Continuing on in “Molecules of Emotion”, The Science Behind Mind-Body (same thing) Medicine; Dr. Pert says, “…endorphins, the body’s own natural morphine…which your body makes too.”
There are a thousand studies on this and physicians all know it’s true. Bodyworkers are at the top of the heap when it comes to stimulating natural opioids in the body. Massage therapists, deep tissue workers, manual therapists, and all other manner of soft tissue workers know that this is the case. Some massage therapists do a good job, others really hurt you as they have very poor technique, use too much oil and then dig in with the thumb tips, elbows, and fingertips. Be sure to interview the practitioner before you set up an appointment. I recommend deep tissue manual therapy, a physical therapist or a sports therapist with 2-4 years of training.
Bodyworkers are supposed to relieve pain, not cause it. That is intuitive. It’s counterintuitive to cause pain which is something to consider as you use the white coats. The fact is, the number of Americans seeing massage therapists has declined because the schools are teaching poor technique and not requiring students to do at least two years. But I digress from the book.
Dr. Pert discovered the opiate receptors in the brain and thought she and her team might be on the way to win the Nobel prize.
“The discovery of the opiate receptor touched off a mad scramble among scientific researchers to find the natural substance in the body that used the receptor-the key that would fit the lock. We knew that the brain receptor didn’t exist to serve as a binding mechanism for external plant extracts, such as morphine and opium. No, the only reason that made any sense for an opiate receptor to be in the brain in the first place was if the body itself produced some kind of substance. an organic chemical that fit the tiny keyhole itself-a natural opiate.“
The brains own morphine is an endogenous ligand. A ligand is a protein that attaches (binds) to another protein called a receptor; receptor proteins have specific sites into which the ligands fit like keys into locks. Endogenous ligands are those that are produced in the body, not those introduced into the body, such as certain drugs. It creates the same effects that exogenous (outside) opiates such as morphine do. They called this substance enkephalin. MT’s know all about enkephalin’s as well in terms of what our treatments can do.
This part of the book ends with her on a media whirlwind for her discovery with her team and getting much positive attention. Then the competition heats up and the power-brokers come into play.
Science is no different than politics. I’m reading about ego, destructive gossip, gender discrepancy and big money. Human nature is pretty easy to predict.
To be continued…