Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Letting the Brain take the Strain

Last week, in my regular bulletin to my loyal and admiring staff, I wrote about the extraordinary uplifting effect of endorphins. It is a phenomenum of which I have personal experience from my regular strenuous cycling exploits. The threshold of pain is a thing of the past to me. I have exceeded my own abilities and conquered the after effects. I would like to share some of my discoveries with you all and now reproduce a simple explanation of the chemical forces at work:

"Endorphins are natural pain killing substances found in the human brain. The name comes from endogenous (meaning within) and morphine (morphine being a pain killer). Endorphins are one of the neurotransmitters in the brain. Levels of endorphins in the brain may be changed by taking a number of drugs including alcohol, anabolic steroids and heroin and other opiates. Electro-acupuncture and binaural sound have been used to stimulate the production of endorphins. Time and again you've experienced the intense effects that food can have on your moods. Cakes, cookies, and fudge are known as pleasure foods not only because they delight your taste buds but because they can make you feel calm and happy - at least temporarily. This sugar induced sense of euphoria comes from several chemical mechanisms in your brain. First of all, the sheer pleasure of tasting a chocolate treat or powdery donut stimulates your brain's pleasure pathways and the release of dopamine and endorphins, the chemicals that makes you feel exhilarated. You also get a quick surge of energy as the sugar hits your bloodstream. In one study thirty patients had binaural sessions at a particular frequency and experienced relaxation states of 80-100% after five minutes as well as improved pain relief. Eight patients had blood tests before and after the sessions and showed improved beta-endorphin levels of 10-50%. A specific binaural frequency in the high beta range has been identified as the most potent stimulator of Endorphins."

One after-thought. Endorphins can have strange effects in other more personal areas of life. It is not something I would like to discuss in this forum but this link may be instructive.

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