Increasing production of Endorphins
When you are low in endorphins, you are more likely to feel anxious, depressed, stressed out, and unable to enjoy life or experience joy.
Endorphins are endogenous opioid neuropeptides and peptide hormones in humans and other animals. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. The principal function of endorphins is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals; they may also produce a feeling of euphoria (pleasure,happiness) very similar to that produced by other opioids.
How to increase endorphon levels
1. Sniff some vanilla or lavender - Vanilla causes an increase in production of endorphins. This is wht it can help so many with anxiety. The endorphins released when inhaling lavender creates a calming effect that may even enhance sleep and relieve depression.
Ward, A., & Ward, K. (2006). U.S. Patent Application 11/609,330.
Vanilla Oil - Comments from Members
Plzhelp - i just recently learned that 'vanilla' is now something i am currently allergic to (i get headaches).
Lavender Oil - Members 12 positive and 1 negative comment.
SCL - I also have a sleep blend of Serenity, lavender, sandalwood, and bergamot. The calming blend even helped me with a headache without meds!
Gail - What helps me is bubble bath with lavender essential oil.
CurlyKate - The tips on bathing aren't working, my skin feels so tingly and creepy crawly that even my hair and clothing are painful...lavender and any other smells are triggering migraines...lost all appetite...can't sleep...this really sucks!
Gene - I agree 100% with the lavender scent, amazing how calming it is
Warning - Many essential oils are toxic to the liver and may collect there. Especially if taken orally or applied on the skin in large quantities or frequently.
The oils listed underneath are banned (FDA) and can cause toxicity if taken internally as well as dermally (eg. in a massage blend).
⦁ Almond butter
⦁ Boldo leaf
⦁ Jaborandi leaf
⦁ Pennyoyal (both European and North American)
⦁ Stinging nettles
http://essentialoils.../toxic-oils.htmgives details on each of these oils.
Medical research on DERMAL toxicity of essential oils.
About lemon, ginger and clove toxicity.
Recent growth in aromatherapy sales has been accompanied by an unfortunate increase in accidental poisoning from these products. Clove oil warrants special attention.
2. take ginseng (red ginseng preferably)
Members - 6
Butterflygt - Combining that with breathing techniques, drinking lots of water and even green tea with ginseng and lemon it made everything bearable.
Overtraining (OT) is a complex and multifactorial sport phenomenon, and there is no independent marker that can diagnose OT. The main stimulus for beta-end(1-31) secretion is to exercise because its secretion is volume/intensity dependent for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Excess training, however, may reduce beta-end(1-31) concentrations, thus altering its beneficial effects. Therefore, beta-end(1-31) could be used as an additional OT marker, mainly because its effects are strongly related to OT symptoms.
and many more
As indicated by the first research article, the degree of exercise determines the quantities of endorphins. As many of our members related that light to moderate activities often made them feel better but heavy exercise often brought on an increase in withdrawal symptoms. Stretching also releases endorphins.
6. chocolate (unsweetened cocoa) - One of the more unique neurotransmitters released by chocolate is phenylethylamine. This so called "chocolate amphetamine" causes endorphin levels to rise significantly.
Members on Cocoa - 4. all positive.
BRZ - my new anti anxiety drug is Lindt's 90% cocoa chocolate
Members on Chocolate - 18 comments, 6 mention dark unsweetened chocolate, and 4 negative comments about a sugar rush followed by a crash.
FN - for example, Lindt makes choco bars in different % ... the darkest is 90% chocolate ... bitter, but I've gotten to love it ... big boost.
Boot2 - i found if i combined chocolate (i am using unsweetened health food store kind now) and valerian- it feels like i am almost normal again...thought i;d pass that along.
8. Eat something spicy
Capsaicin (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) is a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from plants of the genus Capsicum, better known as chili pepper fruit. It is a member of the vanilloid family of compounds (e.g., vanillin from vanilla, eugenol from bay leaves, cloves, and zingerone from ginger) (Hayman and Kam, 2008).
and many more articles.
