Doctor orders volunteer work for healthy living

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Doctor orders volunteer work for healthy living

Monday, February 10, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Medical practitioner Dr Clifton Reid has championed the findings of studies that, he said, support the theory that voluntary service is beneficial to the health and well-being of those who give of their time and resources.

The guest speaker at the Mandeville Rotary Club's annual vocational service awards banquet held recently at Regie's Bistro, Reid informed Rotarians that studies show that active volunteers were at a 20 per cent lower risk of dying (from natural causes). He said this was a higher survival potential than most medications can provide.

With the help of a PowerPoint presentation, Reid, who heads the volunteer group Manchester Peace Coalition, outlined to his audience the many ways in which volunteerism contributes to the physical, spiritual, mental, and social wholeness of human beings.

There is the “happiness effect”, which is the great sense of satisfaction one usually experiences when able to help another.

“From the mere result of being happy, the body releases natural health-giving stimulants that provide a zest for life,” Reid, who has served the Mandeville community for 30 years as a medical doctor, shared with his audience. This, he said, allows for the development of a robust immune system.

Apart from the physiological benefits derived from the therapeutic value of volunteer service, the guest speaker emphasised the social advantages of meeting new people, forming friendships, learning new skills, and the physical fitness that can result from an active lifestyle.

He noted that the Mandeville suburbs was a favourite destination for retired residents, returning home from overseas, and spoke of the “tremendous level of loneliness” experienced by some returnees, particularly in instances where a spouse has died. For those who are able and willing, he recommends volunteer work as a rewarding outlet to occupy “hands, heart, and mind”.

The guest speaker concluded his address with a quotation endorsing the value of volunteerism: “You make a living from what you make, but you make a life out of what you give.”


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