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Re: Endorphin release

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Dear Tony, Our bodies are chemical maunfacturing factories. One of the most benefical products we make are endorphines. They reverse the harmful results of
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31, 2002
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      Dear Tony,
      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
      the
      munchies, or stealing Grandma's television to sell just to get
      another
      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".

      http://www.alternativemedicinedebates.com/article1037.html
      "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
      http://www.mbmi.org/default.asp
      is basically built around it, and is about the proven scientific
      finding that endorphins are released 100% of the time by 100% of
      those
      who meditate following a few common techniques. There are lots of
      ways
      to release endorphines, but meditation is the best, and as i said
      before....no munchies!

      "Tony" <tosime@l...> wrote:
      > Thank you for the informative post.
      >
      > Could you go further on the endorphin release. I have experienced
      very
      > pleasant feelings during meditation, often about 10 - 15 minutes
      after I
      > start. I have been curious as to why I sometimes have them while at
      other
      > times I do not. Does anyone know why our bodies release endorphins
      during
      > meditation? Are there levels or stages of release? Can we influence
      the
      > level and duration of release? What are the health implications?
      Could
      > endorphins prove to be a distraction from going deeper into
      meditation? Will
      > one get used to the release such that it will no longer have the
      same
      > impact?
      >
      > Could you point me to studies on the internet that review endorphin
      release.
      >
      > Thanks...Tony
      >
      > Snip...
      > > Sleep is an unconscious state. Meditation is a conscious
      experience.
      > > When we concentrate and achieve a meditative state, an EKG would
      show
      > > 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
      time
      > > 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
      to
      > > 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
      wake
      > > 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
      release
      > > when we meditate, and that can be so relaxing that it is easy to
      feel
      > > so comfortable we doze off. This too will become easier to deal
      with
      > > as you continue your practice. I think it's great that you were
      able
      > > to stay focused for 30 minutes. As was said in My Fair Lady, "I
      think
      > > she's got it!"
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