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Are you too sensitive to lifes pain?

If your endorphin levels are low, youre one of many people who were born low in the joy department or have run low after expending too many of your endorphins coping with too much of lifes pain. Some people have learned to hide this well by having a protective veneer of toughness or joviality. Others avoid emotional intimacy or confrontation and comfort themselves with chocolate or other foods, alcohol, painkilling drugs or other compulsive behaviors (shopping, sex, etc.) is also released which allows us to conquer and withstand adversity. What happens when you dont have enough endorphins? For most people, thinking about something they love and tuning in to how they feel can stimulate enjoyment, contentment, and euphoria. A massage, certain pleasant fragrances, or soaking up some sunshine, can also do it. However, if you dont have enough endorphins to boost in the first place, you will find it hard to locate enough natural enjoyment or comfort in your life and even major treats will give you only brief or dim pleasure. How did You become Endorphin Deficient?

Genetics: Some people are born with low levels of endorphins which makes them more vulnerable to emotional injury. Did people call you a crybaby or say your were just too darned sensitive even as a child or teenager? Then you may have been deficient from the get go. Too Much Stress: Every time you get upset, injured, sick, scared, or even excited, you wear down your endorphin levels. Whether your in labor and pushing past the strain or pushing to finish your workout or long distance run, youre subtracting from your painkilling resources. Too Much Pain: Emotional and physical pain, as well as abuse and neglect can zap your endorphin supply. Even keeping up the denial or avoidance of the painful memories expends a constant amount of endorphins until people resort to sugar, alcohol or drugs to help them deal with the trauma. Gender: Adult men have higher endorphin levels than woman unless the woman is doing regular vigorous exercise. Endorphin levels should peak for women during ovulation but if you have PMS, your levels likely dont rise and are probably low throughout your cycle. Estrogen rules the release of endorphins (and serotonin) so levels are usually low for women in menopause. Not enough Exercise: If you have a stagnant lifestyle, your levels are likely lower. Moderate exercise can help stimulate endorphin production.

Endorphin Boosting Strategies

1. Eat at least 20grams (4-6oz) of high protein foods (fish, eggs, cottage cheese, chicken) three times a day; 2. Eat enough vitamin and mineral rich vegetables and take a whole food supplement like Juice Plus or NanoGreens; 3. Reduce sugar, flour, coffee, and dairy consumption as these foods often become addictive as they rigger the production of false endorphins called exorphins; 4. Amino Acid Therapy using supplements see below; 5. Get enough exercise, sunlight (with UV protection), music, romance, and nature. Note: If youve exercised long enough to get an endorphin high than youve gone too long because this high doesnt kick in until after youve hit the wall of exertion;

6. Avoid compulsive behaviors like over-exercising, shopping, sex, over-eating, gambling or drug and alcohol use because although you feel the rush initially, it quickly wears off and you will need to up the anty to feel the benefits, which can have catastrophic consequences otherwise; 7. Try guided imagery, Neurotherapy, or positive healing experiences along with aroma therapy, massage, or acupuncture to help release endorphins; 8. Consider supplements like B vitamins, tryptophan, the twin formula of DLPA which is the D and L form of phenylalanine, also found in The Comfort Zone from www.moodcure.com. If you tend to be hyperenergetic, get headaches, or have trouble shutting off at night, you might try just D-phenylalanine. These aminos help reduce the pain of arthritis, migraines, and cancer. Vitamin D plus calcium can stop the pain of osteoporosis, PMS and bone cancer. Vitamin C boosts endorphins and helps eliminate painful withdrawal from opiates. Omega-3 fats, along with vitamins D & E and zinc, block inflammatory pain directly and promote endorphin production. Information on these supplements can be found at www.brainplace.com or www.moodcure.com. It is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements, especially if you are taking any other prescribed medications.

