Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is said to be the origin of physical stamina and of qi energy. When human beings and animals experience stress, the protein POMC is produced in the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland (Figure 15-2). It is then broken down by enzymes into three kinds of small-scale proteins: beta-endorphins, adrenocorti-cotrophic hormone (ACTH), and the adrenocortical growth-factor. ACTH stimulates the adrenal cortex, resulting in the secretion of adrenocortial hormone, which alleviates physical stress caused by inflammation, allergies, and the like. Beta-endorphins act against mental stress through their painkilling properties, while also evoking pleasant sensations. Adrenocortial growth-factor supports ACTH in its work of stimulating the adrenal glands. It ensures that we have a mechanism in the brain to overcome stress and to gain additional endurance and qi energy as needed.
Mechanisms of hormone regulation.
When you practice Standing Zen, you will experience some pain in your trunk, legs, and arms. But if you bear the pain and maintain the position, you will come to feel a different, pleasant sensation. You may also have flashes of intuition about problems that have been on your mind. Standing Zen is said to activate the A-10 nerve and POMC, stimulating our qi energy and creativity. This is a way to theoretically prove the effectiveness of Standing Zen.
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