Our bodies are chemical maunfacturing factories. One of the most
benefical products we make are endorphines. They reverse the harmful
results of stress. Some of tremendously damaging things that stress
causes are: an increase in blood presure and heart rate, increased
respiratory effort, decreased blood flow to the brain, shutting down
of the digestive and immune systems, and feelings of anxiety, fear,
and helplessness. If we drink alcohol, or smoke a joint, or snort
cocaine, they don't get us "high". The endorphins they release do.
Unlike these things, which have tremendously negative side effects,
meditation prompted release of endorphins have no negative side
effects. You don't find meditators driving dangerously, or getting
munchies, or stealing Grandma's television to sell just to get
thrill. There are many research studies that point to meditation as
being a great releaser of endorphines. Here's a link to one, and part
of what's there, that says a bunch of stuff that translates into
understandable english as "meditation = endorphin release".
"Functional Brain Mapping of the Relaxation Response and Meditation"
Lazar S., Bush G., Gollub R.,Fricchione G., Khalsa G., Benson H.,
Neuroreport,Vol. 11:1581-1585, May 15, 2000.
"Meditation is a conscious mental process that induces a set of
integrated physiologic changes termed the relaxation response.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)was used to identify and
characterize the brain regions that are active during a simple form
of meditation. Significant(p<10 -7) signal increases were observed in
the group-averaged data in the dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal
cortices, hippocampus/parahippocampus, temporal lobe, pregenual
anterior cingulate cortex, striatum, and pre- and post-central gyri
during meditation. Global fMRI signal decreases were also noted,
although these were probably secondary to cardiorespiratory changes
that often accompany meditation. The results indicate that the
practice of meditation activates neural structures involved in
attention and control of the autonomic nervous system."
The "relaxation response" that is referred to is an endorphine
release. It is the antidote to the adrenaline release found in "fight
or flight". The Relaxation response has been popularized by Dr.
Herbert Benson MD. Harvard School of Medicine. His site
is basically built around it, and is about the proven scientific
finding that endorphins are released 100% of the time by 100% of
who meditate following a few common techniques. There are lots of
to release endorphines, but meditation is the best, and as i said
"Tony" <tosime@l...> wrote:
> Thank you for the informative post.
> Could you go further on the endorphin release. I have experienced
> pleasant feelings during meditation, often about 10 - 15 minutes
> start. I have been curious as to why I sometimes have them while at
> times I do not. Does anyone know why our bodies release endorphins
> meditation? Are there levels or stages of release? Can we influence
> level and duration of release? What are the health implications?
> endorphins prove to be a distraction from going deeper into
> one get used to the release such that it will no longer have the
> Could you point me to studies on the internet that review endorphin
> > Sleep is an unconscious state. Meditation is a conscious
> > When we concentrate and achieve a meditative state, an EKG would
> > brain waves between 8 and 13 MHz (Alpha). When we are in a deep
> > sleep, we are at 1 to 4 MHz (Delta). The "zone" between, 4-8 MHz
> > (Theta) is a very creative, intuitive time that we reach every
> > we are just waking up or falling asleep. When we go deeply into a
> > meditative state, we can quickly go right past it and go directly
> > deep sleep. With practice, it becomes easier to maintain conscious
> > connection with your inner Witness, and just watch your meditation
> > flow by. It is said that when we are in deep sleep, our Witness
> > rejoins the infinite, eternal Divine Consciousness, and when we
> > up, we go back through the various levels and return to our usual
> > state that registers between 14 and 25 MHz (Beta). Another factor
> > that comes into play is that there is a tremendous endorphin
> > when we meditate, and that can be so relaxing that it is easy to
> > so comfortable we doze off. This too will become easier to deal
> > as you continue your practice. I think it's great that you were
> > to stay focused for 30 minutes. As was said in My Fair Lady, "I
> > she's got it!"