After laying in a serene room on a warm bed with soothing music and a foot warmer, you lazily roll over and get dressed. A delicious feeling of peace, fogginess, and calm washes over you. Your eyes are glazed and at half-mast. You stumble out of the room while your acupuncturists smiles and giggles mentioning you are “acupuncture drunk.” You quickly realized they are correct! You are in fact “drunk!”
What is acupuncture drunk and why does this lovely thing happen? Acupuncture is a remarkable medicine; it has an ability to reach into the deepest crevices of our body and soul. It taps into our energy flow and influences our cells along with our endocrine and nervous system. Those tiny hair width needles have such a profound effect that after a treatment, we feel drunk, relaxed, unstoppable, happy and hopeful.
Acupuncture drunk is much like a “runners high,” it is closely related to the rush of endorphins we feel during a profound treatment. Endorphins are linked to our “pleasure centers,” leading us to our euphoric feeling post acupuncture.
According to medical experts, endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides. This means that they are opioid proteins that originate within our body and act like morphine. These amazing little proteins, which have pain-relieving properties, can be activated within our own body’s brain with acupuncture needles! This statement is so profound, it bears repeating… acupuncture has the ability to stimulate the release of opioid proteins within our bodies which relieve pain, reduce stress, increase motivation and promote pleasure- WOW! These effects are similar to what occurs from opioid medications, but at natural occurring doses and without the introduction of anything foreign into our body. This means that within our own bodies, lies the ability to produce our own natural morphine. We have the ability to reduce pain and stress without any additional chemicals, only a little direction from the acupuncture needle.
Endorphins were discovered in 1970 by Roger Guillemin and include enkephalins, beta-endorphins and dynorphins. Studies have revealed that an essential role in acupuncture and electroacupuncture’s mechanism of action is the release of endogenous opioid peptides (proteins) within the central nervous system. Amazingly enough, some studies have even shown that different neuropeptides are released with different frequencies of electroacupuncture.
The more we learn about the body and it’s amazing attributes, the more we realized that all the answers we are looking for are within ourselves! Sometimes we just need some guidance on how to unlock the treasures that reside there.