We can finally throw mud on all those myths about personal hygiene that preoccupy our minds every waking hour. Offering us a clean break from our sanitised way of life is Chris Lowry, a neuroscientist at Bristol University. His research has thrown up a dirt cheap way to stay healthy and, as a bonus, happy. Roll in the mud, he suggests, and you hit pay-dirt. According to his findings, the bacteria teeming in dirt and soil — the raison d’etre for a booming industry of soaps, shampoos, bathtubs, scrubs and other cleanliness-related products — can actually boost our immune systems and stimulate our ‘happiness hormone’, serotonin.
Just imagine, if our superior intelligence hadn’t gotten in the way, we homo sapiens could even now have been joining the buffaloes and elephants for a hearty wallow in the mud. We would have been saved the misery of listening to scrubbed and painted beauty queens promising to bring us world peace. For, even if we did have enough time left over from our therapeutic mud baths to indulge in ‘dirty’ politics, mudslinging would never have got the negative connotation that it does in the first place.
In this squelchy, grimy and dirty ideal world of ours, living a long and healthy life filled with happiness is as easy as biting on filthy fingernails. Ready to throw in the towel and get some new healthy habits?