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We’ve all heard the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what about a smile?

An extensive scientific literature review sponsored by Dignity Health and conducted by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University reveals a growing body of scientific evidence that indicates kindness holds the power to heal. We now know that this often overlooked, virtually cost-free remedy has a statistically significant impact on our physical health. For example, the positive effect of kindness is even greater than that of taking aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack or the influence of smoking on male mortality. And it doesn’t even require a trip to the pharmacy.

Those of us who work in the health care profession and study medicine have long believed in the value of a kind, compassionate bedside manner. But now, this belief isn’t just a nice notion – it’s sound science. The Dignity Health/CCARE scientific literature review shows that when patients are treated with kindness — when there is an effort made to get to know them, empathize with them, communicate with them, listen to them and respond to their needs.

To read the entire blog post, click here.