9. WHAT ARE ENDORPHINS ? 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 Endorphins belong to a class of biochemicals commonly referred to as neurohormones that act by modifying the way in which nerve cells respond to transmitters. The discovery of this class of biochemicals has an unusual and interesting history. In the 1960s, biomedical researchers studying the causes and effects of opium addiction had detected what they suspected were "opiate receptors" in brain tissue. Since it seemed quite unlikely that humans (or other vertebrates) would contain a specific receptor designed for a chemical derived from the poppy plant, the researchers focused their attention on biochemicals that might be synthesized in the brain itself. Early in the 1970s, several small peptides were isolated that appeared to possess natural analgesic properties, and these were collectively termed enkephalins and endorphins. The modification of neural transmissions by these biochemicals now appears to be responsible for the insensitivity to pain that is experienced by individuals under conditions of great stress or shock. The effectiveness of analgesic opiate derivatives such as opium, morphine, and heroin is an accidental side effect that derives from the ability of these substances to bind to neurohormone receptors despite their very different structure.


Endorphins control emotions as well. The psychological model is "Glad, sad, and mad", with fear as a sidebar. The average person is typically in glad mode. If duress downshifts them to sad or mad, endorphins are released for re-elevating them to glad. If fear strikes, endorphins similarly allow coping by providing a feeling of calm euphoria. Such a nice feeling, perhaps too nice of one. Your brain (the primal portion) maintains a certain quota of endorphins to ensure survival under duress. .

11. 12. Endorphins are most heavily released in the human body during stressful events or in moments of great pain. The rush of endorphins into the system at such times is often felt as a queasy or nervous feeling in the stomach. However, the amount of endorphins released by individuals varies so that an occurrence that stimulates significant neurohormone secretion in some people will not necessarily do so in others. In addition to stress and pain, endorphin secretion may be triggered by the consumption of certain foods, such as chocolate and chili peppers. Indeed, the characteristic increase in bodily endorphin levels caused by chocolate is believed to play a significant role in its often being turned to as a comfort food in times of stress. Moreover, due to the endorphin release associated with chili peppers, they have been utilized in various kinds of medical treatments, especially as part of therapy for chronic pain, and are sometimes considered an aphrodisiac. Certain kinds of physical activity have been associated with endorphin secretion in recent years as well. Undergoing massage therapy or acupuncture, for example, is believed to stimulate endorphin release, and the natural painkillers may be responsible for the euphoric feelings known as "runner's high" and "adrenaline rush." 13. Other actions of endorphins include: 14. Stimulation of the immune system by the activation of natural killer cells Postponement of aging 15. C.E.S. EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO DRUGS Endorphins are the body's natural pain medication hormones. Endorphins (en-dorfins), when they're released, make us feel better, improve our mood, increase pleasure, and minimize pain. 16. 17. MUSIC 18. Biologists have discovered that the emotional richness of music can give people a sense of euphoria, or 'a high'. "The healing chemicals created by the joy and emotional richness in music (movie soundtracks, religious music, marching bands, and drumming ensembles) enable the body to create its own anesthetic and enhance the immune function." (ME p. 71) One music study found that half of the expectant mothers who listened to music during childbirth did not require anesthesia. It is believed that the music stimulated endorphin levels and provided a distraction from pain and anxiety . (ME p 71) 19. Hospitals and clinics around the world use music therapy, and not only on their patients! Here are some examples: (from ME p. 132-133) 20. Television: Opiate of the Masses

