Countless songs, poems, and dramatic works have been written about the power of a kiss. You may have been unaware of one of the additional benefits of the exercise: allergy reduction.
Dr. Hajime Kimata, a Japanese scientist who specializes in allergy research, published the findings of his study on how kissing affected allergic reactions in patients in 2003. Writing for the Journal of Physiology & Behavior, Kimata explained the experiment involving three groups of people — two groups affected by either eczema or hay fever and a control group affected by neither.
All of the patients were Japanese, who “do not kiss habitually,” according to Kimata.
The groups had their skin tested for their reactions to Japanese cedar pollen, dust mites and histamine. After kissing for 30 minutes while listening to “soft music,” such as Celine Dion’s love ballad “My Heart Will Go On,” the patients had their skin tested again for allergic reactions.
Kimata found that for the groups of patients with eczema and hay fever, their skin did not react as much to Japanese cedar pollen and dust mites after 30 minutes of kissing. Their reaction to histamine, however, was not affected.
For this breakthrough research, Dr. Kimata was awarded the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine. The Ig Nobel Prize is awarded each year by Improbable Research and is dedicated to the concept, “First make people laugh, and then think.” For other recent Ig Nobel recipients, read this article.
“I wish that people will understand the new effect of kissing and I also hope that kissing will bring not only love but also attenuation of allergic reaction,” Hajime Kimata, who could not attend the 25th annual event, said in a videotaped acceptance speech. “I am honored to be awarded the Ig Nobel Prize and I appreciate it very much.”