Why SEX ?

An Article in Times Of India

You would have never thought that a kiss could help keeping dental worries at bay or a gratifying sexual act at night make you feel fit and fresh the next morning. But that's what studies across the web claim.

Healthy sex leads to a healthy life. You may have tried copious measures to get that extra glowing skin and shiny hair. You must have also worked out rigorously to achieve that perfect ten figure you've desired. But the key to your mind and heart is fulfilling sex. Even for those who lose their temper or are always in a depressed state of mind, 'sex' can be the solution.

A happy sexual life with your partner not only gets you in shape with better skin texture and silken tresses, it also burns extra calories, keeps you fit, combats asthma, relieves headache, reduces depression and tranquilises your mind. From make-up experts, hair stylists, sexologists and fitness connoisseurs - there's a common consensus that a vigourous sexual life leads to a healthy life - both physically and emotionally. We get them to share more on this...

There have been several notions stating that 'sex' produces certain hormones that bring happiness, which lead to a fit body and a healthy mind. Shedding some light on this, Dr. Sanjay Chugh, specialist on sexual issues, states, "Sex contributes to general good health. Any sexual intimacy that is enjoyable and pleasurable promotes well being by providing several physical and psychological benefits. It is believed that sex boosts chemicals in the body that protects us against diseases. Research also suggests that sex and masturbation can help ease joint and muscle pain, combat depression, promote heart health and lengthen one's life span."

Dr. Samir Parikh, clinical physiatrist adds, "The basic fact is that a good sex life also means in a larger picture, a good relationship with one's partner and this makes the partner happier, less stressed and by virtue of that physically healthier."

Not just this, sex also accelerates blood circulation and one's basic metabolic rate, which further enhances the well-being of our mind and soul and helps us calm down.

On these emotional benefits, Dr Chugh adds, "A satisfying sexual relationship strengthens the bond between couples, making them feel secure and loved. The feeling of emotional connectedness adds to ones sense of belonging, which in totality helps them achieve a positive physical, psychological and spiritual state that is necessary for one's general health."

Elaborating further, on a scientific angle, Dr Avdesh Sharma, a consultant psychiatrist, and an expert on relationship issues shares, "Sex is a way of bonding at the physical, mental and emotional level and leads to health (including psychological) benefits. If it is used as a mechanical process, it may have limited benefits. There are physiological benefits of positive changes in parameters like pulse, heart rate, reduction in blood pressure (after an increase in B.P. specially if vigourous sex is tried), dilation of blood vessels and capillaries of the skin, leading to a 'glow', burning of a few calories (depending on the duration of the act and vigour), exercising of some of the muscles, thus improving lung capacity (during heavy breathing)."

However, we also need to understand that sexual acts work more in terms of improving resistance, but are not a safe guard or a treatment to illnesses. Any sexual act can neither be used as a treatment nor would it change your stresses of life, which one would need to resolve irrespective.

"The extra edge of sex may be due to the feeling of being wanted, an expression of emotions and certain hormonal and physiological changes that happen as an expression of love for another individual. Unfortunately, the benefits of sexuality are usually quoted out of context and people may look at this as a panacea for everything. But sexuality without emotions have limited value," concludes Dr Avdesh Sharma.

Have sex stay fit: Sex may seem like the safest sport you can take up. It de-stresses you, keeps you rejuvenated, elevates your moods and stretchs, tones and exercises your body muscles.

Expert opinion: Dr Ishi Khosla, clinical nutritionist, Director Whole Foods asserts, "Sexual acts certainly lead to a normal mental well-being and a healthy state of mind. This in turn creates a physically fit body. If there's an ill-health or manifestation of any problem, it would reflect on your outer body."

Dr Samir Parikh adds, "You would still need a balanced lifestyle, which means that if you compare two equals in terms of lifestyle age and other factors as a constant, then it's possible that a sexually active person feels better."

Sex burns extra calories: It is indeed a form of exercise and naturally burns one's calories too.

Expert Opinion: Dr Geetu Amarnani, wellness expert at Kolmet Hospital, opines, "While having sex, the BMP (basic metabolic rate) increases and that ultimately helps in burning the calories, so it's widely believed that one can shed that extra flab through sexual encounters."

Sex for glowing skin and hair: When women make love they produce the hormone oestrogen which makes their hair shine and their skin smooth.

Expert Opinion: Make-up expert Sylvie, also an expert on sexual issues asserts, "As sex helps releasing the extra level of frustration and stress on one's mind and body, so logically it leads to a glow on your face and your skin texture looks better too. Also, hormones in our body are activated at a faster rate than usual during sex, which helps in better blood circulation, adding that extra shine to one's skin and hair."

Sex brings relief from headaches, reduces depression and tranquilises your mind: A satisfying love-making session releases tension that restricts blood vessels in the brain. It brings you out of a depressed state of mind and acts as a tranquilliser.

Expert Opinion: Dr Sanjay Chugh, "The pleasure that is derived from a satisfying sexual act tends to relax one's mind, taking away headache. It releases endorphins into the bloodstream, producing a sense of euphoria and leaving you with a feeling of well-being. Good sex leaves the person feeling relaxed and satisfied thus acting like a tranquiliser."

A kiss to keep dental problems at bay: It is medically accepted that a kiss encourages saliva to wash food from the teeth and lowers the level of the acid that causes decay. It also prevents the build-up of plaque.

Expert Opinion: Dental expert, Dr. Vandana Jyoti opines, "Anything that increases salivation will help in bringing down the acid level, which causes damage to one's teeth. It also prevents cavity. Other than a kiss, chewing gum and more of lemon intake also tend to act in the same manner. But one has to be extra careful, as it might act the other way round, in terms of spreading germs, if either of the two persons involved in a kiss is suffering from a tooth infection.