The science of compassion

Compassion isn’t just something we feel or do it’s something that our body physiologically experiences. There is scientific evidence that compassion affects our immune system, our cardiovascular system, our brain, and our nervous system as a whole.

When we think about this, it’s quite fantastical something that we are hardwired to do (be compassionate) creates more health, vitality, and peace within our body. The opposite is also true. When this quality of compassion is missing in our lives, we can suffer greatly not only emotionally but physically.

For me personally, by simply being human and practicing medicine noticing where compassion thrives and where it is sorely missing inspired me to research compassion on a physiological level.  I obtained a PhD in Applied Psychophysiology studying healthcare workers compassion, self-compassion and fear of compassion levels associated with hair cortisol levels and heart rate variability (HRV) measurements.  My research demonstrated that within the healthcare population, it is indeed true that our long-term cortisol levels are affected by our degree of compassion and self-compassion and the fears of compassion are associated with higher cortisol levels, and lower levels of HRV. I was also very fortunate attend Stanford University’s CCARE program, where I was able to develop a program to help healthcare workers, maintain their vitality with compassion as their guiding force, dispelling, the illusion of compassion burnout, illuminating the effects of empathetic overwhelm and systemwide problems that create burn out.

While the research is fascinating, all the statistics and measurements can sometimes leave a distance between the science behind compassion, and the daily lived experience of embodying compassion. That’s where I was inspired to write a book titled The Compassion Remedy.  In this book we discover, the science behind the physiological changes associated with compassion, coupled with personal stories of my own sometimes messy and elusive compassion practice over my lifetime and the experiences that forged my determination to bring more compassion into the world. 

If you too, are curious about how compassion affects our body creates health, and or disease based on its presence or absence, and how to bring this benevolent, beneficial quality into your daily life the compassion remedy is the book for you.

You can order your copy here.

If you find that you were unable to afford the price of the book, please contact me at my website, and we can arrange a copy being sent to you. With much gratitude and compassion.

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