Daily Dose: 10/5/2012

Putting an End to PMS: Okay, so we can’t really help you with that. But researchers have found a way to reduce many of the symptoms of PMS, including pain, irritability, and mood swings: acupuncture. After studying over 3,000 women, researchers have concluded that acupuncture provides short-term relief for PMS. Acupoint stimulation increases blood flow, which helps to ward off painful cramps. It also provides a rush of endorphins, boosting your mood and replacing the irritability that many of us may experience. Most significantly, acupuncture has been found to naturally balance out hormones, eliminating mood swings and pain. Read more about the study and how acupuncture works, as well as its different forms, in this Women’s Health article.

Genetics and Body Image: Everyone is exposed to the same images of thin celebrities in the media, yet only a small percentage of the population goes on to develop body image problems or even eating disorders. Hoping to understand why this occurs, scientists performed a study on both identical and fraternal female twins to see if there could be a genetic contribution to body image. The twins, ranging in age from 12 to 22, answered questions about their body image and perceptions of beauty in the media. It turned out that identical twins were significantly more likely to answer these questions in the same way. These results indicate that there may be a genetic predisposition for some people to have a higher or lower body image. Obviously, this research cannot prove that there is a connection, or provide a specific gene that may be in play. Still, it’s an interesting thing to think about, and the researchers intend to learn more.