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Using Facial Muscles to Erase Depression

BY DR. ARNAN SISSON

JANUARY 6, 2019

Believe it or not, the brain is not very smart! Sounds crazy, but in many ways this is true. It tries to find ways to do its work more easily. This is often done through a process called Biofeedback, and simply put this is just when the brain looks at the environment to determine how to act and feel. So, this can have huge effects on us feeling happy or even being pretty depressed.

A recent study by the folks at UCLA has demonstrated that we can actually use Biofeedback to our advantage, and actually effect our mood is really positive ways. One great way they found to do this is through using a few key muscles of the face!

Typically, when we feel depressed, we have some sort of a frown produced, and when we’re happy a smile is produced. So, the brain ties these two things together. But through the study, it was found that it also works in reverse.

Just the simple act of smiling can produce happiness even if your feeling depressed. This is due to the strong connection created through the Biofeedback loop. The subjects in the study that smiled when depressed had large increases in happiness long term.

So, the take home point is fake it until you make it! If your feeling depressed, try your best to put on some sort of a smile. This can strongly affect mood in a positive way.

Also, if you’re out in the sun, we can use Biofeedback in another way. If we’re squinting our faces we’re mimicking a frown or strained look that accompanies stress. So, using your sunglasses can help avoid this facial position, and ultimately avoid drops in mood. This is some crazy stuff but is well documented science!

So, make sure to keep that smile and have your glasses in handy to really enjoy life. That’s it for today, remember knowledge is power.

P.S. Is that stress from those long car drives to work and endless housework finally catching up? If so, you may need something even more potent than Biofeedback to cut down stress levels and improve your health. It that’s you, we’ve got you covered!

Shoot us a call at (804) 493-0002 to get a free phone consultation with our team to learn what sort of therapeutic massages will produce the greatest drop’s in stress for your case. For those with just a tad bit of stress we have 30 minute Swedish massages. Those with lots of knots and HUGE amounts of stress, we have upwards of 90 minute Signature Hot Stone Massages. Either option is a once in a lifetime experience that will most definitely give out some much needed relaxation that’s hard to get in this day in age!

COVID-19 Update: We have been deemed an essential healthcare provider by government and local officials. So, we are keeping our doors open for clients. For information on specific changes we've made to our in clinic visits
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