21. In a 1995 study it was found that surgeons who listened to the music of their choice while operating, were found to have lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate and could perform mental tasks more quickly and accurately. A profesor of music and psychiatry, Dr. Paul Robertson of Kingston Univ. in Ontario, Canada, shares studies that show that patients who are exposed to 15 minutes of soothing music require only half the recommended doses of sedatives and anesthetic drugs for painful operations. Harp music has been prescribed instead of tranquilizers and painkillers for cancer patients at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The use of chants, tones, and music have been used to aid a variety of clients and Alzheimer patients at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. This Medical center sponsors an Arts in Medicine program which coordinates with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences. Deaf and hearing-impaired children are "learning to hear" at a Multisensory Sound Lab developed at the University of Oklahoma Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders. A floor containing an audio system amplifies sound and as children sit on it, it transforms into vibrations that can be felt through their bodies.There are also light shows, and other displays that are sensitive to the music, making this an intense experience that has often helped these children with the development of speech, control of their voice, and an ability to hear. 22. CES 23. Cranial electrical stimulation, and stimulation at selected points of the peripheral nervous system, have been shown to modulate brain neurochemicals, such as endorphins, serotonin, ACTH, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Some of these neurochemicals act as natural morphine-like agents to inhibit pain, while others raise the pain threshold in a natural manner. Studies have shown that serotonin, betaendorphins and ACTH levels have continued to change up to four hours following treatment. However, the positive effect of the neurochemical changes on patient pain level has been reported to last up to 48 hours after treatment. 24. A recent neurochemical study indicates that beta-endorphin, serotonin and melatonin increase in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid after a 20-minute cranial stimulation treatment. (J Neurol OrthopMed Surg (1998) 18:94-97) 25. C.E.S. EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO DRUGS Endorphins are the body's natural pain medication hormones. Endorphins (en-dorfins), when they're released, make us feel better, improve our mood, increase pleasure, and minimize pain. 26. 4 hz releases endorphins, 50 - 200 hz releases seratonin 27. 28. Please 29. Low endorphin levels make us crave fat 30. Nan Allison in her excellent book Full & Fulfilled describes the relationship between endorphins, food, and exercise. By permission, Nan Allison, M.S., RD writes: 31. High concentrations of endorphins in the brain produce a sense of euphoria, enhance pleasure, and suppress pain, both emotionally and physically. When endorphins are low, people feel anxious; they are also more aware of pain. They have an appetite for fat and fatty foods, such as fries, cheese, creamy sauces, margarine, butter, fried chicken, potato chips, and chocolate, to name some of the most popular examples. Upon eating some fat, they will notice a change in mood, feeling more pleasure. This feeling is related to a higher concentration of endorphin. Exercise, by releasing fat from within the body, raises endorphins and causes the same mood changes.

Mild Drugs, such as the Caffeine in Coffee, Cola, and Tea, can produce withdrawal symptoms. People who drink as little as TWO cups of Coffee or Three Colas per day experience Withdrawal if they suddenly give up the Habit. The symptoms range from mild headache to those resembling the flu

32. When we have cravings for potato chips and chocolate, it may mean that we need an endorphin pill rather than all the empty calories from chips. 33.

Its a hit, screams the advertisement for Coca-Cola. I can see clearly now, the rain has gone, goes the song for a Nescaf commercial. Happiness is a small cigar, intones the Hamlet voice-over. The craving associated with thirst and hunger pangs is considered normal, and is well understood by the fast-food industry.

34. 35. Smoking For many people it is love at first puff. Cigarettes contain 4,000+ deadly toxins including nicotine. A nicotine "high" reaches the brain within seven seconds. Nicotine, when first ingested, causes a person to feel awake and alert, shortly after that person feels calm and relaxed. This is due to an elevation in endorphins, which are the body's natural pain reduction and pleasure chemicals that are produced in the brain. After time, more and more nicotine is needed to achieve the same pleasurable feeling, leaving the smoker addicted. The usage of this narcotic creates a roller coaster effect in your system that is very hard to break free from. 36. Once you are a habitual smoker, your mind and body develop a physical dependence for nicotine. Smoking excites your body's pleasure chemicals, endorphins, and puts them into high gear. This makes you feel very good - until your body summons you to replenish the depletion of nicotine in your system. So you smoke again, and again, and again. It is a vicious cycle that never stops until you quit smoking for good. 37. NOW YOU CAN MIMICK THE EFFECT OF NICOTINE AND QUIT

Low dopamine make us feel foggy Mentally "foggy" at times? This just may be caused by low dopamine levels. When we don't get adequate protein, dopamine levels drop and this makes us mentally sluggish. The best way to raise dopamine levels, get plenty of lean protein in you diet, with moderate fat and carbs, advises Nan Allison. 38. C.E.S. EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO DRUGS Endorphins are the body's natural pain medication hormones. Endorphins (en-dorfins), when they're released, make us feel better, improve our mood, increase pleasure, and minimize pain. 39. My

doctor prescribed narcotics after my accident and now I can't get off them.