9. Eat your very favorite food.
10. Meditation - 49 members tried it, 48 positive reviews and 1 negative review.
Meditation has been shown to in crease the production of endorphins.
Harte JL, Eifert GH, Smith R. The effects of running and meditation on beta-endorphin, corticotropin-releasing hormone and cortisol in plasma, and on mood. Biol Psychol. 1995;40:251–65. [PubMed]
Yadav RK, Magan D, Mehta N, Sharma R, Mahapatra SC. Efficacy of a short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention in reducing stress and inflammation: preliminary results. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18:662–7. [PubMed]
Member tips and comments
VanEttan - I've found drug-free methods like meditation that help a GREAT deal most of the time but like today, when I'm in panic mode to that extent,
CCod - Meditate daily for 20 minutes/day minimum. I use the Insight Timer app on my iPad or the Calm app. Use the Calm app if you have never tried meditation. Calm is really great if you have never meditated because she starts out with beginner instructions and short meditations that last 10minutes. It WORKS every single time. For headaches, anxiety, extreme anxiety, and yesterday, nausea got better. It is not religious or dogmatic; it's. Breathing.
Farkle - I gotta share with all here that the trauma based meditation approach is incredibly helpful as a coping mechanism for times like this,
FH - Meditation does help but only to a point. Once the anxiety gets too bad it becomes overwhelming.
Uriel - Just wondering if you all went cold turkey or did the weaning off slowly thing. It may sound bizarre but I have been doing meditation for 15 min a day to a meditation cd and its pretty amazing how the breathing calms your whole system.
Butterfly - The name of the app is "Relieve Depression Hypnosis-Guided meditation and Mental Health". There is a few different ones on the app store you can try and they are free, I really liked this one.
TM - I spent a few months listening to guided Mindfulness Meditation sessions at bedtime, and found it useful for winding down and falling asleep. You can find them on YouTube, on CD's, and elsewhere on the net.
considering - I think meditation has helped me deal with bouts of low grade depression that I've experienced in the last seven years since I've been on Cymbalta. So I would highly recommend it to anyone. But I recommend that you have a teacher, even if it's meditation CDs of teachings from Sharon Saltzberg or Pema Chodron.
Tinajuli - Somehow I have an anti-reaction when I think of relaxing methods like meditation and yoga. I tried them so much when I had that real depression and they didn't help, and I was despaired because they didn't help.
Karen - The guided meditation takes my anxiety down a lot. It might not be for you, but it really helped me
Check out this site: http://www.30minutem...meditation.html
Shanna - Go to http://www.self-compassion.org(my psychologist recommended this resource). Download the 'Loving Kindness / Self-Compassion' meditation and the 'Soften, Soothe, Allow' meditation - they are free and they are a great way to start cutting yourself a bit of slack and help you feel a bit more on top of yourself.
TXc - I also think meditation is helpful. There are some guided meditations you can download that are encouraging and reinforce the strength you have and can tap into to get through this. It's also nice when my senses are overly sensitive to shut down the noise, stay still, and focus on healing.
TBS - I'd also recommend a cd set by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield (Not to be confused with Jack Canfield!!!) called The Inner Art of Meditation. It's a workshop he ran with talks and short meditations and probably my favorite of all time.
Imdone - Meditation and visualization are powerful tools. I would recommend that everyone here practice visualization daily.
Zombie - I replaced the Cymbalta with Autogenics and Guided Meditations (not exotic meditation). My Pain Clinic has a psychologist who started me on Autogenics. I now do them daily. For guided meditations, I like this one: Susie Mantrell's Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace. If you have access to a large library system, you will find many audio CDs on all of this so you can preview "programs" before buying CDs. Also, there are samples or mini-examples on youtube.
Chrism - And for me, meditation focused on breathing helps immensely, but that is not a skill you can pick up right away.
