Anybody who has spent much time in Christianity knows that masturbation is a sin. I always think of Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and how the good little, Irish-Catholic boys would get together and have pocket-pool parties. The guilt only slightly stunted the pleasure–theirs not mine.
On the flip side, are the doctors and psychiatrists and maybe even a few scientists who praise its benefits. Here is an article I found recently that interested me as a massage therapist and sufferer of RLS.
Masturbation calms restless leg syndrome
Too much of it will make you go blind – or so you might have been told. But for some, masturbation might have a real clinical benefit: it can ease restless leg syndrome (RLS). The insight could provide sweet relief for the 7 to 10 per cent of people in the US and Europe who suffer from the condition.
RLS is a distressing neurologic disorder characterised by an urge to move the legs. It is usually associated with unpleasant sensations in the lower limbs such as tingling, aching and itching.
The exact causes of RSL have yet to be pinpointed, but brain autopsies and imaging studies suggest one contributing factor is an imbalance of dopamine – a hormonal messenger that, among other things, activates the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure. It is suspected that dopamine imbalance is responsible for some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Drugs that increase dopamine have been shown to reduce symptoms of RLS when taken at bedtime and are considered the initial treatment of choice.
Although such drugs provided significant improvement of symptoms for a 41-year-old man with RLS, he found an even better treatment – complete relief after masturbation or sex.
Luis Marin and colleagues at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, who report on the novel treatment this month in Sleep Science, speculate that the release of orgasm-related dopamine might play a role in the alleviation of symptoms.
An orgasm provides one of the biggest natural blasts of dopamine available to us. When Gert Holstege at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and colleagues scanned the brains of ejaculating men, he said the resulting images resembled scans of heroin rushes.
This temporary increase in dopamine may act in a similar way to drugs that mimic the hormone, granting the man in question enough relief from his restless legs to allow him a full night’s sleep.
While the proverbial five-knuckle shuffle has already been shown to protect men against prostate cancer and ease hay fever, researchers have yet to discover any detrimental side effects to the visual system.