40. So why do you feel so rotten when you try to stop? Narcotics work because they affect the cells more than your own endorphins do; in response, your body adapts and tries to return things to normal by reducing the cells' sensitivity to both the painkilling drugs and the natural endorphins. That's how what is called tolerance to a particular drug develops. 41. The feeling you get when you stop is called withdrawal, and it may be responsible for most of your woes. Your digestive tract offers a good example of this process. Opiates slow the movement of material through the intestine, so it's likely you suffered from constipation at first. Since you have been taking a painkiller for quite a while, your body has probably adapted to this retarding effect by speeding things up, leading to relatively normal bowel function even while you're taking the drug..

42. 43. When you stop ingesting the drug, this speeding-up effect remains, but is no longer balanced by the slowing influence of the drug. The result: stomach cramps and diarrhea. The other sensations you experience when you stop -- chills, achiness, flulike symptoms and increased sensitivity to pain -- arise because many parts of your body have reduced their sensitivity to your own endorphins. When you feel compelled to keep taking the drug to avoid the unpleasant effects of withdrawal, you are experiencing a physical dependence -- which can happen even when you take the drugs as prescribed by a doctor.Induce euphoria and stop your gut churning, it may well be that addiction to opiates is just a lack of natural endorphins, NOW you can produce natural endorphines 44. 45. C.E.S. EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO DRUGS Endorphins are the body's natural pain medication hormones. Endorphins (en-dorfins), when they're released, make us feel better, improve our mood, increase pleasure, and minimize pain. 46. Please 47. Depression 48. Over the past 30 years, medical science has learned the importance of brain chemistry. Previously, depression was thought to result from problems of living, with a psychiatrist's couch the best remedy. It is now clear that most victims of depression have something wrong with their neurotransmittersdecisive brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinepherine, and the endorphins, all of which have a powerful influence on intelligence, personality, and moods.

49. 50. Most psychiatrists resort to powerful brain-altering drugs, in an attempt to help their patients. However, individual responses to drug medications are extremely variable and this therapy is more of an art than a science, with medications administered on a crude trial-and-error basis. 51. There is no doubt that prozac, zoloft, risperdal, and other medications provide benefits to many patients. However, the benefits are usually quite incomplete and these medications often have serious side effects, such as blunting of personality, movement disorders, and fatigue. Even when a medication effectively alters serotonin or dopamine functioning, as desired by the psychiatrist, the drug may effect other brain chemicals with adverse effects. Laughter diminishes the secretion of cortisol and epinephrine, while enhancing immune reactivity. In addition, laughter boosts secretion of growth hormone, an enhancer of these same key immune responses. The physiological effects of a single 1-hour session viewing a humorous video has appeared to last up to 1224 hours in some individuals. 52. Just lie back and think of happy times to release your body's feelgood endorphins, says Judith Woods Most of us are aware of the existence of endorphins, those happy hormones that make us feel good. Known as nature's natural painkillers, these opiate-like chemicals are generally produced when the body is under extreme physical stress, hence the well-documented euphoria of the "runner's high". After 20 to 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise, endorphins are released and will result in a mood and energy boost for two to three hours, and a mild buzz for up to 24 hours. Sex also

