Background and History
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The Endorphin Effect is a set of easy-to-use strategies that support holistic health and development.
Endorphins are natural chemicals produced by the body. They are part of the family of chemicals known as hormones and neuropeptides. They are produced in every cell of the body and are involved in the relaxation of tissue, the anaesthetizing of pain and the physical sensations of pleasure. All zoological creatures, including the single-celled, produce endorphins.
A well-balanced state of health includes an ongoing production of endorphins. Babies, toddlers and children are naturally – given a non-violent family and culture – endorphinated. As adolescents and adults we tend to lose our natural wellbeing and tighten up. Adrenalin and cortisol – the hormones of tension and anxiety – begin to predominate.
The Endorphin Effect identifies five strategies that trigger the production of hormones: • Rest • Exercise • Positive Triggers • Attitude of Inner Smile • Connection with Natural World.
It also clarifies the techniques for using and deepening the effect of those strategies whenever someone chooses to, even when exhausted or ill.
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These strategies were clarified in the 1990’s by Dr William Bloom, a psychologist and meditator. He became aware of the scientific discovery of endorphins and integrated their function into his personal experience of meditation and teaching meditation. His book The Endorphin Effect was first published in 2001.
The strategies have been integrated into the therapeutic work of many healthcare practitioners. This began with many of the therapy team in Bristol Cancer Help Centre (now Penny Brohn Centre) using the approach.
In the Spring of 2006 a six week experimentation programme took place at Westminster University to examine whether the Endorphin Effect strategies – called “kinesthetic meditation’ in this context - had any effect on cortisol levels.
The results were published in The Journal of Holistic Healthcare Volume 3, Issue 3, 2006 in the paper ‘Salivary cortisol, stress and arousal following kinesthetic meditation’, authors: Valerie Bullen, Cathrine Fredhoi, William Bloom, Jan Povey, Frank Hucklebridge, Phil Evans and Angela Clow. The Summary of the paper concluded: ‘These data confirm that even a brief period of kinesthetic meditation training can improve subjective and objective measures of well-being.’
"It is a pleasure to write to thank you for your contribution to the Silver Jubilee Conference last Friday. Your presentation was received with enthusiasm and gratitude. We have been enjoying the overhwelmingly positive feedback and request for more from many delegates."
The Endorphin Effect is a profound yet universal and easily applied process for enhancing one’s joy and fulfilment in life. It’s good for your health at all levels.
Dr S Miller, Bristol Cancer Help Centre
This fascinating approach reveals another dimension in healing ourselves, triggered by our own initiative. Intriguing and compelling.
Stephen Covey, author The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
‘The Endorphin Effect is a brilliant, mature, and enlightening strategy that offers participants an opportunity to understand the awesome power that is contributed to the biology of the human body through endorphins. In this superb training, William Bloom provides very engaging insights and inspiration, so that you realise that being a positive individual generates more power than you realise.’
Caroline M. Myss author of Why People Don't Heal
‘As a training manager working for the Civil Service I have just finished delivering a two day course on managing personal stress. I devoted almost all of today to The Endorphin Effect. They loved it! They felt it was a strategy they could easily incorporate into their daily lives. It is such a good feeling to come away from a group of people knowing I have made a difference.’
Shauna O' Donnell Feedback from TDU Senior Trainers Ulster after 3-Day Professional Training
I found the endorphin training to be very useful both from a personal and work perspective. The strategies are straightforward and easy to apply and I'm looking forward to incorporating them in my own training. A very worthwhile exercise.
Gina Adams, Training Manager Disability & Carers Training Satellite Team
Endorphin Effect, what can I say!!
Made a lot of sense re Hell state/Bliss state and would be confident delivering this. Learning about the release of endorphins and how we can access this power. Exercises excellent way of demonstrating release of endorphins. Power-Naps are the way of the future!!
June McNaught, Training Manager, Management Development Team
I thought the Endorphin Effect training was excellent! With the backing of scientific evidence it should persuade even the "non-believers" to try it. Personally I feel it is a very useful self management system. In fast pace society full of increasing demands the Endorphin Effect techniques help combat the mounting stresses. The Endorphin Effect is simple and effective and having used it myself I believe they help. When my wife was going for a job interview I had her use the several of the strategies and she felt that it helped her to relax before the interview (she got the job!). Apart from Stress Management, strategies from the Endorphin Effect could be used in various training events for example, managing change, managing difficult situations, customer services skills.
Jim Mallon- Training Manager, Belfast Benefits Delivery Centre
Really good with some useful tips for personal & work place strategies. The course was a mixture of chilling out refocusing and revitalising.
Brenda Curtis, Training Manager, West District Training Satellite
For me, the endorphin strategies are priceless in that:
- They work
- Require little effort
- Are simple and easily understood
- There is something for everyone
- I see great scope for utilisation at a personal and business level and given the change in the organisation that is coming down the pipeline, will be a tool to be marketed and taught in a range of different courses.
Julie Anderson, Head of Training & Development Unit for Social Security Agency Northern Ireland
I found this course really good, I have not been involved in anything like this before and was amazed at the effect the relaxation and exercise sessions really do make to how you are feeling and used in the right context and at the right time they could be very useful in the process of training. I am delighted that you gave me the opportunity to attend this course. Thanks.
Viola McGee Training Manager, West District Training Satellite
Loved the Bliss/Hell State and the science behind it. PNI* is great. I am using triggers & pause and reflect techniques and they work for me. The courses made such a lot of sense- I feel enlightened.
* PNI = Psychoneuroimmunology, the scientific term for mind-body healthcare strategies.
Leigh Stewart, Training Manager Incapacity Benefit Training Satellite
I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 days endorphin training with Dr William Bloom as it was well explained, relaxed and informative. I have used the skills and concepts learned in every day life ie: at home, at work and socially. I feel that all staff would benefit from this training as it would help them both personally and professionally. Thanks.
Terry Jordan, Training Manager, Disability & Carers, Training Satellite Team
I enjoyed the course and learnt some very useful strategies in particular the exercises were very useful and I have started to do them most days.
Although I already applied the positive triggers/strawberry strategy it was good to have a name put to it as this has helped me explain it to others.
I used the exercises, strawberry strategy, power nap and explanation of Hell and Bliss states in my managing personal stress course along with your half day session. The feedback from staff was excellent and enjoyable which I would attribute to the introduction of some of these strategies to the course. In particular they commented on:
- How helpful it was to know the effects of adrenaline and cortisol in Comparison to the effects of endorphins on the body
- The strawberry/positive triggers strategy
- The exercises
- The relaxation sessions
I am in the process of reading Williams book and picking up little tip bits as I go along which I will used personally and consider adding to my courses were appropriate.
Marie-Therese Mcateer, Belfast North & East Antrim Training Satellite