Understand your shoulder

Understand your wrinkles

Blue spot in the brain

In the brain there is a blue spot called the locus coeruleus. It is a small pigmented region in the pons of the brainstem- a part of the brain just above the skull base at the back. The blue colouring is caused by the production of a pigment formed by chemical reactions involving the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. This is the principal site for brain synthesis of noradrenaline. This blue spot sends noradrenaline almost to all regions of the brain including mood control regions prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus. It is involved in physiological responses to stress and panic. Neurons in this blue spot are less active at calm situation and sleep, but their activities are increased in response to alert situation such as stress. In response to stress, the blue spot is activated and produces more noradrenaline to alter cognitive function and activate hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis to produce more stress hormones and increase sympathetic nerve activities. It also affects amygdala to induce most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders, such as anxiety. Aging is associated with a significant loss of neurons in the blue spot.

Distinct facial skin

The facial skin is slightly different from the body skin though it is a part of it. The skin cells on the face are generally smaller than those on the rest of the body. The skin on the face is thinner than that on the body. There is less fat on the facial skin and more hair follicles, sweat and oil glands. If hair follicles become plugged with oily secretions, acne starts. Water is lost from the face more quickly than from the body. when facial skin becomes dry, it can feel rough and tight, even reddened, scaly and itchy.

Unique facial expression muscles

Facial expression muscles (or mimetic muscles) are a group of muscles on the face which control facial expression. They are innervated by the facial nerve. They are different from other muscles. They attach to the bones at one end and attach to the skin at the other end. When they contract, the skin moves and is folded forming the wrinkles that we see on the skin surface. There are five groups of expression muscles. These muscles are responsible for facial wrinkles and facial tension.

The Sacroiliac Joints

The Sacroiliac Joints (SI joints) are located at the low back where the sacrum and ilium meet. The sacrum is the triangle-shaped bone near the bottom of the spine, just above the coccyx, or tailbone. The ilium, one of the three bones that make up the hip bones, is the uppermost point of the pelvis. The Sacroiliac Joints connect the spine to the hips. All the bones in the SI joints are connected by muscles and the joints are reinforced by strong ligaments. This network of soft tissues provides support and stability, limits movement at the joint, and assists with absorbing pressure. Small movements at the joint help with shock absorption when walking and lifting and forward/backward bending. The bones of the SI joints are jagged which help them stay in alignment. Spaces between the bones of the SI joints are filled with fluid providing lubrication. These spaces are also filled with free nerve endings, which send pain signals to the brain.

What is collagen?

Collagens are the most plentiful insoluble fibrous proteins and major building blocks in the body accounting for 1/3 of the protein composition. They can be found in bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They are also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas, and teeth. The collagens in the human body are strong and flexible. They give the skin strength and elasticity and help blood clot etc.

There are 4 main types of collagens out of 16.  

Collagens are known as structural proteins that holds the body together to provide strength and structure.

Type I consist of 90% of the body’s collagen and is densely packed fibers. It provides structure to skin, bones, tendons, fibrous cartilage, connective tissue, and teeth.

Type II is more loosely packed and found in elastic cartilage of joints.

Type III supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries.

Type IV helps with filtration and is found in the layers of the skin.

With aging, the body produces less and lower quality collagen.

For example, the skin becomes less firm and elastic. Wrinkles form, Joint cartilage also weakens with age.

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