Thursday, April 27, 2006

Still Waiting

For the runners' high. Apparently,I am not alone in wondering about the reality of this phenomenon. According to this article in Tuesday's Washington Post, the "endorphin rush" was first identified in the 1970s in research done on marathon runners' blood levels. Later studies, however, showed that "endorphins don't cross into the brain easily. They get metabolized." On the other hand, some studies have demonstrated that exercise increases the levels of three key neurotransmitters, which are associated with elevated moods. On the other other hand, research has shown that just "walking for 30 minutes had a significant effect in depressed patients." But that was self-reported, so not conclusive.

Whatever. I can say that I'm off the antidepressant meds I was on for so many years, and I can directly attribute that to running. But that too is anecdotal, not scientific, evidence.

Even so, the "runners' high" eludes me. (Except when I set a new PR!)

12 comments:

Mark I. said...

Right ON about running helping you to get off meds! I am a BIG believer in the use of exercise to get the blood going and inject some of the chemicals our body produces naturally to make us feel good and alive.

And, if you want a great source of info on the Runner's High, check out Scott Dunlap's A Trail Runner's Blog article here:

http://runtrails.blogspot.com/2005/01/understanding-runners-high.html

21st Century Mom said...

Ah the elusive runner's high. I never got it before, either. I could get a swimmer's high but I attributed that to a lack of oxygen. Recently when I started running faster I started feeling better after my runs. Instead of just feeling wasted I felt happy. Runner's high or natural self-satisfaction? I don't know but try ust pushing yourself a little bit - NOT A LOT! Just a little harder. It really can hurt so good. Push and report back, please.

nancytoby said...

Yeah, no runner's high here either, but I believe there's beneficial mood effects of sunshine and fresh air, as well as, well, the exercise. But it's not like I'm HIGH or anything, dammit.

susie said...

How about the after-run high? I always feel better after a run. Well, except tonight because I am sitting here with a bag of ice on my knee. But USUALLY I feel better. But, no, not high.

Bex said...

The runner's high can be elusive, though I always feel much better AFTER the run. However, when I was charging up a hill the other night, I thought, "Huh. This feels pretty good. Who'd a thunk it?!"

By the way: I. Finally. Posted. The running skirt photos. And. I. am. DAMN. tired.

Bolder said...

getting off of the anti-depressant meds for many years is an outstanding accomplishment.

well.done.

personally, i get my biggest endorphin rush from swimming. i wonder if (no scientific evidence here) water stimulates the key neurotransmitters... now, do a triathlon -- and it is hello endorphin city!

of course, there's always chocolate... and sneezing... and, ...

Jennifer said...

No runners high here either- I thought that I experienced it when I first started running, but I think that was a lack of oxygen to the brain...

Rae said...

I get an awesome sense of accomplishment....when it's over! Today at Mile 10 I vowed I would never run again and immediately throw my shoes away when I got home. Once it was over I was happy as a lark and ready to go again!!!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

I get a runner's high while running. It usually takes 10 miles though.

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Neurolinguistic Programming

In the early 1970s in America Richard Bandler, then a young college student studied the work of Fritz Perls and later Virginia Satir and found that he could reproduce their high-level therapy skills to a degree that even surprised him. Bandler seemed to have a natural ability to mimic (model) the language patterns by Virginia and Fritz.

At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Bandler who was well versed in the teachings of patterns in mathematics and computers teamed up with a college professor, John Grinder to help him understand the processes that were at work. Soon Bandler and Grinder, who used what he knew about patterns in linguistics, created a new model for personal growth called NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Bandler and Grinder had set out to model the hypnotic skills of Milton Erickson. They had astounding results. They built a communication model about human "thinking" and "processing" and used that model of how we see images, hear sounds, reproduces smells and tactile experiences in our mind to track and model the structure of subjective experiences.

Sounds very complicated but really it works very simply. Here is an example as used by Paul McKenna - probably the best & most successful hypnotist in the world.

Close your eyes and think of a negative memory. Become involved in the situation as best as you can. Feel the emotions that you felt, see the things you saw and hear the things you heard.

Now take that memory and project it onto a mental screen seeing yourself in the picture. Put a frame around the picture and view it as if it is an old photograph. Next drain all the colour from the picture and shrink the screen to the size of a matchbox.

Have the feelings associated with the picture decreased in any way?

Another good example of NLP involves Anchors. Have you ever smelt a certain perfume or aftershave and had it remind you of a certain person or situation? Gone to a certain place that brings feelings long forgotten flooding back? Or been in any situation that creates emotional responses that would not normally be associated with it? Well if you can answer yes to any of these then you have experienced anchors. Some anchors are associated with positive feelings and some with negative emotions. However, you should be aware that anchors can be consciously installed or already existing ones altered. Here is an example:

Think of a time when you were really happy. If you can't think of one then imagine something that would make you feel really happy. See what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel what you would feel. Really get into the picture and try to experience it as though it were happening now.

Now brighten the colours and make them richer. Increase the volume. Make the picture bigger, brighter, louder. That's it and more and more....

Now press your first finger against your thumb and fully experience your happy feelings. Do this everyday for 2 weeks and you will create an anchor that will instantly recreate these feelings. Whenever you want to feel like that again just press your thumb and first finger together and wham the feelings will come flooding back! Don't believe me? Just try it and see!!! personal development