promotes production of these pleasurable neurotransmitters, because of the enjoyment of physical contact. Laughter is another good source of endorphins, which is why watching a good sitcom will generate enough hormones to keep you contented all evening. And as we all know, there's nothing like a bar of chocolate to give you a lovely rush of wellbeing. Studies have shown that when a group of overeaters was given a drug to block endorphin release, they no longer craved chocolate. But what if there were a less fattening, less strenuous way of achieving a happy high? According to therapist Bodel Rikys, endorphin meditation is the answer. Rikys holds weekly classes and one-to-one sessions, where she shows clients how to tap into the feelgood factor within. "You can reduce stress, promote self-healing and make positive life changes by invoking your endorphins," says Rikys, who has practised meditation for more than 30 years. "It's not a case of emptying your mind - that's very difficult to do. It's about filling it with pleasurable thoughts, which in turn will produce a feeling of wellbeing. The endorphins will turn off the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, and have a positive impact on your body chemistry." It sounded so simple that I was immediately rather sceptical. If it really was that easy to feel marvellous, why hadn't we all been doing it for years? There was only one way to find out, so I signed up for a session. I've long been intrigued by meditation, but the rather formal, stiff-backed, legs-crossed posture always put me off. It was a relief, then, to be told I could sit or lie on the floor however I felt comfortable. I chose to recline on a large cushion, with my knees bent. I was told to close my eyes and breathe deeply into my abdomen. Then, in my mind's eye, I was to scan my body "with kindness", paying great attention to any places of tension or soreness. By offering myself sympathy, I was creating a soft, receptive frame of mind, which is apparently crucial to summoning up my endorphins. Then I was to think about something that made me feel happy: an activity or place. Just as I was beginning to feel fretful because I couldn't visualise a vivid enough image, Rikys reassured me that it was enough to see colours and hazy impressions. I chose to remember snorkelling on a holiday in the Caribbean, when I spent hours watching silvery shoals of fish glint and shimmer in the refracted light. Guided by Rikys's soft tones, the more I conjured up the cool feeling of the water around me and the sun's hot rays on my back, the happier I felt, and I began to smile. And smile. Part of me felt utterly ridiculous, as I imagined how I must look, lying on the floor grinning from ear to ear, but I couldn't help myself. "Imagine there is a bright sun just where your ribcage ends, and it is filling you with light, every part of you," said Rikys. "Now think of a golden trickle of endorphins, like oil or honey,

streaming through you, soaking your bones with happiness. Wherever your body is in pain or needs healing, the golden flow will deepen until you are saturated." By now, I am slightly embarrassed to recall, I was actually giggling. I felt excited and elated, yet simultaneously conscious that I was in a completely artificial situation. Rikys then went on to talk about nature and how I was connected to the world around me, which was so soothing, I promptly fell asleep. As she gently asked me to wiggle my hands and toes, I stirred, and reluctantly opened my eyes. As I sat up, I have to confess I felt wonderful. "The effect of this kind of meditation is cumulative," said Rikys. "The more you do, the better you'll feel. If you stack up endorphins in your body, it's like building up a reservoir of wellbeing, as opposed to a reservoir of stress." For the rest of the day, I had a definite spring in my step, and two friends separately observed that I appeared to be on tremendously good form. Even the next day, I felt more energised than usual. It was a remarkable experience. Simple yes, but deceptively so. When I subsequently tried to repeat the meditation, at home, I couldn't maintain my concentration. For me, having a relaxing voice talking me through the process was crucial. I'd love to be able to conjure up my golden endorphins at will, but in the meantime I've done the next best thing. I've booked another session for next week.

Bodel Rikys holds Endorphin Meditation classes at Shine Holistic, 52 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0NB; tel: 020 7241 5033. Cost: 7 per session. For a one-to-one session, call Shine or contact bodel.rikys@virgin.net. Cost: from 40.

Happy eater food to boost your mood

Low endorphin levels can be caused by a deficiency in minerals and vitamins. A lack of vitamin B, especially B12, vitamin C and minerals such as zinc, iron and potassium, can make you feel low. Animal protein, which contains the amino acids tryptophan and phenylalanine, encourage the brain to produce endorphins. Turkey, chicken, lean red meat, eggs and cheese will all make you a happy eater. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which causes the release of endorphins in the brain and generates feelings of contentment. But the high sugar content means it causes an energy surge followed by a slump, so its effects are short lived. Chillies contain capsaicinoids, which cause pain in the mouth, leading the brain to conclude the mouth is being burned, so a flood of endorphins are sent there. This creates a mood boost, which is why people crave spicy foods. Grapes and oranges are high in vitamin C, which promotes endorphin production. Oranges contain significant quantities of B vitamins. Grapes contain high levels of potassium and the

red and black varieties are also rich in antioxidants and help to protect against cancer and heart disease.

