what are endorphins?
endorphins are opiate-like neurotransmitters that are secreted by special cells located within the brain. these chemicals stimulate certain neurons, which in their turn disrupt messages from the pain receptors. regular opiates such as morphine are chemically very similar to the endorphins and will therefore activate the same pain-inhibiting neurons.
is there evidence?
naloxone, a drug know to inhibit the effect of morphine and similar opiates has been shown to block the pain alleviation normally produced by acupuncture.
let's get high!
endorphins are also produced by the brain during physical activity (ie. a runner's high). exercise or physical exertion may be a good way to better your mood.