Saturday, August 14, 2010

Botox decreases wrinkles AND emotional experiences?

I've notices a disturbing trend in my Fall magazines. As some of you may know from this post, I subscribe to about 11 monthly magazines, which means that when the fall fashion issues hit, I'm overloaded with reading material. I've been making my way though the stack fairly quickly, thanks to lots of travel and train rides, and whenever I read a number of magazines consecutively, I always begin to notice some overlap in the stories. The common thread this month? Botox and Restalyne injections. For real, and the magazines have been treating these injections as something common place, if not typical that people are doing to fight aging. It's almost like they are promoting these treatments, not as a drastic measure, but a way to perk up, look less tired, and have a subtle change in your looks. I've always been a little freaked out by the idea of Botox, mostly whole the injecting poison into your face to cause controlled paralysis part of it. But, there's never really been any proof besides comedic spoofs that it may be bad for you. In fact, it's promoted as safe by this fall's magazines.

Now there is some proof. Studies have shown that when people who have used Botox in facial muscles watched an emotional movie, they had a decreased emotional response when compared to people watching the same movie who had no Botox, or who had Restalyne fillers. Simply put, the Botox users did not feel as much. Scientists think that this is because the brain reacts to signals from facial muscles. In the same way as when you smile when you are sad, it makes you slightly less unhappy, when you can't smile or cry with certain muscles, the feelings you experience are decreased. Now Botox doesn't just make you look creepily emotionless, it makes you feel that way too. I think I'll skip being wrinkle free, if it means I don't have to turn into a robot.

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