Foods Protein is the king here. Endorphins are composed of at least 15 different amino acids and meat contains all of the aminos necessary to make endorphins. (Vegetarian foods dont. Food combining offers limited aminos when extra support is required.) A person low on endorphins needs to eat protein with every single meal. The question of whether or not to eat carbohydrates when mood disorders are present is a hot debate in the Primal community. I like the way Emily Deans of Evolutionary Psychiatry questioned it in this blog post today. Stanford offers a good list of foods to help manage stress. Supplements Often, supplementing with endorphin boosting foods and supplements, and removing the false-endorphin stimulants would be enough to eliminate things like chronic back pain, arthritis, and migraines. Some of the nutrients which encourage endorphin release are fats, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Magnesium promotes protein synthesis and is depleted very easily after any stressful event (even a very loud noise or concert!). Amino acids which will help restore endorphins are a combination of D and L phenylalanine. In health food store you would probably find this as DLPA. For those sensitive to the L form, i.e. you get hyper, use the D form alone.

Brain Chemistry 101 Our sugar sensitivity story includes some crucial data that has not been available to the general public before. This information is about the vital role played by the brain chemical beta-endorphin. Beta-endorphin and its better-known partner, serotonin, can have dramatically positive -- or negative! -- effects on your moods, your behavior, and your energy level.

Your brain is designed to communicate information. Billions of brain cells talk to each other moment by moment via a network of interconnecting cells. However, these cells do not actually touch one another; there is a tiny space between them. Information is passed across this space by way of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. The mood-elevating brain chemicals serotonin and beta-endorphin are both neurotransmitters. Each neurotransmitter has a unique molecular shape and carries a unique message. The message of serotonin, for example, is "calm down". When one brain cell wants to send a message to another, it releases the relevant neurotransmitter, which floats across the tiny space between cells and looks for the receptors in the target cell that match its molecular shape. A serotonin neurotransmitter, for example, can only pass its message to a serotonin receptor. The same is true with beta-endorphin. If any other kind of neurotransmitter hits the receptors, nothing happens; the message does not get delivered. Serotonin When your serotonin is at an ideal level, you feel mellow and relaxed, hopeful and optimistic. You have a sense of being at peace with life. You are creative, thoughtful, and focused. You also have a lot of impulse control, which enables you to "just say no" more easily. People who are sugar-sensitive have naturally low levels of serotonin. As a result, you do not have good impulse control. It is almost impossible for you to "just say no" because there is such a short time between your getting the urge to do something and then doing it. The insufficient serotonin level in your brain isn't giving you the time you need to make good decisions. Besides being impulsive, you may feel depressed and find yourself craving foods such as bread, pasta or candy. This craving is the work of your brain, not your ego, because your brain knows that getting you to eat such foods will temporarily raise your serotonin level. Unfortunately, it will also have a devastating boomerang effect and cause all sorts of negative feelings. Having low serotonin can cause these feelings: Feeling depressed Acting impulsively Feeling blocked and scattered Having a short attention span Feeling suicidal Craving sweets and simple carbohydrates Beta-Endorphin

