Endorphins are hormones secreted by the brain glands, the pituitary and the hypothalamus, and are present in many organs, including the brain and spinal cord. These hormones have effects similar to those of morphine, used as a painkilling drug. They are released in times of physical stress, intense excitement, pain, or orgasm. The endorphin has everything morphine has, properties that decrease pain by binding to opioid receptors in the thalamus at the pain centers. Endorphins cause a feeling of well-being and relaxation.