This article by Jan Sadler from her Pain Support Newsletter will strike a cord with many of us.
The Pain Support website is a great place to chat with others who are suffering to similar problems to yourself as it has a very active forum, and Jan has lots of ideas and CD’s to help you be in control of your pain.
The Power of Endorphins
by Jan Sadler
My elderly and rather arthritic cat is a lovely old girl who adores being stroked all around her face and along the side of her cheeks. As I stroke her she becomes more and more relaxed and dreamy. Her face relaxes and she seems to smile. Her eyes close and her whole body becomes still, right down to the last inch of her tail. The stroking fills her with relaxing pain-relieving endorphins.
When I stroke her I find that I too am smiling and also feel relaxed and more comfortable.
Much research has been done into the effect of endorphins on body and mind. They have been proven to offer many health benefits, including playing a key role in boosting your mood and reducing anxiety, depression and pain. “Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever” says Dr. Laskowski, of the Mayo Clinic.
Endorphins appear to affect the body and mind in at least four ways. Endorphins can…
Lift your spirits and make you feel happier and more alive
Enhance the immune system
Reduce stress – and, best of all
We can actively encourage the production of those wonderful pain-relieving endorphins in many ways. Each day, before you get out of bed in the morning, make an endorphin plan for the day. There are plenty of ideas in the next item below. Plan a range of activities that are specifically designed to release these natural life-enhancing, pain-relieving chemicals.
No matter what our situation we can all find ways to increase endorphin levels and give ourselves a real and meaningful life-enhancing boost and you don’t necessarily need a cat for it either (although they are perfect for the job!).
Read about Dr. Laskowski and endorphins: