When I was a little girl, I remember my mum expressing this saying, “Cold hands means Warm heart!”  Why a literally cold hand should indicate sympathy or affection is not really clear, but this expression has been so used since about 1900, and the Germans have an identical saying ( kalte Hand, warmes Herz).  For me, this was quite psychologically powerful, as my hands were always cold growing up in suburban Melbourne, because it was colder in temperature and I loved the idea that my cold hands meant I had a warm heart!  So my cold hands, improved my perception of myself!

Of course scientists have dispelled this after they found how physically warm you are is not necessarily connected to how nice you are to others!  The old adage that cold hands often conceal a warm heart has no scientific proof to back the saying!  The studies say:  People holding a warm cup of coffee were found to be more generous and charitable - particularly about others - than individuals holding an iced coffee.  This has me very curious and darn those scientists!

The researchers believe the effect relates to childhood when emotional warmth given by a parent was often accompanied by the physical warmth of being held or hugged.  The Yale University research seems to disprove the old saying ‘cold hands, warm heart’ which has generally been seen to describe how a cool exterior often disguises a kind heart.  I find this extraordinary as I know my grandmother came across quite cool in her exterior, but I didn’t really see the kind heart!

To test the theory the scientists, who reported their results in the journal Science, carried out two studies involving a total of 94 undergraduates.  Undergraduates will do anything it seems for science!  For the first group tested, they presented half the unwitting participants with a hot or ice cold coffee and then asked what they thought of a stranger after a brief meeting.

They found that holding a hot cup of coffee led people to judge the stranger to be a “warmer” person, in terms of traits such as generosity and kindness, compared to a group of people who held a cup of iced coffee.

In the second study the researchers had people, who thought they were evaluating a product, hold either a warm or cold object - hot pads or cold pads as used in muscle therapy- and then given a choice of reward for participating in the study: either a gift for a friend, or a reward for themselves.

The study found that people who held the hot pad were more likely to choose the gift for a friend, and people who held the cold pack were more likely to choose the reward for themselves.  “It appears that the effect of physical temperature is not just on how we see others, it affects our own behaviour as well,” Professor John Bargh, a psychologist who carried out the study.  “Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer - more generous and trusting - as well.”

His co-author Lawrence Williams, who has since moved to the University of Colorado, said he thought the effect related to childhood.  “As a young child or infant, being held close by a care-giver with love and affection leads us to develop a concept of what it means to be a warm person, or to feel interpersonal warmth,” he said.  “But during those learning experiences, children are simultaneously being exposed to physically warm temperatures, through close contact with another human being.”  Another side note to this, when people are living in warmer climates as apposed to cold and miserable one’s they are generally happier, healthier and less prone to disease!

My theory, is that ‘drinking warmer liquids is also better for your heart and emotional wellbeing, and according to Ayurvedic medicine and principles, some doshas like my own, ‘vata’, are more suited to warm beverages and smaller warm meals, than cold food.  Warm food is better for my circulation; however, I love cooler food in summer.  I am a raw food lover, and even teach raw food workshops, but my dosha, is more suited to warmer and cooked foods according to Aurevedic prinicples.

To find out more about your circulation, and monitor if in fact you are ‘cold hearted’ person by definition, ha ha, check the temperature of your hands over several weeks and match it with your moods.  If you are feeling more generous, loving and caring and your hands are cold around the same time, well you are pretty much exposed as ‘warm hearted’!  If you are feeling mean spirited and nasty as, and your hands are warm, well there is your scientific proof! You are a nasty bit of work!  Seriously, just keep yourself warm and happy, that must rub off on other people.  Use the essential Oil Elevation, if you are having any trouble with that.  Elevation is full of the most amazing oils, that contribute to you feeling not only good about yourself, but help others feel happy to be around you too.

Another blend that would be amazing for circulation is Ice Blue.  This essential Oil blend can be used on the lower back and creates a lovely warm feeling throughout the spine and muscular area supporting the spine.  For any more information about these blends, contact me in person or go to www.mydoterra.com/annieclark.

See you at our next event near you. x Annie Clark.