Endorphins: The Healing Power of the Human Body

Endorphins are a chemical messenger that our brain can be trained to release on demand. They are one of our body's natural defence mechanisms and their emergence can help to alleviate the body of physical pain or emotional hurt. Endorphins are powerful stuff. 

We know that the human body is capable of curing itself, there have been hints of the body's extraordinary healing power throughout history. Spontaneous remissions, people who suddenly walk or see again, these miracles have happened in the past and they can definitely occur again in the future. I believe that the power to heal is within every person. It is just a question of learning how it happens and how we can apply it. So is it possible that we may hold the cure for chronic illness within our immune system and within our self control? 

Although it sounds like one of those far fetched ideas that some cracker who has never been sick a day in his life came up with it may actually be possible. It is a theory I believe is worthy of future investigation. Our immune system is a powerful healing machine. It is a highly protective force constantly on the alert for any danger to the body, ready to attack bacteria or other foreign matter at a moments notice. It generally does a pretty good job of this, yet also often fails in its abilities to heal. Perhaps chronic or more deadly illnesses are just beyond what our immune system can deal with. Perhaps the body is weakened by the effects of physical and emotional stress, pollutants, and other external abuses to the point where all these external forces affect its ability to care for itself.

Using the Immune System to Combat Cancer

We know that long term exposure to extreme stress can and will have health consequences. If the body is under constant pressure from external irritants the systems that are there to care for the body, weaken, grow sluggish, and damage or disease begin to creep into once healthy tissue.

This damage further affects the body's ability to repair itself. So long as physical and emotional stress continue putting pressure on the emotional and physical health of the individual the body will continue to grow weaker and even less able to defend itself.

So let us presume that the power is there for the body to heal itself but without a respite from the hundreds of external stresses that it encounters each day it is fighting a losing battle. The human immune system is trying desperately to mend itself but it needs the focus to fight the ailment that is weakening it.

Now enter into the equation the healing power of endorphins. Could completely removing the harmful effects of stress from the nervous system allow the body the time needed to rest, repair, and gain in strength. If so then the now healthy strong immune system could then begin to function as it was meant to and in effect heal the body it is there to protect.

Endorphins are a little neurotransmitter of feel good messages that exist within each person. These neurotransmitters travel down the spine sending feel good signals throughout the body as they travel. What messages are you sending to your body? Endorphins are found within the brain and are a transmitter that sends out feel good messages down the spine to disperse out to the many different areas of the body. The message they transmit is one of intense pleasure.

This chemical message has pain killing properties described as being similar to Morphine. As such one would think that this form of treatment could be very important for those who live with chronic illness or chronic pain.

Natural Pain Relief: Endorphin Release Through Exercise

Endorphins are released when a person experiences a pleasurable activity or during a satisfying exercise session. Smiling, laughing, dancing, exercising, or participating in a good sexual experience can release endorphins into the body. There is no question as to their beneficial effect on the body. Endorphins are so powerful that they are very capable of reducing feelings of physical and emotional pain. They are known as the body's natural pain killer.  

It is my belief that a person can create a self induced complete removal of external pressures by making use of the power of endorphins to help relieve the pressure caused by physical and emotional stresses.​
The question is how do we release these on demand? Finding a means of releasing their feel good effect could be the key to our ability to relieve the pain of mental and physical illness. Perhaps endorphins could be the key to healing the many illness that our body encounters.

What sparked my interest in endorphin therapy was a news cast on a strange occurrence at Senior Centres. Most Senior Centres host regular events to keep the spirits and health of seniors in as tip top condition as possible but at one of these socials people who suffer from Parkinson's disease were noted to have the symptoms of their Parkinson's disease improve when they are up dancing.

The medical communities were intrigued and wanted to know why this temporary remission from illness occurred. Although the reason why these temporary periods of spontaneous healing occur is not yet known, one theory is that the dancer releases a flood of endorphins into his/her body whenever he or she dances and it is this flood of endorphins that is the reason for this temporary cure.

So the question arises. Could endorphins be a key factor in the body's ability to heal itself even if for just a temporary time?

Dancing could possibly be capable of a tremendous release of endorphins because it is both exercise and a pleasurable activity. So if the effect of endorphins is really powerful enough to cause the symptoms of Parkinson's to disappear when a person is up dancing then perhaps attempting to keep a steady flow of them occurring in the body for as long a time period as is possible might in effect bring about a respite from illness long enough to thereby create a more permanent remission period for the sufferer.

Perhaps a long term release of endorphins into an unhealthy body may give the body the break that it needs to heal itself, or in effect to create a self induced long term remission for that sufferer. Relieving the body of the external physical and emotional stresses that it is battered by could perhaps be the first step in a cure for some illness.

There are a number of ways that endorphins can be released and it could simply be a matter of finding a means of creating a regular influx of them into the body that is needed to help aide the immune system into growing strong enough to enact a cure.

Massage therapy, yoga, an enjoyable exercise program, dancing, laughter, meditation or pray, any of these on a regular basis would serve to relax the body and release the healing power of endorphins into it. If endorphins can be released for an extended period of time perhaps they may be strong enough to give the body that much needed break from the physical and emotional stress that is harming it. This may allow the immune system time to rejuvenate and grow strong enough to perform the job it was intended to. I firmly believe that each person has the power of healing within them. A cure for what ails us may simply be a matter of learning how to enact the treatment.

It was my immune system illness that peaked my curiosity. I was 26 years old when I was diagnosed with something known as a Jo1 antibody. It is a marker for Antisynthetase syndrome. This chronic autoimmune based illness is very rare and as such is also quite misunderstood. It is now about 35 years since my diagnosis and I am still here and still curious as to why and how the immune system can work for or against us.

I was lucky enough to have experienced one 5 year period of remission during my illness, after which the illness once again returned to remain with me since. The reason why that remission occurred has intrigued me since its unexpected visit. I would love to experience another. Opinions and theory voiced in this article are my own. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any treatment program.

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