Can Botox really lead to bliss? Science is saying so
You know that Botox lifts unwanted facial lines. But its benefits may extend past the medical ones that make it such a popular option for wrinkles and chronic pain. Studies are showing that the use of Botox in participants’ facial muscles actually leads to them feeling happier and less anxious, and not just because their skin is smoother. What’s the link between Botox and your mood? Scientists have a few ideas.
Why Botox May Boost Happiness
In order to understand why Botox leads to positive changes in mood, we have to consider the way the medication works. When injected at a target muscle, it prevents the corresponding nerves from causing muscle contractions. The junction where the nerves communicate is blocked, and the muscles remain at rest.
This remarkable capability has made Botox a household name, as both an aesthetic treatment and a therapeutic one. Repetitive muscle movements that cause pain or facial lines are tamed, leaving behind smooth skin and relief from discomfort. But this relaxation of facial muscles may also be tied to our emotions. Charles Darwin was the first to propose a link between facial movements and emotions – not that emotions lead to expressions, but that expressions may actually impact the way we feel. Now that we have Botox at our fingertips, along with brain activity imaging tools, we can measure whether that’s actually the case.
A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that Botox injections at muscles responsible for frowning actually alleviated depression. Another study found that recipients of Botox were happier and less anxious than the control group, without also feeling more attractive (so their mood changes weren’t impacted by smoother skin). And yet another saw that there was less brain activity in areas associated with emotional processing after receiving Botox in the same muscles.
Whether you’re interested in Botox for its cosmetic effects or for pain relief, there may be an added benefit – improved quality of life. If you’d like to try treatment for yourself, just get in touch to schedule a consultation.