Spirituality and Science
Meditation Promotes Endorphin Release and Physical Well-being
By Sister-initiate Jolly Chiou, San Jose, California, USA (Originally in English)
The human brain is a high-speed communications network with more than 100,000 chemical reactions occurring within it each second, and also a potent radio transmitter, sending out measurable electrical wave signals for as long as thirty-seven hours after death. Besides possessing these remarkable traits, the brain also produces more than fifty identified active organic compounds including substances known as endorphins, which have powerful, diverse characteristics such as the ability to relieve pain and stress and postpone aging.
First discovered in 1975 by John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz of Scotland, three types of endorphins are known to exist: alpha, beta and gamma, of which beta endorphins appear to be most strongly associated with pain relief. Scientists have also found that beta endorphins not only help the immune system resist disease, but also provide an unfavorable environment for cancer cells.
Endorphin release takes place in the brain and is governed by a number of factors, one of which may be the intake of certain spices such as chili peppers; the spicier the pepper, the higher the level of endorphin release. Another popular food that causes endorphin production is chocolate, known to the ancient Aztecs of Mexico as “the food of the Gods.”
Physical workouts also promote the release of endorphins; hence the so-called “runner’s high.” Research has also shown that other activities such as video game playing, stroking pets, receiving ultraviolet light rays and inserting acupuncture needles into specific body points may stimulate the release of endorphins. Finally, a scientific study has linked the placebo effect to endorphins. When a placebo was given to a group of experimental subjects, the belief that it was analgesic medicine caused endorphin production that helped ease their pain.
Moreover, scientists have found that besides calming the nerves and reducing blood pressure, meditation stimulates endorphin release, thus inducing a sense of well-being. And in one of Her lectures Master supports this finding as follows:
“After enlightenment, many of our illnesses just disappear. It’s not a miracle. It’s because our super-power Self awakens and regulates some misconstructed parts in our bodies and destroys them. Many people have found themselves with no more cancer.” (See The News #154 ‘Selected Questions and Answers—Enlightenment Awakens Our Innate Healing Power’)
In another lecture, Master also mentions the protection against potential disease provided by practicing the Quan Yin Method:
“If we want to sense the invasion of illnesses, we must keep an absolutely clear consciousness and let our bodies stay in a highly alert state. Once we feel the invasion of an illness, we should immediately meditate, recite the Holy Names and firmly tell ourselves, ‘I don’t want the illness. Illness isn’t the Truth. I don’t want anything that’s forced upon me. I only want the Truth.’ Then the illness will run away.”
“In fact, our bodies naturally have a resistance to illness and can heal themselves. Many doctors tell their patients, ‘These medicines are for you. But you should mainly rely on yourself to cure the illness.’ It’s because we’re great beings, and there’s nothing we can’t do. However, the amount that you can do depends on how much you believe it. In other words, this latent, limitless power can appear differently based on the extent that each person applies it.” (See The News #97, ‘Spot Light—Practicing the Quan Yin Method Gives Us a Protective Shield’)
>From the studies discussed above we can see that endorphins play a key role in relieving pain and enhancing well-being. The research also indicates that meditation is an important source of endorphin release. In particular, practicing the Quan Yin Method awakens what Master calls “the super power Self” and turns the mind naturally toward mercy and love for our fellow creatures. It also allows us to share Master’s blessings, which always enhances our own and others’ sense of well being, and might even help us to heal ourselves and be less prone to physical discomfort. ♥