11. Increased exposure to sunlight.
There are numerous comments from members concerning getting enough sunlight each day. About half of the posts are in reference to the Vit D3 deficiency that member is suffering from and the rest are just general comments that sunlight is good for you especially if you have depression.
12. Certain touchs (hugs, massages...etc)
6 members mentioned messages in relation to their withdrawal. 5 positive. Many others got routine massages for their fibro and frequently mentioned how relaxed they were afterward.
TFL - Today was massage and am feeling better.
Paul - I ended up going to a spa and massage resort yesterday with the wife - didnt really find it relaxing at all!
Member comments and tips - 15 reviews 14 positive.
FH - Many of my friends and family members have had acupuncture over the years. I think it is a great tool BUT there are a lot more idiots doing acupuncture than experts. In fact my family has only found one so far in the states that new what he was doing (I am sure there are others though).
Traceyish - I've been trying acupuncture, and a host of natural remedies but nothing is working.
GMI - I found a lot of relief from acupuncture in the early stages of withdrawal. I’ve mentioned in prior posts that I was never one to believe in acupuncture even though so many people have told me what wonders it's done for them. These types of acupuncture facilities are all over the country and one near you can be found on this link if you’re is interested in giving it a try: https://www.pocacoop...earch-by-state/
Zeus - However, my general practitioner thought different. She uses a combination of eastern and western medicine and suggested acupuncture. Wow what an improvement. I had one treatment this morning and no nausea since. Even the fatigue is better and I feel like eating again.
considering - Check out the U.S. network of Community Acupuncture Clinics. They are a great way to get low cost acupuncture treatment.
BCH - I used acupuncture, which helped amazingly well. Over a period of about 4 months I suffered very few side effect.
ECU - the auriculotherapy (like acupuncture, only done on the ear alone) was based on a 5 point protocol designed to treat heroin addicts in withdrawal, and got rid of all the physical symptoms (temporarily) and enabled me to function while my body adjusted.
cmonk - I had been going for acupuncture treatments and yes they are wonderful
Sarahj - Oh yeah, I realized how much acupuncture was helping me after the third treatment, I went once a week. So, I hope that it provides some benefit to you. One thing that I tried during the worst of the withdrawal is acupuncture. It really made a difference in my overall outlook on everything, not in a magic bullet kind of way, but my sense of being aware and wanting to take better care of myself seem to be heightened by the experience.
Rogerwilco -Acupuncture is definitely the best way I've found to treat withdrawal discomfort from pharma drugs. The thing about acupuncture is that it has side effects too... but they're all GOOD! I mean, like, WOW :!:
Ramona - acupuncture regularly now. It doesn't take away all the withdrawal symptoms, but it balances the systems in your body to help you feel better while you're going through this. Really calms down the anxiety, quiets your mind.
14. Deep breathing, sighs, yawns....
These activities cause an increase in the release of dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. This fact has been used by psychologists for decades to help control anxiety, depression and sleep. By causing yourself to yawn several time over a 10 or 15 minute period it will release enough of these neurotransmitters to help relax and induce sleep. Sighs work much in the same fashion but to a lesser degree, Breathing exercises are the most effective. A good psychologist should be used to teach the most effective techniques.
Member comments and tips - deep breathes, breath(ing) - 22 comments all positive
Raven - Breathe it deep calming breaths and hold them for about 5 seconds before slowly letting them out.
Gail - you need to breathe, yes breathe in and out slowly.
Wagtail - Breathe deeply & slowly & DONT BE SCARED ..
FH - Deep breathing. Close your eyes—and try taking deep, slow breaths— making each breath even deeper than the last. If you have a psychologist who could teach you relaxation techniques, controlled breathing and heart rate, etc. These techniques really do work.
Raven - Just do you best to stay calm and use breathing techniques. My husband and FH have given me great tips on breathing when anxiety strikes. FH because he is a veteran and my husband because he has asthma.