The brain chemical beta-endorphin acts likes a powerful natural painkiller. You may have heard of the "runner's high" (also called an "endorphin rush"), when the body responds to the pain of long-distance running by flooding the brain with beta-endorphin. Betaendorphin produces a sense of well-being, reduces pain, eases emotional distress, increases self-esteem, and even creates a sense of euphoria. Sugar-sensitive people have a naturally low level of beta-endorphin. Their biochemical response to foods (like alcohol) that cause the release of beta-endorphin can be significantly greater than that of people with an ordinary body chemistry. Whether you are sugar-sensitive or not, sugar, like alcohol, causes a release of betaendorphin. It can make you feel high and can reduce both physical and emotional pain. People with normal body chemistry can enjoy this without ill effects. But sugar-sensitive people respond to the beta-endorphin effect of sugar in a bigger way because their brain cells have far more beta-endorphin receptors than ordinary people. For sugar-sensitive people, eating sugar can make you feel and act as if youve been drinking wine! Sugar can make you funny, relaxed, silly, inappropriate, talkative, and temporarily selfconfident. You feel great -- and you long to feel this way again and again. You have probably noticed this drug-like effect after eating sugar. Unfortunately, people don't take this response seriously. They make jokes about being a "chocoholic", but rarely speak of the real pain caused by the continuing and compulsive use of sweets, the end result of which is a drop in beta-endorphin. Having low beta-endorphin means: Feeling tearful, isolated, depressed, and hopeless Having low self-esteem Feeling "done to" by others Having a low tolerance for pain (emotional and physical) Feeling emotionally overwhelmed Craving sweets The task for healing is to increase levels of beta endorphin without spiking or using. The program will teach you this.

Supplements to Take for Endorphins

2 Comments Print Jul 24, 2011 | By Tracey Roizman, D.C.

Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Endorphins are natural substances that your brain manufactures to control pain and stress levels. A variety of foods contain certain building blocks from which endorphins and compounds that promote the production of endorphins are made. Consult your doctor before making changes to your diet or lifestyle to treat a medical condition.

The amino acid L-phenylalanine contributes to the production of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, and may contribute to increased endorphin levels, according to Frank Murray, author of the book "100 Super Supplements for a Longer Life." L-phenylalanine blocks enzymes that degrade endorphins, keeping them in circulation longer. Chronic pain and pain from recent injuries may respond well to supplementation with L-phenylalanine. This amino acid has also been used to increase alertness, control addictive behaviors and suppress appetites. Phenylalanine should not be used by anyone with phenylketonuria.
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Estrogen may increase endorphin levels, according to Peter Selvaratnam, author of the book "Headache, Orofacial Pain and Bruxism." Estrogen replacement therapy and supplements with estrogenic properties, such as soy, wild yam and the antioxidant resveratrol may assist with replenishing low endorphin levels in women in menopause or with low estrogen levels for other reasons. Menstrual or menopausal headaches may also respond well to endorphinboosting supplements. Other plants that contain phytoestrogens include alfalfa, legumes such as peanuts and peas, fennel, coconut, licorice, parsley, sage and flaxseed.

St. John's Wort

St. John's wort, an herb widely used as a natural anti-depressant, has been shown to inhibit pain by affecting the brain's endorphin system, according to a study published in the September 2010 issue of the journal "Planta Medica." In the study on laboratory animals, between 30 mg and 180 mg per kg body weight of St. John's wort resulted in significant pain reduction without any toxic effects. The use of naloxone abolished the pain-relieving effects, implying that St. John's wort works by increasing endorphin levels.

Food Abstaining
The best supplement for increasing your endorphin levels may not be a supplement at all. Abstaining from your favorite foods may be an effective and inexpensive way to increase your brain's endorphin levels, according to Dallas Cloouatre, Ph.D., author of the book "User's Guide to Weight-Loss Supplements." In some people, food cravings alter the brain's chemistry in such a way as to raise endorphin levels, providing further evidence of the complex nature of hunger and satiety. It has been found that in people who show increased levels of endorphins during food cravings the drug naloxone, which is used in the treatment of opium withdrawal, can reduce the cravings.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/500666-supplements-to-take-forendorphins/#ixzz2Kr7gMVrD reating endorphin deficiency involves several aspects. For genetic deficiencies, prescription and overthe-counter medications can help balance the production of endorphins. Both types of deficiencies can be treated by increasing protein intake and adding vitamin supplements. Plenty of exercise and a decrease in stress or pain exposure are also recommended, particularly for an acquired deficiency.

What are they and why do I need to know about them? Well, they are a chemical in your brain that can affect your depression. If you are taking anti-depressants (which work to elevate seratonin levels in your brain), and they are not enough--you are still not feeling happy, content, or at peace-- you may have low endorphins. Endorphins are an opiate, and effect your brain the way that morphine does (morphine is also an opiate). It is the chemical responsible for "runners high".

