Ipswich Hug Club members Nicola Neal and Geoff Salmon believe in the power of hugs.
Ipswich Hug Club members Nicola Neal and Geoff Salmon believe in the power of hugs. David Nielsen

Hug club hangs on

IPSWICH might not have embraced a hug club with open arms but founder Nicola Neal is hopeful more residents will discover the power of a good hug.

The self-professed hugateer said the Ipswich Hug Club's first meeting this week was about bringing people together with a simple gesture of affection.

While just two people turned up for Monday's meeting at Wray Organic Cafe, on Warwick Rd, Ms Neal hopes the club will grow.

"A lot of leaflets were handed out today to people passing by and lots of hugs were given out," Ms Neal said. She said there were scientifically proven benefits to giving and receiving hugs.

"You need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs to feel good about yourself and 12 hugs to move forward," she said.

Fellow hugateer Geoff Salmon also believes in the importance of hugs.

"A hug is a change of energy," he said.

Ms Neal said hug etiquette was important to make sure an embrace was a comfortable and loving experience.

Hands must be above the waist and participants should make eye contact at the beginning of the hug.

But the most important rule is to understand if people do not want a hug.

"People might have had to work up a lot of courage just to come here in the first place," she said.

"You've got to respect people's right to say no thank you."

Ms Neal aims to have a club meeting each month, with the next at Wray Organic Cafe on December 19.



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