoughts with a smile, express love with words and intentions with a kiss. A kiss can say many things that are difficult to put into words.

"Kissing is an art and a highly individual and personal expression of affection and love," said John L. Ferri, author of "Sex in the Romance: A Review of Romantic Encounters of the Close Kind."

A kiss is usually the first time that two people come in close contact with one another, so it makes perfect sense that people become anxious and nervous.

An anonymous source in "The Book of Kisses" by William Cane describes a kiss as something that you cannot give without taking, and cannot take without giving.

Another anonymous source says that you shouldn't wait to know someone better before kissing him or her, you should kiss them first and then you will know them better. The beauty of the kiss is that it translates into every language and religion.

Vaughn Bryant Jr., professor and head of the anthropology department at Texas A&M, said in a "Chicago Tribune" article that the first erotic kiss was exchanged about 1500 B.C. in India. Prior to that time there is no evidence; (clay tablets, cave paintings or written records) that indicate the history of the kiss.

Bryant also said that rubbing and pressing noses together, a no-tongues exchange between lovers, became popular about 1500 B.C.

It was the Romans who unleashed the kiss, as we know it today. Romans kissed each other hello, kissed the robes and rings of their leaders and kissed statues of Roman gods to signify their submission and respect.

The Romans soon discovered that a kiss has many meanings and assigned words for these different types of kisses, such as osculum meaning friendship kiss, basium meaning passionate kiss, and savium meaning deep kiss, otherwise known as the French kiss.

From that point on, kissing encountered opposition from religion as a venial sin. However, the kiss triumphantly endured and thankfully so.

It is a scientific fact that kissing signals our brains to produce oxytocin, a hormone that gives us that good-all-over feeling we experience when kissing. It is also known that biology causes one kiss to prompt another. When we kiss, the insides of our mouths and edges of our lips produce a chemical that shouts for more.

A study in 1997 out of Princeton University concluded that our brains are equipped with neurons that help us find our lovers lips in the dark. It is no wonder that many couples enjoy kissing in a dark theater.

German physicians and psychologists have concluded that those who kiss their spouse each morning miss less work because of illness than those who do not. Those who kiss also have fewer auto accidents on the way to work, earn 20 to 30 percent more monthly and live approximately five years longer. Dr. Arthur Sazbo, one of the German psychologists, says the reason behind the good fortune is those who have a morning kiss begin the day with a positive attitude.

Therefore, if you want to be happy, healthy, successful, and live longer, you should kiss your loved one before you go to work each day.

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