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Endorphins - the Body's Natural Opiate and Pain KillerThink for a moment about the feelings you experienced after you ran, had a great workout, laughed excessively, or had great sex? Do you remember how you felt? Did you feel exhilarated? Those feeling that you probably experienced are caused by endorphins. The great thing is that the feelings you experience from endorphins can last for twelve hours. What are Endorphins? Endorphins are a class of neurotransmitters produced by the body and used internally as a pain killer. Endorphins are triggered by pain and exertion. Did you know that the human body produces at least 20 different types of endorphins?
Endorphins have many positive effects on the body and mind. When endorphins are released it lowers the blood pressure; high blood pressure is a major indicator for heart disease. Endorphins boost the immune system, slow down the aging process, and reduce pain, and anxiety. Endorphins have been shown to reduce symptoms associated with eating disorders. Endorphins also regulate the production of sex hormones. Scientists have discovered that beta-endorphins can trigger human NK (Natural Killer) cells and support the immune system against diseases and kill cancer cells.
There are many benefits to exercise; research has shown that prolonged exercise can increase the production of endorphins. This sense of euphoria has been called the “runners high.” When workout intensity is moderate to high and you are having difficulty breathing you will release endorphins. Workouts that are most likely to bring an endorphin release are weightlifting, biking, running, aerobics, football, soccer, or bicycling.
According to research, Capsaicin (the active chemical in chili peppers) also stimulates endorphin release. Topical capsaicin, which can be found in health food stores, has been used to treat some types of chronic pain. Clinical scientists also discovered that inserting acupuncture needles at specific body points also released endorphins.
Since endorphins are naturally produced by the body they are a natural, and legal way, to produce a high.
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