29 Jan 2020

Pain relief – a novel approach that’s as old as the Bible

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At northlondonosteopaths Alan Nevies and his colleagues spend much of their time trying to alleviate various aches and pains. So it was very interesting to read an article in the Times UK recently that said doctors are to start suggesting that people in pain should do acts of kindness to help them feel better. Although this sounds very different from the usual advice and prescriptions that come from a visit to the GP further research shows that there are scientifically recorded benefits and physical, positive effects from doing acts of kindness.

Firstly, doing acts of kindness releases feel good hormones. It boosts the level of serotonin and leads to what has become known as “helpers high”.

Secondly, doing acts of kindness eases anxiety. A study from the University of British Columbia revealed that participants who engaged in kind acts displayed significant increases in Positive Affect-a term that includes positive moods, joy, interest, and alertness.

Thirdly, doing acts of kindness is good for your heart. It releases oxytocin, which produces a chemical called nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

Fourthly, doing acts of kindness reduces stress. By distracting people from their own real or perceived problems their stress levels diminish.

Fifthly doing acts of kindness reduces inflammation which is an indirect trigger for many serious conditions. Volunteering indicated the strongest association with lower levels of inflammation.

So northlondonosteopaths will continue to provide osteopathic treatment courtesy of Alan Nevies and his colleagues. However it is possible that some patients might also benefit from knowing about the research into positive effects of kindness on the human anatomy. It comes as no surprise to folk familiar with the Bible where many verses encourage people to help others as part of their Divine service.

Not such novel advice after all!!