Can Kindness Alter Biology? The 'Rabbit Effect' Says Yes


The research was to talk about the relationship between diet and heart health back in the seventies and they fed nearly genetically identical rabbits the very same high fat diet and at the end of the study. They expected that all rabbits would have equally poor measures of health. Only they didn't and you can only imagine that when somebody is laying out the testing metrics to try to establish a baseline of sorts. The all these genetically identical rabbits and you feed them the same diet. I can only imagine that that the they discovered wasn't the actual goal of the test so they didn't find that all the rabbits were the same one group of rabbits had significantly better and we're talking sixty percent better health outcomes than the others and there was no explanation for the difference so then doctrinaire them noticed that the healthy rabbits were all tended by the same kind and caring young researcher and she frequently held the rabbits. She talked to the rabbit. She played with the rabbit so in other words she gave these rabbits kindness and so a radical idea emerged out of this study. could the social world change biology. And again we're talking the seventies this was pretty radical. The time it's still kind of is so the team decided to find out. They repeated the experiment with tightly controlled conditions and they got the same startling results. Kindness made all the difference. And this is what. Dr harding had called the rabbit effect. And she said is a doctor working in the emergency room. She thought the story made a lot of sense. And it helped her understand what she would often see clinically that patients who fair the worst with illness often lack social supports. And i have to tell you in my practice. I see the same thing that i remember. When i first got into the world of therapy that so often you want to jump in there and help you learn all these interventions you learn all these therapeutic modalities you want to just help. You want to help in whatever way you can and so often people just wanted to be heard. I said it often. To be heard is to be healed and on so many occasions there were people that would come in. And i would even start to talk and they would almost look at me like what are you doing. I i just want you to listen. I want empathy and so that kindness or that empathy that we would exude times as therapist was one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle and helping someone crawl out of the emotional doldrums or to rise from a pretty deep emotional quagmire of sorts and raise their emotional baseline

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