Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How Assisted Animal Therapy Can Help Those Struggling Emotionally and Physically

(I am a firm believer in animals helping humans lives be better by us just being there for them, check out my human.....without me, I'd worry about him. Humans would be so lost without us. Anyway, I was sent this article that I want to share with you.)

"How Assisted Animal Therapy Can Help Those Struggling 
Emotionally and Physically" 

Humans and animals have a special bond for as long as we can remember. Animals are able to sense when their owner is in pain, is sad or if something is just wrong. When someone is suffering physically or emotionally, the relief and comfort that is needed to become strong again comes from animals more often than anyone else. Because of this, a type of therapy has been developed enlisting the help of our furry friends. This therapy is called animal assisted therapy, which could involve a dog, a cat, a horse or even a bird.

Who Can Be Helped with Animal Assisted Therapy?

Research shows that animal assisted therapy can improve the emotional well-being of cancer patients, abused or neglected children as well as patients that facing a difficult surgery or treatment, such as chemotherapy. Animal assisted therapy is also known to help trigger something in the elderly so that they don’t feel so alone as well as helping war veterans get a handle on the effects of their time spent in the military.

When Did Animal Assisted Therapy First Come About?

Animal assisted therapy ideas date back to 1919 when animals visited mental health patients at a hospital in Washington, D.C. Therapy dogs were also utilized back in 1945 during the World War II. Dogs were used as therapy for injured soldiers of the war to provide not just comfort but also to give them motivation to get well. In addition, World War II patients were also encouraged to work with farm animals and perform farm work in order to have their minds somewhere else rather than on the war.

It has been proven that doctors see more progress in patients when therapy animals are brought in. A child psychiatrist in New York found that he was able to make more progress with patients when he brought his dog to therapy sessions. The psychiatrist was able to conclude that normally withdrawn children were able to interact more freely and willingly when his dog was present. A study from the State University of New York in Buffalo found that stockbrokers with hypertension and taking medication for their condition saw a reduction in stress-related blood pressure when they shared their daily lives with pets.

As new research becomes available, animal assisted therapy will grow. This will help not only improve one’s overall well-being, but will represent the fact that humans need animals to carry on with their life just as much as animals need humans to survive.

About the Author: Don Bennett works with Lila, a Therapy Dog at The Center for Creativity and Healing, a Counseling practice in Charlotte, NC.


marksdorcel said...

It gives not just relaxation but also to provide them inspiration to get well soon.

Allen Pearson said...

Yes, it does!