“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”   — Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Philosopher

(Issued Fall/Winter 2017-18) — Studies show that the simple act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.

And now, a study at Nottingham University found people who were happy — smiling and in a good mood — when they went for their flu shot were better protected from getting ill. This is because a good mood boosts the immune system, helping it to react properly to the tiny dose of virus in a vaccination. Researchers found that “being in the right frame of mind on the day of an injection could cause the body to produce up to 14% more antibodies, thus increasing protection.”

Dr. Andrew Chase believes the study: He is in the ‘smile business.’  He says that ARCH Orthodontics, the practice founded by his father Dr. Robert Chavez 43 years ago, has improved the smiles and positive attitudes of over 25,000 patients. He says, “A great smile makes the person smiling more comfortable, and the positive feeling is reflected back from those they’re smiling at.”

A researcher writing in Psychology Today, said, “You’re actually better-looking when you smile: People treat you differently. You’re viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere. And a study published in the journal Neuropsychologia says “When you view a person smiling, you actually feel rewarded. Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain.” Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that help fight stress. Also, the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face. It relaxes your body and can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

Dr. Chase says, “Many pharmaceutical anti-depressants influence the levels of serotonin in your brain, but with a smile, you don’t have to worry about negative side effects – and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor.”

ARCH recently completed a comprehensive study and determined it is among the first practices in its service area between Boston and Hyannis to certify that all its materials and equipment are gluten-free.

To make an appointment at one of ARCH’s 9 offices, call (781) 209-6776. ARCH offers free initial consultation (a $500 value), and interest-free financing. Veterans and members of the military and their families receive a courtesy discount.

 –  By Stanley Hurwitz /   (508) 269-0570  /   stanhurwitz@gmail.com