Our body syntheses natural opioids: the endorphins.
The endorphins are responsible for the "natural high" that can be produced by exercise. Therefore, the human opioid system contributes to the regulation of pain, but also emotions and pleasure.
In addition to effectively relieving pain, external opioids may improve mood and reduce negative emotions.
What does it happen with opioids drugs?
They bind the same specific receptors in the brain than the endorphines, thus mimicking the effects of pain-relieving chemicals.
Therefore, opioids drugs also increases subjective pleasure (as endorphines do) having emotional responses caused by external stimuli. This fact increases the risk of addiction, being one of the reasons behind the onset of opioid use disorder, common in Ireland.
If opioids drugs increases the subjective pleasure, they may also increase a subjective pain relief.
We know that prolonged opioid use alters the reward system of the brain, diminishing its sensitivity. This is the reason is extremely important to avoid its uncontrolled consumption.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been proved to be an effective pain reliever by stimulating your natural human opioid system.
Photo by Yoann Boyer