Thursday, April 02, 2009

Botox 'helps us be happy' by stopping the face from frowning

What extraordinary nonsense! For a start, how could they get statistical significance out of such a small sample? And the fact that Botox users might be different to start with seems to have been ignored

It is known for smoothing away the ravages of time. But Botox may also put a smile on your face. By stopping the face from frowning, Botox makes patients feel happier, a study suggests. Researchers believe our expressions affect our mood. So the wrinkling of the brow when annoyed reinforces our irritation. Botox paralyses the muscles we use to frown - leaving no option but to feel better.

Cardiff University psychologists looked at the effect of cosmetic treatments on the mood of 25 volunteers. Some had Botox to smooth their furrowed foreheads, others had laser surgery, cosmetic peels and other treatments designed to make them appear younger.

Both groups believed their treatment to be equally effective - but those given Botox were much happier. They were less anxious, irritable or depressed, the British Psychological Society's annual conference will hear today.

Researcher Michael Lewis said the mood differences between the groups was too great to be explained by the Botox patients being happier in general and was most likely to be a side-effect of Botox. Dr Lewis said: 'When you make an expression of happiness, it makes us feel happy. If we frown, it makes us feel sadder.' He said the research may help develop treatments for depressive illnesses.

Nigel Mercer, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said while Botox could possibly raise mood it would not be right to tell patients they would feel happier after treatment.


Ill-informed alcohol hysteria now being used by pocket dictators -- the characteristically ignorant "We know best" brigade

Mother-to-be is ordered out of a pub by staff concerned for health of her baby. Pregnant Caroline Williams was ordered out of her local pub after bar staff saw her sipping a friend's pint

A pregnant woman was refused a drink at a pub and then asked to leave by staff who said they were protecting her unborn child. Caroline Williams, 26, who is five months pregnant, says she felt humiliated by the treatment. She insists she is a responsible mother and would never endanger her baby.

The incident at the Cricketer pub in Hove, East Sussex, has reignited the debate on drinking during pregnancy. Advice from the Chief Medical Officer says that women trying to conceive or who are pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. Excess alcohol consumption can be the cause of a condition known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which causes mental retardation and birth defects. But other experts say an occasional glass of wine will not harm a child.

Mrs Williams, who lives in Hove with her computer engineer husband Ben, 34, was at the pub with friends last Saturday. She said: 'I was on a rare night out with some friends. I had a pint of lager and a friend offered to get me another half - that was going to be my limit. 'He was refused service because it was for me and when I later took a sip from another friend's glass the assistant manageress asked me and my friends to leave. 'I never felt so singled out and humiliated in my life.

'I don't think what I did was doing any harm. This is my second baby and I'm feeling much more relaxed about this pregnancy than I did with my first. But I'm still very careful. 'I understand what the pub was thinking about but they didn't approach me to discuss it - they were just rude and ordered us out. 'I've never been ordered out of anywhere before and I'm not one to cause a scene, so we just left. 'I know the management has the right to refuse service but the assistant manageress was using that right to impose her opinions about what pregnant women should and shouldn't be consuming.'

Pubs have the right to refuse to serve customers and do not need to give a reason for doing so. An assistant manageress, who did not give her name, confirmed she had asked Mrs Williams to leave. She described her as 'a heavily pregnant lady who was drinking alcohol'. Another staff member defended the decision, adding: 'The assistant manageress was only thinking of the welfare of the mother and child.'

But a spokesman for the Mitchells and Butler chain which owns the pub apologised and said an investigation had been launched. He said: 'We would like to apologise unreservedly to all of the guests involved for any offence that may have been caused. While the team member may have believed she was acting with her own good intentions, she did not handle the situation in an appropriate manner.'

Since May 2007, the Health Service has advised women to avoid alcohol completely. This is in line with the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France. But in October 2008, a large-scale study was published showing no link between having the occasional drink during pregnancy and behavioural problems in the child. And GPs often advise women that one or two drinks a week will not be a problem.

The National Organisation of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome said the action by the pub staff was heavy-handed. The group's founder Susan Fleisher said: 'We believe pregnant women need understanding and support to change their habits.'


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