I talk about Endorphins quite a lot in my day. After all, they can be quite useful and I see a lot of people in my day who could use a few of them.
These bad boys are produced in your brainstem, at the top of your spinal cord and have the ability to modulate a range of effects of other body systems, if the central nervous system deems it appropriate. So getting in the habit of using them efficiently is quite helpful.
The reality is, the vast majority of my patients sit at the other end of the scale, using their fight/flight system all day every day, in order to cope. Yes, that’s useful aswell, it’s a helpful part of your body system. But, if it’s not adequately counteracted, things can get a little too much in the “ramped up” bucket.
This can look like shallow breathing, breath holding, protective muscle activity, high levels of stress and anxiety, poor sleep, increased pain sensitisation, mood disruption. An inability to switch off.
So, what you need to know is how to tap into the modulating system, to help keep things on an even keel as much as impossible. I think about it like the buffering tests we used to do in my old university chemistry labs, titrating here and there to buffer to neutral. It’s up and down, that’s life, but if you can master your own system, you have a better chance of optimising your function.
So, here is the opposing system, the descending modulatory system. Or, your endogenous endorphins. Noradrenaline, Seratonin, Dopamine, to name a few. They are produced inside you. Use them to your advantage!
Exercise is one of the best modes of opening the gate. 30 minutes of puffing, moderate intensity exercise each day will do it. Go for it!