Scientists from the Beijing University have proven that good deeds have a positive effect on human health. According to the research results published in the works of the National Academy of China, altruistic behavior alleviates physical pain.
for example, volunteering reduces stress and alleviates depression, as well as mitigates the risk of cognitive impairment. This means that those areas of the brain that respond to any influences are deactivated as a result of good deeds.
Researchers conducted an experiment with 287 people, where the latter performed good deeds in certain circumstances.
One group donated blood after the earthquake, while another helped the children of migrants. It turned out that even cancer patients suffering from chronic pain experienced less physical pain when providing a voluntary aid to those in need.
In another study, participants were asked: “Will they donate money to orphans?” Then they were requested to undergo magnetic resonance imaging with instant pain on the hands. Scanning results showed that the brains of those who agreed to donate money were less responsive to electric current.
– Altruism alleviates not only acute physical pain in healthy people, but also chronic pain from severe ailments, the researchers concluded.
These studies show the psychological and biological mechanisms that underlie human pro-social behavior. Scientists recommend additional research to be conducted to determine how altruism can be included in the behavioral therapy of people with serious diseases.