A light-hearted but true look into how the body works.
For years we’ve been hearing about that deep feeling of calm and well-being we feel after a hard dance class was down to the endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) released into the body.
A recent study now suggests that endorphins have been unfairly hogging the credit and that the ‘high’ is down to cannibis… well Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids to be exact.
In the 1980’s endorphins became a household word when researchers learned that endorphin levels, in blood, increased after an intense workout. This made sense because, well, dancing hard causes the muscles and tendons to feel uncomfortable. Endorphins, the body’s natural pain releiver, would help to dull the pain and was believed to contribute to that feeling of calm after a workout.
However doubts began to surface about this function when it was realised that endorphin molecules were too large to fit through the brains tiny filters. This led researchers to start searching for another solution.
Enter endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the human body and have been demonstrated to result in a ‘lighter mood’. Effectively endocannabinoids are your body’s own pot factory. Cannabinoids molecules, unlike endorphin molecules, are small enough to pass through the brains filters and attach to the brains receptors to produce that wonderful ‘dancers high’.
So… put down the spliffs and get into class!!!
For more information:
Dance Magazine the Myth of Endorphins
Closing in on Runners High