Endorphin, aka: endogenous morphine, is an endogenous opiate naturally produced in the body. They are recognized as anti-stress hormones that have some of the many following effects on the body:
- naturally relieve pain
- have both neurological & spinous effects
- digestive & hormonal effects
- are capable of enhancing the immune system (by activating natural killer cells)
- improving blood circulation
- ward off the effects of aging
Following an acupuncture treatment, experiments have shown that there are higher levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid. Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, from the University of Toronto, states that acupuncture stimulates peripheral nerves that send messages to the brain to release endorphins, which then block pain pathways in the brain.
Acupuncture and endorphins also work together in the treatment of substance abuse. While on morphine and heroin, cell activity is stimulated at cell receptors normally stimulated by endorphins. While detoxing from substances like these, the body must manufacture these endogenous opioids on its own again, hence the painful withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve this process by triggering the body to produce more endorphins and gently bringing it back to homeostasis.
This has a similar effect with infertility. Increased endorphin production affects the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone and lower stress hormones responsible for infertility.
So if you’re ever experiencing pain, could benefit from digestive or hormonal balance or improvement in any of the areas addressed above, I encourage you to give acupuncture a try or recommend it to a loved one. Let the feel good endorphins start flowing in!