Keys to breathing:
** Take slow deep breaths (breath in deeply and slowly)
** Hold for at least 15 secs if you can
** Exhale slowly
***repeat as needed*
FN - What helped me the most with this was yoga ...the breathing exercises ... once learned, they can be done anywhere, anytime .... the release of the built up anxiety in my body was tremendous ...
WAH - Some things that have helped me:
Practice breathing techniques. I'm one of those people who holds her breath a lot, and I don't even know that I'm doing it.
Janson - . i've learned a few breathing exercises via yoga and that helps immensely to calm down those nerves that are about to snap. even without knowledge of specific breathing exercises, just take deep full breaths with hands on your stomach and see your tummy rise on the breath in and then fully breath out. so simple, so effective.
Note - There must have been well over 100 members that had posts similar to the one below. Shortness of breath, heart pounding, skip beats, tightness in the chest or chest pain. These are classic anxiety symptoms and are the result of elevated adrenalin e levels. Adrenaline is a vasoconstrictor and bronchiole constrictor. These shallow rapid breaths allow CO2 to build in the lungs and worsens the symptoms. Alpha-agonists (eg. clonidine) and beta blockers (atenolol) work well t o block the effects of this excess adrenaline. Breathing exercises also help considerably in breaking this Cycle. As you can see below ZA got it really right.
Snap87 - Just scared with the shortness of breath and heart palpitations more than anything.
ZA - the 'out of breath' symptom is actually ;shallow breathing and I had that for about 2days it is very exhaustingas it cuauses your ozygen saturation to drop. what worked for me 'was awareness -slow deep breathing -then a little aerobics. it helped to up my b/p and neuteralize by blood gases
15. Conditioned Response -
One of the methods that can have a dramatic effect on anxiety is the development of a phrase in association with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. This usually takes time to develop but is very effective. The process is begun by selecting a phrase...say the word "easy" for example. When you notice that you begin to get too anxious then lay down, close your eyes and begin your deep breathing exercises while also doing relaxation like 'progressive relaxation' all the time repeating the word 'easy' in your mind. With practice this becomes very effective and the need to lay down to achieve success is not necessary. You simply stop in place, close your eyes and say the word 'easy" to yourself while relaxing and breathing deeply. You then proceed on with your activities. This can be further used by your spouse to help you control your anxiety. If your spouse notices you becoming anxious they can simply develop a certain place she/he touches you gently as a signal that you need to stop, breath and relax. With practice this becomes automatic and can easily be done in public without drawing attention to your state of mind. The is a conditioned response so it MUST be practiced until it is a reflex action to be most helpful.
Three members report using this technique with excellent results.
Other Medical Research
it is suggested that melatonin exerts its analgesic actions not by binding to opioid receptor subtypes but by binding to its own receptors and increasing the release of beta-endorphin.
As well as ...
Inhibition of dopamine release by melatonin has been demonstrated in specific areas of the mammalian central nervous system (hypothalamus, hippocampus, medulla-pons, and retina). Antidopaminergic activities of melatonin have been demonstrated in the striatum.
The data of this study provide evidence for a further mechanism by which beta-endorphin may alter dopaminergic neurotransmission, namely by increasing dopamine reuptake into dopaminergic nerve endings.
The data are consistent with the hypothesis that endorphins act at a presently unknown brain site(s) to increase the central sympathetic outflow to adrenal medulla and peripheral sympathetic nerve endings, thus stimulating peripheral catecholamine release and increasing plasma concentrations of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) levels of both neuropeptides (beta-endorphins and P factor) were observed to peak during the first year of life, and showed a negative correlation with increasing age. A significant positive correlation was observed between the CSF level of beta-endorphin and that of substance P.
In cerebral cortex, brainstem, caudate nucleus, and thalamus, most responsive cells were inhibited by the peptides (endorphins) and by normorphine, while in hippocampus all responsive cells were excited. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the endorphins and enkephalins may represent a new class of central neurotransmitters; among other functions, these peptides may play a role in the regulation of behavior and the expression of psychopharmacological agents such as the opiate alkaloids.