How we feel affects how we look; if we’re happy we smile, and when we’re sad we might frown or cry. But what if the roles were reversed? What if frowning was what makes us sad, and smiling made us happy? As it turns out, there may be more truth than fiction to this notion. For years in Western medicine, we’ve been focused on a duality of mind and body; you need mental therapies to deal with mental health problems, and physical therapies to deal with their physical counterparts.
More and more, however, we’re learning that a holistic approach to physical and mental health can be much more effective. Somatic therapy is proving to be effective because deep breathing and physical relaxation affect the signals our bodies are giving our brains. Think of it from a primitive perspective; if you’re relaxing and breathing deeply, it’s unlikely that there’s a tiger nearby, so the body has told the brain that it’s okay to relax. That means we can use our bodies to relieve anxiety, stress, and maybe even depression, simply by controlling our bodies to relax our minds. This bears out in other practices; we know that regular exercise and a good diet alleviate the symptoms of depression, so why not smiling?
That’s what the team of Norman Rosenthal, a professor of psychiatry, and Eric Finzi, a cosmetic dermatologist, teamed up to figure out. They had 74 patients with major depression; some were given saline injections, while others were given Botox; both were injected in the forehead muscles. The purpose of the Botox was to paralyze the facial muscles needed to frown. After 6 weeks, an incredible 52% of the people who were injected with Botox found some relief from their depressive symptoms, versus 15% of the control group; it seems Botox alleviated their depression.
The links between cosmetic procedures and mental health are quite confounding. Sometimes, an individual might be obsessed with their looks because of an underlying mental health problem; in these circumstances, it’s probably best to resolve the cognitive dissonance before having a cosmetic procedure. When a mental health problem is causing a need for cosmetics, one might never be enough, and it’s quite possible to go overboard. Conversely, we know there is a link between how we look and how we feel, and that the link runs in both directions; it’s quite possible that as we continue to study this link, we’ll find that certain cosmetic procedures can actually alleviate the stressors that are causing mental anguish.
So, can Botox alleviate depression? While the study said yes, more studies are needed before any conclusions can be drawn. What we can say is that there is a link between smiling and feeling happy, and frowning and feeling bad; we can also say that how we display our emotions has an effect on how we feel, just as how we feel has an effect on how we display. For those who want Botox as a safe, effective cosmetic treatment, there is Beverly Hills botox treatment that you can trust.