Botox may smooth out more than just worry lines. That is according to the latest research. Botox, based on a toxin produced by bacteria, is injected into the forehead, thus temporarily weakening or paralysing the muscles that wrinkle the skin.
Botox of course already had a history as a treatment for medical conditions like excessive sweating before it became the commonplace cosmetic procedure we know it best as today.
Scientists believe emotions can be “reverse engineered” — if a patient is prevented from frowning, the theory goes, their brain may think there is nothing to worry about.
“The basic principle is that there is feedback from the body to the brain so the brain always knows what the body is doing,” said Marc Axel Wollmer, the psychiatrist in charge of the trials being held jointly at Basle University, Switzerland, and Hanover University, Germany.
“If we have an emotion like joy or grief we also have a facial expression that corresponds,” he said. “Studies indicate that if we deliberately produce a facial expression, there is a change in feeling.”
The theory is called “facial feedback hypothesis”. Another example is that someone who is forced to smile at a social event where the person is feeling uncomfortable may find he or she enjoys it more.
An initial experiment by another team used Botox on 10 depressed patients. After two months nine were no longer depressed and the 10th patient reported an improvement in mood.
“We are not interested in treating people unhappy with the cosmetic appearance of their lines,” said Wollmer. “They will feel happier after treatment because they like their looks better. That would be too simple.”
Well I don’t know doctor, maye it really is that simple. If you get rid of my crows feet and frown lines, I would certainly be happier. It sure sounds tempting, you get to look and feel better all with one prick of a needle. Tempting as it sounds though, I am still unconvinced that injecting poison into your body is the way to go. What do you think?
(source: Sunday Times 2/9/09)