It is both a well known fact and scientifically proven that having interaction with a friendly, gentle animal can come with significant benefits. Those of us who already own pets understand that they can make us happy, but there is a growing amount of research showing that they can also make us healthier and happier.
Because of the impact of animals on humans, there is an increasing use of different animals in a variety of settings that ranges from nursing homes and hospitals to schools and mental institutions. While it is mostly cats and dogs that are looked upon as being therapy animals, there are a growing number of groups that are also using fish, birds and horses.
If you are able to leverage the power of pets, you will find them to be a very vital tool for the treatment of a number of medical conditions and different disorders, especially those that are associated in some way with mental health.
What Is Animal Therapy For Humans?
Pet therapy is basically defined as a sort of guided interaction therapy facts between an individual or group and a specially trained animal that is facilitated by the animal handler. Sometimes called animal assisted therapy, animal therapy for humans is helpful when it comes to improving a patient's social, physical, emotional and mental function.
Such therapy can take place in any number of settings, which will usually include treatment centers, care homes and hospitals. The different activities that will usually be included are looking after, grooming, and walking the therapy animal. Just as any other form of treatment, the different components of pet therapy will be decided upon on a case by case basis to help address the specific needs of the patient.
Enjoying The Benefits
The trained animals are wonderful for helping patients that may be suffering from autism, depression, dementia, substance abuse, and even certain behavioral and emotional disorders. The animals are known for helping by accepting us for exactly who we are. The animals never threaten and they never judge, allowing the patients to interact with them wholeheartedly and feel safe in knowing that there is never any sort of hidden agenda.
People who have been diagnosed with emotionally based disorders may find it to be difficult at times to open up with another human being, which makes it easier for them to work with a therapy animal. Some of the different benefits that have been reported with the use of animal therapy programs for humans include a boost in self-esteem, better communication skills, reduced stress and a dramatic improvement in mood.
Animal therapy is now widely being used to help with the treatment of depression and dementia. Patients love the ability to pet an animal, as it helps to release their endorphins, otherwise known as the feel good neurotransmitters of the brain. If you or someone that you know could benefit from working with an animal, you will see that working with a pet therapy program in your area will be a great step toward health and healing.