Potential Health Benefits of Masturbation Wednesday, June 22, 2016 11:00 AM We've come a long way from the old wives tale that masturbation makes you blind, causes acne or gives you hairy palms. Fortunately this is one fun activity that has no harmful side effects. According to Michael Ashworth, Ph.D. of Psych Central, we can conclude that "masturbating is one of the few pleasurable things in life that we can do almost anytime and anywhere, as often as we want, without gaining weight, getting lung cancer, being arrested or causing ourselves to become ill." Now that we've debunked the myths of self-pleasure what are some of the potential benefits? 1. ENJOY A NATURAL HIGH. Not only does it feel good, it may help reduce stress. "Masturbating increases blood flow throughout your body and releases feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins" says Nicole Prause, Ph.D. on WebMD. "In short, a masturbation-induced orgasm creates feelings of euphoria; it's a safe, free, and natural high." Reports Gloria Brame, Ph.D. in Psychology Today "an orgasm is the biggest non-drug blast of dopamine available." 2. SLEEP LIKE A BABY. Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to fall asleep even though you're exhausted? Masturbation may help you rest. In a survey of "over 2000 women from their teens through their nineties: many reported masturbating to relax, to get to sleep." 3. MAY HELP MENSTRUAL CRAMPS. While you may not be feeling very sexy when you're doubled over from cramps, there's evidence showing that you may want to try to get yourself in the mood. "Masturbating may provide pain relief. Reports indicate that masturbation may help relieve menstrual cramps." 4. SKIP THE GYM, EXERCISE AT HOME. Most women know the benefits of Kegel exercises, but according to WebMD masturbation can be also be a way to get a workout below the belt. "Masturbation can help strengthen muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas, which can reduce the chances of incontinence and uterine prolapse." 5. PROTECT THE PROSTATE. Two independent studies presented reached similar conclusions about the connection between frequent ejaculation and prostate cancer. In a Harvard's Health Professionals study, "scientists found that men who ejaculated 21 or more times a month enjoyed a 33% lower risk of prostate cancer compared with men who reported four to seven ejaculations a month throughout their lifetimes." 6. PRACTICE SAFER SEX. You can't catch a STD or get pregnant from masturbation. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, "It can be a route to safer sex, to help prevent pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV." More than 50% of women reported "masturbating during the previous 90 days" in a study by the Kinsey Institute. So why aren't YOU masturbating more? Do you feel it's taboo? There's no shame in experiencing intense, empowering pleasure. Not enough private time? Drop the excuses, make time to seduce yourself and indulge in the pleasure you deserve.