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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Does This Include Dirty Dancing?--Getting Dirty Elevates Mood

Dr. Larry Dossey: "Is Dirt the New Prozac?"
"Cleanliness is almost as bad as godliness."

-- H. L. Mencken

Imagine: You're feeling so depressed that you visit your doctor and request a prescription for a mood elevator. Instead of writing you a prescription for Prozac or a similar antidepressant, she advises you to get dirty. While you consider changing doctors, she describes how getting dirty changes your brain chemistry. The microbes in dirt, she says, tweak the same neurons that are stimulated by Prozac. Your options, she explains, are an expensive drug plus its possible side effects, or gardening, yard work, or a romp in the park. Your doctor, it turns out, hasn't gone round the bend. She is actually up-to-date on the latest scientific findings about how the natural environment affects our brain function.
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