Healthy Endorphin Raisers Going for a walk or gentle exercise.

Unhealthy Endorphin Raisers Having an argument. (Ever started one deliberately and wondered why?) Reliving confrontations, arguments, or painful episodes over and over in your head. Picking at hangnails, pimples, scabs. Excessive exercise at an intense level. Repetitive obsessive compulsive behaviours. Eating a lot of sugar. Drinking a lot of caffeine. Drinking a lot of alcohol. Causing yourself physical pain. Imagining a confrontation or an argument in your head. Road rage. Being late for an appointment. Rushing to meet a deadline (do you wait until the last minute to finish projects? Work 'well' under pressure?) Creating or participating in "drama" in your work, family, or social situation.

Playing with your pets. Having sex. Wearing a color you love. Spending time with people you love and like. Doing a favorite activity. Repetitive motions (such as knitting or hand sewing). Getting out into natural light, especially sunshine. Singing and/or dancing to your favorite music. A warm bubble bath. Laughing. Chanting. Having a good cry.

Being in natural surroundings.

Do any of the unhealthy endorphin raisers sound familiar? If you are engaging in these behaviors, it is because the endorphin chemicals in your brain are low, and you are unconsciously looking to increase it. That makes a lot of your actions more understandable, doesn't it? <smile> Our bodies are smart, they know what they need, they just don't always choose the best way to get it. Understanding is power, observe your behaviors and be gentle with yourself. Your body is out of balance, and it is that unbalance that is causing your behavior, not a flaw in your personality.

Evidence of Overeating Stimulated by Endorphins

We find a second biological explanation for sugar addiction in the functioning of what are called beta-endorphins. Endorphins are often called brain chemicals that create a natural high. Beta-endorphin is produced by the pituitary gland and is reported to produce a more intense sense of well-being than any of the other endorphin types. Beta-endorphin levels are increased whenever a person craves sugar, simple carbohydrates and some fats. The degree of increased craving and the specific foods that induce these cravings vary from person to person. Thus, just as there are those who are more sensitive to pain and more receptive to being medicated by internal chemicals such as serotonin, there are those who are more or less susceptible to becoming addicted to their own endorphins. As Anne Katherine states, they eat to trigger release, because when the endorphins are released they feel better. This is yet another way food can become a drug since the next step is the increased use of this means of getting high, leading ultimately to a chemical dependency on sugar and refined carbohydrates which quickly become simple sugars during the process of digestion. Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., writes in The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Program: When the sugar-sensitive person tries to stop using the sugar that evokes this wonderful beta-endorphin response, the receptors start screaming. This is called withdrawal. The person experiencing withdrawal may feel cranky, irritable, and out of sorts but never knows it was last nights sugar binge creating the horrible feelings. Cravings loom large as the betaendorphin receptors scream and relief is as close as a can of soda or a doughnut. The physical dependence on sugar to relieve the discomfort of withdrawal reinforces the need to use more and more. The addiction grows into a real problem. It is also true that the bodys beta-endorphin reaction is accentuated during fasting, dieting and other stresses. Thus, food addicts who try to control their weight by will power and behavior modificationas they see normal eaters around them doing all the timeoften are actually enabling the progression of their biochemical dependency. For those who are genetically pre-inclined to food dependency or who already have crossed the line into addiction by overeating on mood altering foods for long periods of time, dieting may help them lose weight in the short term, but make them actually more chemically dependent on sugar in the long run. Another stressor can be at work here as well. In our culture, those who are overweight or obese are often taunted or made fun of. Chronic stress of this type, created by the internalized shame of not being able to live up to cultural norms of thinness, leads to more overeating as a way to relieve the pain of being outcast. Overeating itself creates increased stress, whether it be the result of discomfort with ones own body or from the pain of external criticism both real and imagined. Ironically, the food addict overeats to deal with the effects of overeating, and thus becomes trapped in a never-ending vicious cycle.