A new study appearing in Sleep Science this month by Luis Marin and colleagues at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil shows that masturbation can help ease Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as the Jimmy Legs.
Seven to ten percent of Europeans and Americans suffer from the Jimmy Legs, which is a neurological disorder that creates an urge in the sufferer to move his or her legs, as well as general irritation and other unpleasant sensations in that area. It is also a side effect of some mood stabilizers used to treat bipolar disorder and psychosis.
The exact cause of the Jimmy Legs is unclear, but studies suggest that it has a connection with a dopamine imbalance in the brain, dopamine being a substance involved in the experience of pleasure.
Drugs have proven effective in treating the condition, but for one 41 year-old man in the study, it was masturbation that provided complete relief. Researchers speculate that the relief provided has to do with the intense amounts of dopamine released upon ejaculation, which studies have shown approaches the levels released when heroin is used. Unlike heroin and medication prescribed for RLS, masturbation has no side effects.
In addition to being a cure for the Jimmy Legs, a study conducted eight years ago in the British Journal of Urlogy International showed that masturbation decreases men’s chances of developing prostate cancer. The study speculated that one factor in developing this cancer could be a build up of chemicals in the prostate area, and working one out can flush away these substances and relieve another disorder colloquially known as blue balls.
The physiological health benefits of masturbation knows no bounds; another study in Medical Hypotheses speculated that it could relieve the symptoms of Hay Fever in men.
These studies call for similar research among the female population, as many commentators have pointed out.