Thermal sensations (especially warmth) actually have a unique ability to convey social emotion. This is because the areas of the brain that process thermal sensations are the same ones that process social emotion. In other words, we are all hardwired to experience a sense of social connection when we feel gentle warmth.
While the methodology of Embrace is novel, the theory behind it has been percolating for some time in the emerging research field of Social Thermoregulation, which suggests that there is a deep, primitive connection between human social interaction and temperature. According to Associate Professor of Psychology Hans IJzerman, expressions like “warm smile” or “cold shoulder” are more than just colorful language: they reflect the fact that humans experience social interactions with thermal undertones. In a study conducted by IJzerman, the results suggested that the use of warmth-based therapies could enhance relationships.
We believe that Embrace can be a helpful way for people to feel more connected to their loved ones, especially when times make it hard for us to be physically close. Embrace is a very new thing for the Wave, though, so we're excited to hear feedback from Wavers out in the real world! (Please feel free to click that contact link below to let us know what you think!)