Endorphins are natural chemicals in the brain that have pain-relieving properties similar to morphine. Besides behaving as a pain regulator, endorphins are also thought to be connected to physiological processes including euphoria, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones.
Endorphin research suggests that there is a link between emotions and a healthy immune system. So pleasant memories, exercise, sexual activity, laughter, and even pursuing dangerous activity are all ways we can increase our levels of endorphins and benefit from our own natural chemicals.
“The power of touch helps stimulate and regulate our natural chemicals, the ones that are tailored to act at precisely the right times in exactly the appropriate dosages to maximize our feelings of health and wellbeing.” C. Pert, Neuroscientist, who discovered the binding site for endorphins in the brain.
During massage, large amounts of endorphins are released into the bloodstream explaining the slightly groggy effect, lightheaded, sense of well-being. The endorphins produced can be so powerful that they can actually mask pain. Physically active people generate more endorphins too, and often that results in quicker recovery from things like a mild depression.
Recent studies also suggest that endorphins enhance the immune system, relieve pain, reduce stress, and retard the aging process.
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