Christine O'Donnell may not like this news...  (Source: Getty Images)
Australian researchers "discover" that masturbation is a miracle drug of sorts

Many want to live a healthier life, but it's not always easy.  In fact it can be quite hard.  After a long day on the job, it's not easy to exercise those stiff muscles.  Vitamins are easy to forget -- and studies have shown they might prove impotent.  And sucking down healthy foods like acai berries and whole wheat sounds great, but many just don't like the taste.

But researchers at the University of Sydney's public health department would like to extend another way to improve your health -- masturbate.  

Spring Chenoa Cooper and Anthony Santella share this good news in a new article in their university's news service, The Conversation.  Their findings come from years of experience both probing the topic in their labs and steadily combing the annals of research.  While many groups, including evangelicals in America, consider masturbation "sinful", scientific professionals say it's their loss.

Spring Cooper and Anthony Santella
Professors Spring Cooper (left) and Anthony Santella (right) suggest masturbation as a means of disease prevention. [Image Source: The Conversation]

According to the duo, as more people masturbate more regularly in today's sexually liberated society, that might be part of why lifespans are increasing.  They cite a 2010 Indiana Univ. study, which found that 94 percent of men and 85 percent of women admit to masturbating -- though the true numbers might be higher.  The researchers suggest even babies masturbate in the womb, citing prior research.

Not looking to beat around the bush, they write:

Societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act.  Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.  They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility. 

In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits.

Masturbating woman
For females masturbation produces a number of specialized health benefits.
[Image Source: Eileen McFall]

The pair summarizes years of sweat and vigorous research worldwide which has helped scientists discover physiological explanations of why masturbation is so beneficial.  They write that the health benefits may be particularly potent for females, explaining:

For women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of "tenting," or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process.  Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out.

[Masturbation can lead to a] lower the risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm.

For men they point out that past studies have shown masturbation helps release toxins from the prostate gland.  These toxins can cause cancer if they build up over time.  So in effect sex and masturbation can help "fight" some, if not all prostate cancer.

They write that masturbation arouses the cortex of the adrenal gland, a tissue located on top of the human kidneys, to produce a slight spike in cortisol, boosting immunity.  Masturbation -- like sex -- also releases endorphins, particularly when an orgasm is achieved.  These brain chemicals, whose actions resemble those of opiate-containing drugs, decrease depression, boosting feelings of satisfaction and well-being.


The informal review of the topic reaches its climax concluding that thanks to work of hundreds worldwide of researchers worldwide conducting studies alone or together in groups, a scientifically sound analysis is being realized at last regarding the health affects of masturbation.  They summarized that a wealth of studies have shown that masturbation -- be it solo or with a partner -- was "the most convenient method for maximising orgasms".  They conclude that masturbation leads to "reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and reduced pain."

They state that while masturbation with a partner can produce many benefits, solitary masturbation carries its own perks as it reduces "performance anxiety".  The summary illustrates that in some regards, the internet -- which serves as the world's largest, most accessible collection of pornography -- may be one of the best disease-fighting tools mankind has at its disposal.

Source: The Conversation

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